George A. Romero Made Movies About the Undead Full of Messages for the Living

George A. Romero didn’t invent zombies. But everything we think we know about zombies today began with him. Romero, who died July 16 at age 77, built a career in horror films. He specialized in plots involving stumbling, once-human creatures who prey upon and consume the living, motivated by nothing but a thirst for blood and meat—and an inarticulate but rabid yearning for survival. In Romero’s movies—beginning with his astonishing 1968 debut, Night of the Living Dead—the dead just want to live, and who can blame them? Romero’s movies, always built on an armature of political astuteness, are well-loved, and not just by horror aficionados. He found ways to talk about the human condition by showing what humans become when all of their politesse—and all of their feelings, including generosity and compassion—are stripped away.

Because horror movies generally contain some element of fantasy, people who don’t understand them tend to think they’re disengaged with the real world. Romero is a prime example of someone who was engaged every minute. Building on the cult success of the super-low-budget Night of the Living Dead—it wasn’t a hit when it opened, but developed a following over time—he made a series of movies that, …read more

Source:: Time – Entertainment

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