2010 Archives

George Romero's legacy refuses to die


The following is from the June 7, 2010, edition of USA Today. Cinema-Television Professor Rick Worland of SMU's Meadows School of the Arts provided expertise for this story.

June 8, 2010

By Brian Truitt

Here's how to freak out George A. Romero: Tell the horror icon and grandfather of all zombie films that there's a guy waiting for him with a blank slate of arm skin for Romero's autograph so it can be turned into a tattoo.

"Yikes," Romero says, his eyes flashing hints of horror. Yet he smiles as he admits that, no, he doesn't sign skin. Ever. "I've seen people with bodies covered with beautiful, wonderfully rendered illustrations of scenes from my movies. It's like, wow, what if you grow up and decide you hate that movie?"

In the cult of Romero, however, that's not likely to happen anytime soon. Romero's Night of the Living Dead became an instant classic when it shocked unsuspecting audiences in 1968, and ever since, the phenomenon it kicked off has spread like a full-on zombie apocalypse through films, books, video games and all forms of media. Want to take your penchant for zombies wherever you go? There's an app for that — namely the George RomeroApp of the Dead for your iPod or iPhone. . .

"In Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolf Man, the most basic convention was the monster is definitely destroyed at the end, and there's a sense of catharsis and resolution. We feel that some version of the normal has been restored," says Rick Worland, professor of cinema-television at Southern Methodist University. "But Night of the Living Dead is so nihilistic and negative. It's a complete negation of that traditional version of the horror film."

Read the full story.

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