We lost filmmaker George A. Romero a week ago today. He was the zombie man, a figure of influence that cannot possibly be overstated. Millions tune in for The Walking Dead every week and only a small portion know or are willing to acknowledge that the show would not exist had it not been for Romero’s earlier creations. When Romero passed away, I saw an outpouring of love and support for him online and in horror circles. It warmed the heart. He scared us, amused us, and changed us, and we loved him for it.
Me, personally, it was not Romero’s zombie movies that influenced me the most (though Dawn of the Dead is his best film, in my eyes), it was a comparatively lesser known horror movie called The Crazies. The film told the story about a deadly contagion released in Small Town America that turns our neighbors into crazy killers. It’s nasty horror visited upon a neighborhood I felt like I knew. And it inspired me to write my first published original work, Brain Mold, which was also about a contagion that changes our friends and families into madmen. Romero’s Crazies and his other work in body horror were a big influence on me. I don’t know—maybe—but I doubt I ever properly mentioned how The Crazies and Romero served as an influence on my work in fiction. And that’s something I mean to change.
I don’t want to just write about an influential figure in my life after they’ve passed on. From now on, you’re going to see some posts about the artists in fiction, film, art, etc. who’ve directly influenced my work or made a difference in my life just whenever they’re on my mind. I’m too late to share how much George A. Romero meant to me on this website of mine but I hope he knew how much fans loved him. The man was a giant in the horror community and I will miss him.
Writer of horror, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Lover of fiction and film. Lifelong Godzilla fan. Reluctant blogger.
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