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George A. Romero

George A. Romero

George A. Romero is considered the father of the modern horror film. His first feature, Night of the Living Dead (1968), redefined the genre, not only with its explicit violence, but also with a satirical view of American society that reflected the turmoil of the times.

Known for his intelligence, innovation and sensitivity as a filmmaker, in addition to his ability to scare, Romero made short films, industrials and commercials before co-writing, directing, filming and editing Night of the Living Dead. The film, made on a budget of $114,000, is a stark parable of the American family consuming itself and still retains the power to shock and surprise.

Romero made several other low-budget films in Pittsburgh before solidifying his reputation with two remarkable films: Martin (1978), a lyrical, poignant and deeply disturbing story of a lonely boy who is convinced he is a vampire, and Dawn of the Dead (1979), set in a suburban shopping mall where a band of struggling survivors is beset by zombies and their own personal demons. A powerful, apocalyptic action film leavened with Romero's signature pitch-black wit, the movie became one of the most profitable independent productions in film history.

He continued to do interesting work throughout the 80s and 90s with Knightriders (1981), a heartfelt film based on Arthurian legend, in which Ed Harris plays the leader of a troupe that stages medieval fairs with knights jousting on motorcycles instead of horses; Creepshow (1982), a smart and boldly stylized film with a script by Stephen King and a cast of well-known actors; and 1985's Day of the Dead, a progressive, eerily claustrophobic film, the third in Romero's zombie saga.

In 1988, Monkey Shines became Romero's first studio-produced film and introduced him to Peter Grunwald, with whom he eventually formed Romero-Grunwald Productions. The film was hailed by Newsweek as a white-knuckle triumph. Two Evil Eyes (1990) was a collaboration with filmmaker Dario Argento, comprising two vignettes inspired by Edgar Allan Poe short stories. 1993's The Dark Half starred Tim Hutton in a superb dual performance. The film, like much of Romero's work, was praised by critics and is considered among the most thoughtful of the many Stephen King adaptations.

In 2000 Romero made Bruiser, a taught, frightening and highly original tale of revenge, which at the time was his most exciting, stylish and accomplished film. Land of the Dead was released by Universal Pictures in June 2005 and garnered exceptional critical acclaim in addition to becoming one of the most successful of Romero's films at the box office.

In the fall of 2006 Romero embarked on Diary of the Dead, his most personal film since Night of the Living Dead. He proudly describes it as one that "comes from my heart. It's not a sequel or a remake. It's a whole new beginning for the dead."

Note: This profile was written in or before 2008.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

George A. Romero Facts

Birth NameGeorge Andrew Romero
OccupationDirector, Screenwriter, Composer
BirthdayFebruary 4, 1940 (83)
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA
Height6' 4" (1m93)  How tall is George A. Romero compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.