He passed away on July 16th this year at the age of 77 after a brief but aggressive fight with lung cancer, leaving behind a legacy of cult horror and undead movies that have generated a massive following and inspired hundreds of similar zombie related films and TV programs. Long time Romero fan Quentin Tarantino once presented George with a Mastermind Award at the Spike TV's Scream Awards and stated in his speech that the A. in George's name actually stood for 'a fucking genius.' He was both loved and adored by fans of the zombie horror genre and his presence in the horror film industry will most certainly be missed.
Romero is probably most famous for for his 'Dead Series Trilogy' - Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead which all received incredible success, in fact Dawn of the Dead which was made with a 1.5 million dollar budget when it was released in 1978, grossed an incredible $55 million at box offices, swiftly becoming one of the most successful zombie cult movies of all time.
In tribute to Romero, we had a pizza and zombie movie night on Saturday night, watching his 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead. Cheesy one liners, the slowest moving zombies ever and early 90's gore effects; put all of those together and you've got yourself a terrific B grade horror of cult standards that never fails to amuse and entertain.
It is the blend of extreme ridiculousness, intense gore and inevitable doom that has always made Romero films so memorable for me. Romero influences have spawned video games, movie remakes and even the hugely successful TV program The Walking Dead, and I think that it is fair to say that we will be seeing Mr. Romero's influences in modern media for many, many years to come. Just like his undead counterparts, George A. Romero's influences will continue to live on well beyond the grave.
Release Date: 2004
Rating: R 18+
Running Time: 101 mins
Zack Snyder's homage to the great George A. Romero classic was always going to be a huge undertaking; cult film remakes often receive mixed and tepid responses. In my mind, Snyder's version only enhanced what Romero had laid down previously and offers viewers an A grade standard version of a B grade cult classic.
This movie is high tension gore-filled horror, less then ten minutes in and it's zombie apocalypse time. The zombies are fast moving, the infection is fast spreading and the hordes rise quickly which gives the film an ominous urgency. Our surviving characters take refuge at a local shopping mall (an obvious nod to consumerism) as they try to hatch an idea to escape from the city and their own inevitable doom.
Ving Rhames rehashes his 'too tough to talk' role that he seems to play in every film he is in, and Sarah Polley does a decent job of the unlikely heroine - Ana the nurse.
FINAL SAY: Get down with the sickness.
3.5 Chilli Peppers