I could write thousands of words on the life of George A. Romero, but frankly I'm feeling too gutted to put the words together. His influence on horror, on cinema, is inestimable. His influence on me personally since 1979 has been profound.
Cultural iconoclast. Cinematic maverick. Rebel. Romero's films held a mirror up to the western world, encouraging us to reflect on and examine some of our ugliest problems: greed, xenophobia, social injustice, militancy, and nationalism. In his life and work he was fiercely independent, never compromising his values, toiling to the end outside of the corporate studio system that he railed against.
And the man was quintessentially cool, a quality that saturates his entire filmography. Countless imitators have tried to equal the badass chemistry of Peter, Roger, Fran and Stephen, but only Romero could have created an elite squad of apocalyptic survivors as perfectly cool as that foursome.
In 1968 the release of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD heralded the modern era of horror cinema. The father of that epoch is gone, but his legacy lives on in every film, every shot, every frame of the genre that he was so instrumental in shaping.