Yesterday, George Romero passed away, and we lost the the father of the modern zombie genre. Romero brought us films like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Creepshow, and much more, spawning horror films that not only frightened us, but spawned out morbid fascination with the walking dead. His work inspired many other filmmakers and storytellers over the years, including Edgar Wright, who paid a wonderful tribute to the icon.
https://twitter.com/edgarwright/status/886866352417394688Wright published a heartfelt post on his blog today where he paid tribute to his friend, mentor, and hero. “I had been infatuated about George’s work before I saw it,” Wright explains. “Scouring through horror and fantasy magazine for stills, posters and articles way before I was old enough to see his movies. When I finally did watch, on VHS or late night TV, the likes of ‘Night Of The Living Dead’, ‘Martin’, ‘Dawn Of The Dead’, ‘Creepshow’, ‘Day Of The Dead’ and others, I was a true devotee to all things Romero.”
Romero’s influence on Wright’s work is obvious. After all, in addition to several winks and nods to zombies and classic horror in the series Spaced where Wright and Simon Pegg first teamed up, their next major project together was the zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead. Romero was so pleased with the film; he not only gave it a glowing review, but he invited Wright and Pegg to have zombie cameos in his next film, Land of the Dead.
For those of us who love the zombie genre, Wright’s praise of Romero and his work echoes what we feel after hearing of his passing. However, Wright’s post also gave a glimpse into the mind of the horror genius. There are many great details: from discussing how Romero may have felt pigeon-holed in the horror genre, to sharing a self-deprecating email from Romero when Wright asked if he could attend Romero’s ceremony for his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Romero was an important figure in pop culture to a lot of us. Still, he will live on in his amazing work, and as Wright says in his post, if we’ve learned anything from Romero’s films, we’ll likely see him again.
If you want to read Edgar Wright’s touching tribute to George Romero, you can head to his website to read the entire post. And in the comments, we’d love to hear how Romero’s films impacted you.
Feature Image: Tristar Pictures