It's been five years since the maestro, George A. Romero moved on. Thinking of George today...the man helped us launch Fantasm.
When we launched Fantasm Media, our maiden voyage was a magazine that we were working on with George himself. That magazine, Fantasm Presents #1: George A. Romero, was finished and released after his death. It started as a fun project meant to celebrate the films we loved, but it became so much more. Almost a memorial, if you will.
As I've said many, many times before, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD is my favorite film and it was the first film I ever owned. As silly as it may sound to some, seeing it so many times, it became a part of me. That droning dirge as Barbra runs to the house from the cemetery, the echoing screams of Helen Cooper being murdered by her own daughter and then after all we, the viewers, are subjected to, it ends with the death of Ben, who is disposed of in a series of still frames. Everything we lived through with these characters, everything we were subjected to, becomes almost an afterthought as the final character simply becomes, “another one for the fire.”
But for you, me and countless others, it is no afterthought. It's the film that lives on like the ghouls that populate it. It claws into your brain and stays there. It’s spawned decades of nightmares through viewing after viewing. Beyond that, this groundbreaking film has captivated generations of filmmakers. Because of it and Romero's other DEAD films, the modern zombie became part of what we are, or what we fear we can become, figuratively and quite possibly, literally.
What really matters is that this many years removed, his films still bring so many people joy. That is a legacy.