Remembering George A. Romero

May, what a wonderful month! We get to celebrate Mothers Day, Memorial Day, spring flowers. May is also for the zombie lovers. Yes, zombie appreciation month is in May, far from October and Halloween. Who knew we’d be celebrating freakish corpses during this sunny month?

Zombie appreciation month was established in 2010 because most zombie films were made in the month of May, such as “Night of The Living Dead” directed by George A. Romero. This month just everyone can reflect on the great George Romero and how far the evolution of zombies has come. Supporters of the campaign are wearing grey ribbons to show their support for the living dead.

Remembering the Father of the Zombie

George Romero, or the father of the zombie is who all the zombie lovers owe they’re thanks to. Romero began his widespread plague of zombie horror and love in 1968 with the release of “Night of The Living Dead” and “Dawn of The Dead” in 1979, both of which were classics that many have paid homage to in other zombie and non-zombie horror films.

Romero’s zombies still had some human instincts in them. Even after succumbing to the virus. In “Dawn of The Dead” many of the zombies come to the mall, later it was explained that they came there since that was a place the living once went to and remember. In 1985 Romero changed the game even more creating a zombie in “Day of The Dead” that could feel emotions, talk, and even hold weapons. This would continue in “Land of The Dead” and “The Survival of The Dead.”

Romero made many friends in his lifetime, most notably that of Tom Savini. Savini did the makeup for “Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead”. Romero had even asked Savini to direct the 2004 remake “Dawn of The Dead,” but he did not.

IMDb

Many people looked up to Romero. He created something that no one else had, but of course everyone wanted a piece. Director Edger Wright came out with “Shaun of The Dead” in 2004 and had asked Romero to watch the film with its play on words from the original Romero’s “Night of The Living Dead.” However, Romero didn’t catch that part. Critically acclaimed, show “The Walking Dead” has also gotten a lot of attention thanks to Romero. Robert Kirkman the creator of “The Walking Dead” even asked Romero to direct an episode, but he declined. That didn’t stop them from paying homage to Romero. In the first or second episode. The series showed that the “Walker” could turn doorknobs, the same characteristic as Romero’s zombies.

Zombies now

The evolution of zombies now known as “The Modern zombie” has come so far since Romero’s first zombie film. Today zombies are freakishly fast, ferocious, and unhuman like. However, they still show some of the same characteristics as his original zombies or some of his movies were added to by a sequel or rebooted entirely.

 “T Virus zombies” which was fist introduced in “Resident Evil.”. These zombies were slow, but smart. One thing that really made a difference between Romero zombies and the modern zombies is they were in color and had good makeup. The “T Virus zombies” would also have an evolution of their own, eventually becoming most of the population in the world leaving only 20% of the living by the last entry. These zombies would come in hordes, they would run and eventually mutate into more gruesome zombies.

Between 2002 and 2007 there was the “psychological affected zombie.” Most known as “rage zombies.” In 2002 “28 Days Later” and continued in the 2010 sequel “28 Weeks Later.” A virus from chimpanzees would create chaos by infecting people with rage. A single bite, scratch or drop of blood could change a person in a matter of seconds. These people were not dead, but were simply full of rage. They lost sight of themselves and all of humanity, but they were not rotting nor were they eating their hosts.

28 Days Later
IMDb 28 Days Later
IMDb 28 Weeks Later

Then there was “The Crazies.” Both Romero’s original 1973 and 2010 films showed us that the infected were not dead, but infected with a virus that would affect their immune system and although they may have looked, sounded and acted dead they were very much alive.

IMDb

Later, in 2013 “World War Z” created the “Insectoid Zombies.” These zombies would use each other to climb to get to their prey. They could climb the highest walls simply by creating a ladder of zombies. However, this wasn’t their only horrifying characteristic. They could also sprint very fast and infection could spread from a zombie bite or a scratch in 12 seconds. These types of zombies were also seen in “Train to Busan,” a Korean zombie horror film which takes place on a train also shows us that it’s really just a “World War Z” on steroids. These zombies were almost exactly the same, also using themselves to create a ladder of sorts to get where they needed to be. Both also had their own weaknesses, in “World War Z” the only way a human could really be safe was to be infected by another virus other than the zombie virus since the infection needed a healthy host in order to spread. In “Train to Busan” The zombies were affected by the darkness and became docile.  

IMDb World War Z
IMDb Train to Busan

Since the Romero’s zombies the evolution of zombies has only become more aggressive, psychotic, and absolutely terrifying. Weather Romero would be proud or not is unknown.

I am a huge fan of zombies, and I am particularly happy with the evolution of zombies. I look up to the late George Romero, and I had once wished to meet him. I always look for a chance to show my appreciation, and as a movie critic, I always show my great respect for the director. I am also a great fan of Tom Savini’s work and hope to one day meet him. I will leave a

list of zombie movies to watch.

List provided by ThoughtCo.

Day of the Dead (1985)
Trailer for
Day of The Dead

Return of the Living Dead (1985)
Trailer forReturn of The Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead (1990) 
Trailer for Night of The Living Dead

Dead Alive (2002)
Trailer for Dead Alive

Resident Evil (2002)
Trailer for Resident Evil

28 Days Later (2002)
Trailer for 28 Days Later

Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Trailer for Dawn of The Dead

Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Trailer for Shaun of The Dead

Land of the Dead (2005) 
Trailer for Land of The Dead

Planet Terror (2007) 
Trailer for Planet Terror

28 Weeks Later (2007)
Trailer for 28 Weeks Later

Zombieland (2009)
Trailer for Zombieland

The crazies (2010)
Trailer for The Crazies

World War Z (2013)
Trailer for World War Z

Train to Busan (2017)
Trailer for Train to Busan