Passing on at the age of 77…
George A. Romero appreciation: horror, redefined (chicagotribune.com).
“George A. Romero died Sunday, and the undead weep for their most devoted caretaker. Since yesterday the social media realm has buzzed with fond tributes to the filmmaker, and reminders that the Bronx-born writer-director-producer” … Romero’s relish for the right kind of gore, with the right kind of high/low wit, sprang from a sensibility indebted to the horror emporium EC Comics and ‘Tales from the Crypt.’ It’s important to acknowledge the filmmaker’s influences, and everything Romero accomplished. It’s equally important to talk about the film that he made first, though, which is the film that made him in return.
Being 1968’s Night of the Living Dead (Wikipedia) of course.
“Romero’s debut carried no rating and, hence, no real warning of its peculiar intensity and considerable gore. The Motion Picture Association of America’s Classification and Rating Administration hadn’t yet been set up. So here was this movie, made on a spartan production budget of $114,000, about a zombie apocalypse, and for a few weeks kids of all ages were going, unsuspecting, and coming out traumatized. The trade publication Variety worried over ‘the moral health of filmgoers who cheerfully opt for this unrelieved orgy of sadism.’”
Panics for our “moral health”—be it “video nasties” or more commonly now whatever it that is suggestively hiding on the deep or dark net—come and go in relation to how much tabloid copy they can sell but his zombie apocalypse grows and grows in strength of numbers each year as social phenomenon allowing faux survivalists to maim and mutilate flesh that is not quite dead but not quite alive wishing to kill you and not retaining irksome human rights or having to mindful of reasonable force to get in the way of your defence.
Romero hinted at such violence rationalising himself with regards that which 60s American would rather remain repressed (Wikipedia), of course while not letting it get in the way of the exploitation that was staple of film making in the decade to come.
Which zombie killing weapon would you choose, chainsaw, shotgun or flamethrower—or perhaps something bladed that can be more legally marketable for purely zombie killing purpose (weapons-universe.com) just in case one pops in.