Horror Movie Directors:
George A. Romero

George A. Romero

In 1968, with a paltry budget, George A. Romero changed the horror genre forever. He gave us zombies. Night of the Living Dead (1968) was unlike anything that had come before and cemented Romero’s name in the annals of horror forevermore. Initially the film received a lukewarm reaction and commercially was far from successful. However, negative press calling for an all out ban on the movie due it its graphic content ironically boosted the film's popularity which has led it to become one of the most important and groundbreaking horror films in cinematic history.

Romero continued working within the confines of the zombie genre building on his Dead series. The fantastic Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985) were both well received, commercially and critically.

One facet of Romero's work that engages critics and audiences alike is his ability to mix astute social commentary with a great story (and plenty of blood and guts of course). Critics noted the parallels between Night of the Living Dead and the political climate of the sixties, and Dawn of the Dead’s satirizing of consumerism. In fact, there are political and social undertones to all of Romero’s movies. He is a man not only with a vision, but with a message as well.

But Romero's talents are not exclusive to the zombie sub-genre, with classics such as The Crazies (1973), Martin (1977) and Creepshow (1982) under his belt. While all great movies in their own right, Romero will indelibly be associated with the zombie genre.

With renewed interest in the sub-genre following the commercial success of the Dawn of the Dead (2004) remake, Romero set to work on his fourth installment: Land of the Dead (2005). Here is where we meet the next evolution of zombies; they now have the ability to communicate (albeit at a basic level), make plans and use weapons. This was quickly followed up by Diary of the Dead (2007), giving us a first person perspective of the zombie mayhem through the lens of some film students in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Clearly on a roll by now, Romero released the final part (so far) of his Dead series in with Survival of the Dead (2008). Doing away with the first-person perspective of the previous film, Survival of the Dead focuses on feuding families refusing to let their loved ones go, insisting they must be kept "alive" in hopes of a cure. Sadly this latest instalment failed to live up to any of its predecessors and currently holds the lowest IMDb rating for any of Romero’s movies.

Most recently Romero has said in numerous interviews that in today’s current Hollywood climate, it is nearly impossible for him to get financing for another zombie movie. With behemoths like The Walking Dead and Brad Pitt’s World War Z (2013) to compete with, it seems there is no space nor appetite for the sociopolitical variety of zombie horror movies that started it all.

So, it may be a while before we see something new from Romero but fear not. He has a healthy back catalog of some of the best horror movies in cinematic history for you to sink your teeth into (pun intended). So what’s stopping you? Time to get struck in. And remember: if you’ve seen it, rate it.

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George A. Romero Horror Movies

Highest Rated: Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Lowest Rated: Survival of the Dead (2009)

The Greatest Horror Movie Directors

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