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George Romero, director who brought zombie genre back to life, dies

NEW YORK — George Romero, whose classic “Night of the Living Dead” and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and who saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages, has died. Mr. Romero died Sunday after a battle with lung cancer, said his family in a statement provided by his manager Chris Roe. Mr. Romero’s family said he died while listening to the score of “The Quiet Man,” one of his favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher, and daughter, Tina Romero, by this side. Mr. Romero is credited with reinventing the movie zombie with his directorial debut, the 1968 cult classic “Night of the Living Dead.” Zombies move slowly, lust for human flesh and can only be killed when shot in the head. If a zombie bites a human, the person dies and returns as a zombie. Mr. Romero’s zombies, however, were always more than mere cannibals; they were metaphors for conformity, racism, mall culture, militarism, class differences and other social ills. The stories are about how people fail to respond in the proper way. “Night of the Living Dead,” made for about $100,000, featured flesh-hungry ghouls trying to feast on humans holed up in a Pennsylvania house. Ten years after “Night of the Living Dead,” Mr. Romero made “Dawn of the Dead,” where human survivors take refuge from the undead in a mall and then turn on each other as the zombies stumble around the shopping complex. Film critic Roger Ebert called it one of the best horror films ever made — and, as an inescapable result, one of the most horrifying. Mr. Romero maintained that he wouldn’t make horror films if he couldn’t fill them with political statements.

Article by By Jake Coyle (c) Page One News - Read full story here.