(R)IP George Romero

Published by Olly Blackburn

RIP to a master. He was not just one of the greatest horror directors of all time and probably the most important horror film director of his generation (and that’s not said lightly when his compatriots include John Carpenter, David Cronenberg and Wes Craven)… He was a master full stop. Romer had a HUGE and ever-lasting impact on cinema. His films are both technically brilliant, conceptually immense and among the most surgically precise social critiques of modern America ever made.

And… He did something very few people ever manage to do — Sergio Leone with the Western and Kurasawa with the samurai film are among his select brethren — Romero took an existing genre and completely reinvented it into something in his own voice. Irrevent, often very funny, infused with paranoid energy and punkish action and delivering incredible depth of thought and a kind of exixtential wisdom. Romero made work of true, lasting, creative depth and importance. And it’s tone is utterly unique.

You simply cannot watch a zombie film without thinking… Romero.

And that was just the zombie films. His other work is extraordinary. If you haven’t seen it — do so, asap. The Crazies is one of the most paranoid social collapse films ever made and Martin is one of the boldest, strangest most original vampire films ever committed to celluloid which brings me to…

I knew George a little. I met him at the Melbourne Film Festival when Donkey Punch was screening at the same time as his retrospective and I just had to tell him about how one of sequences changed my understanding of editing forever. I think he was expecting me to talk about one of the zombie films — which I ADORE — but it was the home invasion sequence in Martin which is simply one of the tautest, most intense and most simply but brilliantly shot pieces of montage you will ever see. It is pure editing and therefore… pure cinema and should be taught in film schools everywhere. Anyway we talked all through the night and he invited me to be a zombie in his next film should I be in Toronto and it so happened Donkey Punch was playing at Toronto After Dark so…


I drove to the set of Survival of the Dead one night with George and his wife and I was zombie in a rampaging horde and I bit George in thanks after we wrapped (it was the polite thing to do, considering) and we drove back home after a long and satisfying night and the thing that sticks with me is…



George was a genius and a gentleman. A wise, profound and wickedly witty mind who may have passe don but like his greatest creations will walk the earth forever.

May he be peaceful, but he will not rest. So…

IP George A Romero.