Monday, July 17, 2017

George A. Romero

I am truly saddened by the death of Gerorge A. Romero. Last night I even shed a few tears.

Romero is one of my creative heroes, a true original who pursued his own vision and made movie magic. In my opinion, he never made a bad film, and at his best he was the best of them all.

THE CRAZIES
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
DAWN OF THE DEAD
DAY OF THE DEAD
MARTIN
CREEPSHOW

I wouldn't be who I am without seeing, and loving, those films at an early age. They enriched my imagination and my life, inspired me creatively, and helped nurture what was to be a lifelong obsession with film and fiction that explores the darker side of the human experience.

It's strange when we hear of the death of someone we never met but who helped shape us. Thanks, George Romero, for showing a lost and lonely kid in Sunderland a whole new world of possibilities.

It's difficult for a lot of people today to understand the cultural impact of something like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. It was seismic. An entire cinematic subgenre was created; the tectonic plates of a genre shifted.

Nihilism had never been so beautiful.

DAWN OF THE DEAD might just be the perfect horror film, the ultimate expression of horror cinema. It has everything. It broke new ground in all kinds of ways. Social commentary, cultural impact, extreme violence, pitch black humour, nihilism.

Horror had never been like this before. It was radical and brilliant. The genre is only just starting to catch up with the things that film did.

I've long maintained that the opening sequence, with the SWAT team raiding the tower block, is the best film ever made.

The first time I saw DAY OF THE DEAD was in the cinema upon its initial release. Two members of the audience vomited. Several others left in disgust. There was a lot of screaming and moaning.

I just sat there with tears of joy in my eyes. It was like seeing the holy grail.

MARTIN is, for me, the best vampire film yet made. Its naturalistic approach and deconstruction of the gotjic staples is a revelation. It's the film I'll wstch in tribute tonight.

My favourite Romero film is THE CRAZIES. I first saw it on a portable black and white television in a caravan in Cleethorpes. It was part of a double bill with THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT. I was blown away, couldn't sleep that night because of excitement and the fear that soldiers in white hazmat suits were creeping around outside.

I love that film. Its combination of social commentary, nihilism, violence, and human drama is magnificent.

Romero is gone. We shall never see his like again.


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