George A. Romero, father of the zombie movie genre, dies aged 77

    17 de julio de 2017

    Los Angeles, Jul 17 (efe-epa).- Fans from all over the world on Monday mourned the death of the trailblazing horror filmmaker who directed and co-wrote the first modern zombie movies, George A. Romero.

    Romero, a Canadian-American who was born on Feb. 4, 1940, in The Bronx, New York, passed away on Sunday in his sleep, his family said.

    According to the family, Romero died in Toronto while listening to the score of "The Quiet Man" (1952), accompanied by his wife Suzanne and daughter Tina.

    A statement provided to the Los Angeles Times said he had succumbed after a "brief but aggressive" fight against lung cancer.

    Romero was born into a Cuban-Lithuanian family and shot to fame after the screening of his low-budget cult classic that revolutionized the horror movie genre.

    "Night of the Living Dead" (1968), a black-and-white staple of Halloween viewing parties, was filmed in Pittsburgh on a shoe-string budget of only $114,000.

    It went on to gross $50 million at the box office and became a notorious influence on virtually every single zombie flick that followed.

    The movie featured a diverse group of people barricaded inside an abandoned farm in Western Pennsylvania while besieged by walking corpses in search of human flesh to prey on.

    Apart from its documentary-like style, tension-inducing score and creative use of practical special effects, the film was heralded for starring an African-American actor _ Duane Jones _ in the lead role, a rarity in 1960s America.

    It also explored how, when faced with an external threat, members of a panic-stricken group turned on themselves rather than combat the peril outside.

    The movie's theme was widely seen as counter-cultural criticism of the Vietnam War and the zombies as an allegory for the United States' lethargic and consumerist society.

    After the success of his debut feature film, the director who was dubbed the "Godfather of the Dead" made five sequels, spawning a saga of the non-living: "Dawn of the Dead" (1978), "Day of the Dead" (1985), "Land of the Dead" (2005), "Diary of the Dead" (2007) and "Survival of the Dead" (2009).

    Although Romero was often identified with his use of uninhibited gore and swarms of lumbering zombies, he always insisted that his movies were more about "human stories."

    "If you look closely, zombies are always peripheral in my works. The important ones are the people and how they respond to situations around them," he told EFE in a 2010 interview.

    "But they'll never let me film other types of stories. Money rules," he added.