Today – 62 years ago a genius was born. I had to take a break from my regimen of pain killers for a recent neck injury to share this special day on Zombie Freakfest. It’s probably the most important Zombie related birthday of the year: The birth of George A. Romero – The Father of the Zombie Film.
I’d call it a coincidence for the sake of unbiased journalism but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t believe that Romero and I have some sort of connection. You see, my birthday is tomorrow and if I had been born in the Philippines we might have actually been born on the same day at the same time. Unfortunately I wasn’t born in the Philippines so I’ll have to share my “actual” birthday with H.R. Giger, which isn’t bad either really.
I don’t believe in astrology (especially after finding out about the dumped and reissued star sign, meaning everyones predictions for the last 200 years have been as bunk as I imagined) but I will admit that Aquarians have awesome taste and twisted minds, given a chance of course.
Everyone who loves Zombie movies loves Romero and for most of use, one of his movies was probably our first and therefore likely the entire reason we got into the whole Zombie phenomenon. So credit to the man is undoubtedly deserved… and in a way, if loving Zombies was some kind of crazy cult, he would be our head prophet (or is he already?).
The first Romero film I ever saw was at a very young age, thanks to my sadistic brother. It was Night of the Living Dead and it both fascinated and scared the shit out of me but it has remained one of my favorite Zombie/horror flicks ever since. Anyone I meet who hasn’t watched it, but has seen many of the films inspired by Romero, I tie down and force them to watch (not really, I’d be typing from prison.. but I do some great convincing).
I’ve always been into Hitchcock, murder mystery films as well and what I liked the most about Night of the Living Dead and all Romero movies is that the over complicated relationships with the characters was thrown out for the sake of the fear factor of the film. You were given the chance to have a closer relationship with your own fear, anxiety and excitement during the film, rather than the meaningless characters themselves. Romero gets us in touch with out inner Zombies, Zombie victims and Zombie sympathizers and helps us grow our Zombie obsessions in a “healthy” and fulfilling way.
Now that I’ve doted all over the guy I’ll get a little more into his life and times… by sending you to Wikipedia where non opinion based pining belongs – Wiki Romero. – and of course, his IMDB, here RomeroIMDB.
Have a shot* for Romero tonight if you get the chance!
*That’s a shot of liquor by the way, not a shot of a gun at a suspected zombie. Zombie Freakfest is not liable for any “shot” related accidents.