Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero, the creator of the groundbreaking “Night of the Living Dead” franchise, has died at 77.
Romero died Sunday in his sleep following “a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to a statement provided to the Los Angeles Times by Romero’s producing partner, Peter Grunwald. In his final hours on earth, Romero was listening to the score of the 1952 film “The Quiet Man” alongside his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero.
Released on a shoestring budget of $114,000 budget in 1968, “Night of the Living Dead” has since grossed over $30,000,000 internationally and established itself as a cult-classic juggernaut that has influenced the directing styles of Wes Craven and John Carpenter. Early reviews centered on the film’s controversy, but other critics later wrote about how “Night of the Living Dead” was actually a masterclass in commentary on race, capitalism, and even the Vietnam War.
The film spawned five sequels: 1978’s “Dawn of the Dead,” 1985’s “Day of the Dead,” 2005’s “Land of the Dead,” 2007’s “Diary of the Dead,” and 2009’s “George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead.”
Romero is accredited as the godfather of the zombie genre.
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