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jaragon

George Romero (1940 - 2017)

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Yes, he was. If you ever get a chance to read more about him, or watch documentaries about him, I recommend it. He cut his own path in the movie business, from his start making industrials and commercials to Night of the Living Dead and the 5 other films in the series that he helmed, to his collaborations with Stephen King on CreepshowThe Dark Half, and more (King even had a cameo in Romero's Knightriders).

 

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Romero hired novice make-up man Tom Savini, helping to start one of the great careers in movie make-up effects, and Savini's work on Romero's films has been just as influential in his field as Romero's was a director.

 

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Romero was also a great raconteur, and listening to him tell stories on DVD commentaries and other backstage footage was always a treat.

 

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He butted heads with a lot of people, and his career often suffered for it. His contemporaries, like Wes Craven (Scream), Tobe Hooper (Poltergeist), David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises), and John Carpenter (Starman) all "played the game" a bit more, and subsequently got big paydays. Romero, though, did not like compromise or "selling out", and while his bank balance may have been smaller, his integrity and respect stands a bit higher.

 

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He became a bit of a grouch in his last years, popping up in interviews to lament the ubiquity of the zombies that he helped create, and how the only thing potential investors wanted from him was more of the same. But in the end his film output is enough to secure him a very prominent spot in the history of horror films, and low budget filmmaking of any genre.

 

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Thanks for the comments re' George, whose praises I sang on another thread.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if TCM could/would run a night of his movies?  They've run NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD but how about MARTIN, a totally original take on the vampire genre'.

Tom Savini, a Viet Nam veteran, used what he had seen there to inspire his make up effects for George Romero's films.

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