I spent my Sunday watching home haunt documentaries, that I fully intended to write-up on Vespertine House this evening. At some point in the last one I watched, I found myself rolling my eyes at yet another zombie-themed haunt.
I then had a moment of reflection on the modern-day zombie renaissance we’ve had the last few years. It seems that everywhere you look there are zombies.
We see them shambling out of the Halloween and Horror niches and into everyday life. They’ve invaded our television sets, music, fashion, games– even quirky bumper stickers have a booming zombie-loving demographic. Ultimately I shook my head and murmured “people and their fucking zombies”.
Of all days to have such a thought, it had to be the day that the father of the modern-day zombie passed away.
From what started as Barbara’s screams in an old cemetery in 1968, and ended with another Trixie virus outbreak in 2010, George Romero proved again and again that he could orchestrate zombie fear amongst the masses with the utmost finesse.
Romero adapted the zombie creature and its origins to fit a more modern-day audience. His concept was far removed from the original Voodoo zombie seen in classic Horror films like “I Walked With a Zombie”. His formula has stood the test of time as it’s applied in the majority of the zombie Horror we see today.
I’m happy to say that I learned a lot about good cinema from watching his films. I also learned that it’s good to not be serious about everything all the time and that you can absolutely serve up your Horror with a side of fun.
It’s with a sad keystroke that I say goodbye to yet another film legend. But I’m happy to know that he will never be forgotten.
So, the next time a zombie shuffles across a silver screen or a protagonist nervously discovers that a strange virus is bringing the dead back to life, smile and think of George. His greatest gift is the incredible Horror legacy that he’s left us with.