This may be a little on the late side, but I have been indisposed with other issues lately. However, I could not go through the rest of my life without having said goodbye to the Godfather of the modern zombie genre.
George A. Romero was the pioneer of the flesh-eating ghoul movies. He re-energised a movie monster who, until Night of the Living Dead, was nothing more than a mindless slave, carrying out the biddings of its evil master. Zombies were pretty dull back then, with their only fear factor being that they had returned from the grave. And that was about it. They didn’t feed on the blood of their victims, like vampires. They did not spread their infection through bites, like werewolves. And they did not gather in huge numbers, attacking anyone they came across, and destroying civilisation and society in the process, just like Atifa and Hillary voters.
All of that changed in 1968, when a young movie maker decided to push the envelope and spice things up a little. Movie goers had been bombarded with variations of Frankenstein and Dracula, and George A. Romero realised that change was needed. Enter the flesh-eating zombie. Relentless in its thirst for human flesh, it was a single minded, fearless and terrifying monster that would stop at nothing to reach the living. People were horrified, disgusted and completely transfixed by this new creature that was brought to the cinemas to scare and entertain us.
We all have our own favourites, and mine is still the original Dawn of the Dead, closely followed by Day of the Dead. Both of these movies stirred something in me as a child, and sparked my imagination. They left me with a morbid fascination for the genre and the inevitable questions of ‘What would I do?’ and ‘Would Gemma Arterton still be so attractive as a zombie?’
So, thank you George A. Romero, for all that you have given us. Your legacy will live on forever, terrifying and enthralling the living, just like one of your zombies.