Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Legendary Director George A. Romero Dead at 77

Legendary Director George A. Romero Dead at 77

Romero, the Night of the Living Dead director who arguably invented the modern zombie movie, has passed away at the age of 77 from lung cancer.

The filmmaker's family said he died while listening to the score of The Quiet Man, one of his favourite films, in the company of his wife and daughter. Romero's most successful follow-up was Dawn of the Dead (1978), and after the 1985 commercial and critical flop Day of the Dead, he retired the franchise until 2005, when he released the star-packed Land of the Dead.

Apart from the Dead series, his works include The Crazies (1973), Martin (1978), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988) and The Dark Half (1993).

Romero had a prolific writing and directing career that wasn't limited to zombies, though he remained firmly planted in the horror genre. Stephen King called him his favorite collaborator and said, "There will never be another like you".

Apart from terrorizing his audience with the flesh-eating ghouls, Romero sent across a social commentary through his zombie movies.

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The filmmaker - best known for his zombie apocalypse series including "Night of the Living Dead" and "Dawn of the Dead" - died during the night on Sunday (July 16th 2017) having been struggling with cancer for a short amount of time.

Although the zombie had been present in films before, Night of the Living Dead reimagined them as disease carrying, flesh-eating, walking corpses, creating an apocalypse genre that would be go on to inspire everything from 28 Days Later to The Walking Dead. "I frequently think back to this moment of standing in my house as the moment my life truly changed and the world got smaller".

It cost $500,000 to produce and earned $55 million, and according to Entertainment Weekly it was one of the top cult films ever.

Eli Roth, on the other hand, remembered Romero as someone who took risks to confront racism 50 years ago. He attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and graduated in 1960 from the university's College of Fine Arts.

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