The master is gone. George Romero has died at the age of 77, reportedly of lung cancer.
To editorialize for a second, I know Mr. Romero was a smoker. I don’t know and can’t know whether this resulted in the disease that killed him, but it is an established medical fact that smoking does cause cancer. The big tobacco companies don’t care. They lace their product with nicotine because they want people addicted. They want people to buy their product, right up until they die. If you are a smoker, let me encourage you to try to quit. Don’t put any more money in the pockets of these amoral scoundrels. Don’t poison yourself with their toxins.
Getting back to George Romero, I feel like anything I write is going to be both an understatement and unnecessary. Surely I don’t need to tell anybody, anywhere just how monumental this man’s effect was upon the Horror genre and upon popular culture in general. George Romero created the zombie movie. He created the zombie genre. I mean that literally; he CREATED them. Everything we know about zombies today, every movie, every TV show, they all come from his vision. George Romero WAS zombies. Yes, there were zombie movies made before his landmark NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. But his film debut is the dividing line in the genre. There are the flicks made before him, and then there are all the ones made since, and all those made since are, to some degree, an imitation. Nor will there ever be another zombie movie made that will get out from beneath his shadow. And I mean that literally, too. Never.
Does all that sound hyperbolas? It isn’t. Romero really was THAT influential. We’re sure gonna miss him ’round these parts.