I rarely spill my guts on here, but, given all the gut spilling George A. Romero was responsible for, it seems appropriate.
I had the pleasure of meeting this legendary filmmaker twice in my life (though he wouldn’t have remembered either of the encounters). One time I was cameraman for an interview, the other, I was a pure, mouth-gaping, wide-eyed, zombified fan boy. At the time I was still a film student at Ryerson university. I shook his hand (after my own had stopped shaking) and told him he was the reason I was in film school, which, for those of you who know me, is basically an admittance that he fundamentally made me who I am. Graciously, he quipped, “Gee, I’m sorry.” Such was the man.
Romero had the audacity to believe that films didn’t just entertain; they could also enlighten, inspire, break through barriers, oh, and scare the shit out of you. He was never afraid to tackle taboo subjects, on the contrary, he was drawn to them. But perhaps of all his recurring themes, it was his analysis of tribe vs. tribe, us vs. them, which has the power to really haunt. Especially in today’s climate, it would have been great to have heard his cinematic voice one more time. But instead we can look back at the ghosts he left behind, those horror films he dared to inject with more truth and humanity than most filmmakers would ever have the guts to attempt.
Because of him, unrest assured, we’ll always “Stay Scared”.
RIP Mr. Romero