Sometimes this writer has to scramble for blogging ideas. Sadly, fate provided me with material this week.
Film director George A. Romero, who invented the zombie genre with 'Night of the Living Dead in 1968 and refined it ten years later with 'Dawn of the Dead,'died on July 16 age 77. His legacy includes a variety of films inside and outside of the zombie genre and there is a bitter irony to this year marking the 50th anniversary of his original landmark film.
With the original film, which he co-wrote with John Russo, he established the basic boiler plate of a group of people trapped in a building by flesh-eating reanimated corpses. This film not only introduced the modern zombie (Romero is reported to have detested the label), but put his intended political and social context squarely in front.
He later made 'Dawn of the Dead,' which featured a more survival-oriented group of protagonists trapped in a mall while coping with more zombies, bandits and their own natures.
Not only was Romero scheduled to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but also produced the forthcoming 'Road of the Dead' (which he did not direct). He recently edited an anthology of stories inspired by 'Night of the Living Dead' (we reviewed it here).
His work also includes four unproduced screenplays that will hopefully see the light of day. We will report more on this as it progresses.