Legendary director George A. Romero, known as the “Godfather of the Dead” and director of many zombie movies, has passed away at the age of 77. I haven’t seen much from him but Night of the Living Dead still scares the crap out of me. According to Variety, he was battling with lung cancer. Some of his work that you might know from him includes Night of the Living Dead, Knightriders, Creepshow, Day of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Land of the Dead and many others.
The director died in his sleep following a battle with lung cancer, according to a statement provided to the LA Times, from Romero’s producing partner Peter Grunwald.
Made in Pittsburgh on a budget of $114,000, “Night of the Living Dead” made $30 million and became a cult classic. Romero’s friends and associates in his Image Ten production company pooled their funds to make the film. Influenced by Richard Matheson’s novel “I Am Legend,” the black and white film about a group of people trapped in a Pennsylvania farmhouse who fall prey to a horde of the undead was said to be a critique of capitalism during the counter-culture era.
After “Night of the Living Dead,” he directed films including “There’s Always Vanilla,” “Season of the Witch,” and “The Crazies,” although none had the impact of his first film. His 1977 vampire arthouse pic “Martin” was somewhat more well-received.