Celebrating the Life of George A. Romero: Father of the Modern Zombie Movie

If you're a fan of horror movies or a movie fan at all, chances are you've enjoyed the work of George A. Romero who passed away this summer at age 77. Romero is frequently credited with creating the modern zombie movie genre with his 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead and its many sequels:

Night of the Living Dead

Even if you're not into The Walking Dead or don't think you dig zombies, Romero does an excellent job of focusing on how real people cope with extraordinary situations. Though also noted for some of the more graphic moments in his films, the image of zombies devouring human flesh is somehow less memorable (at least to this viewer) than the notion of random strangers barricading themselves into a farmhouse to avoid certain doom.

My personal favorite is Romero's delightful collaboration with Stephen King, Creepshow. This darkly funny horror anthology contains one of Adrienne Barbeau's most excellent performances as the stingingly acerbic, fairly alcoholic Billie, who gets her comeuppance after years of berating her "useless" husband (Hal Holbrook). Equally fantastic is Stephen King's turn as that lunkhead Jordy Verrill, a poor bumpkin who touches a meteor, then makes the mistake of putting his burnt finger in his mouth (yikes).

Creepshow

If you're more of a reader, you can check out Nights of the Living Dead, a new collection of short stories inspired by Romero's film (he wrote the introduction):

Nights of the Living Dead

Or dive into Empire of the Dead, his graphic novel series that finds the undead shambling through the streets of New York City and leaving mayhem in their wake:

Empire of the Dead

Empire of the Dead Volume 2

Empire of the Dead Volume 3

Whichever route you choose, Romero has left behind a large body of work to explore and celebrate.

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