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Romero, George A.

ROMERO, George A.



Nationality: American. Born: The Bronx, New York, February 4, 1940. Education: Studied art, design, and theater at Carnegie-Mellon Institute, Pittsburgh. Career: Maker of short 8mm films, from 1954; actor/director in Pittsburgh, 1960s; directed first feature, 1968; established "Latent Image" to produce commercial/industrial films, early 1970s; worked extensively as TV director, 1970s; began collaboration with make-up artist Tom Savini on Martin, 1977; began association with writer Stephen King on Creepshow, 1982; executive producer, Tales from the Dark Side, for TV, 1983. Address: Lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.


Films as Director:

1954/6

The Man from the Meteor (short); Gorilla (short); Earthbottom (short)

1958

Curly (short); Slant (short)

1960/62

Expostulations (short)

1968

Night of the Living Dead (Night of the Flesh Eaters) (+ co-sc, ph, ed) [released in 30th anniversary edition, with additional footage, 1999]

1972

There's Always Vanilla (The Affair) (+ ph)

1973

Hungry Wives (Jack's Wife; Season of the Witch) (+ sc, ph, ed); The Crazies (Code Name: Trixie) (+ sc, ed)

1977

Martin (+ sc, ed)

1978

Zombies (Dawn of the Dead) (+ sc, co-ed, role as TV director)

1981

Knightriders (+ sc, co-ed)

1982

Creepshow (+ co-ed)

1985

Day of the Dead (+ sc)

1988

Monkey Shines (+ sc)

1990

Due occhi diabolici (Two Evil Eyes) (+ sc); Dark Half (+ sc, pr)

1993

The Dark Half (+ sc, ex prod)

2000

Bruiser (+ sc)

2001

The Ill (+ sc)



Other Films:

1986

Flight of the Spruce Goose (Majewski) (role)

1987

Creepshow 2 (Gornick) (sc)

1990

Night of the Living Dead (Savini) (sc); Tales from the Dark Side—The Movie ("Cat from Hell" episode) (Harrison) (sc)

1990

Night of the Living Dead (Savini) (sc, co-exec prod)

1991

The Silence of the Lambs (Demme) (role)

Publications


By ROMERO: books—

Martin (novelization, with Susanna Sparrow), New York, 1977.

Dawn of the Dead (novelization, with Susanna Sparrow), New York, 1979.


By ROMERO: articles—

"Filming Night of the Living Dead," an interview with A. B. Block, in Filmmakers Newsletter (Ward Hill, Massachusetts), January 1972.

"George Romero from Night of the Living Dead to The Crazies," in Inter/View (New York), April 1973.

Interview with D. Chase, in Millimeter (New York), October 1979.

Interview, in L'Ecran Fantastique (Paris), July 1982.

"The McDonaldization of America," an interview with J. Hanners and H. Kloman, in Film Criticism (Edinboro, Pennsylvania), Fall 1982.

Interview, in Cinefantastique (Oak Park, Illinois), October 1985.

Interview, in L'Ecran Fantastique (Paris), December 1986.

Interview, in Cinefantastique (Oak Park, Illinois), May 1988.

Interview, in Cinefantastique (Oak Park, Illinois), March 1989.


On ROMERO: books—

McCarty, John, Splatter Movies: Breaking the Last Taboo, New York, 1981.

Hoberman, Jay, and Jonathan Rosenbaum, Midnight Movies, New York, 1983.

Wood, Robin, Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan, New York, 1986.

Gagne, Paul R., "The Zombies That Ate Pittsburgh": The Films ofGeorge A. Romero, New York, 1987.

Newman, Kim, Nightmare Movies: A Critical History of the HorrorFilm from 1968, London, 1988.


On ROMERO: articles—

McCollough, P., "A Pittsburgh Horror Story," in Take One (Montreal), November 1974.

Stewart, Robert M., "George Romero: Spawn of EC," in MonthlyFilm Bulletin (London), February 1980.

Yakir, Dan, article in American Film (Washington, D.C.), May 1981.

Vernieri, J., "A Day with the Dead," in Film Comment (New York), May/June 1985.

Profile, in Millimeter (New York), August 1985.

Rosenbaum, Jonathan, and F. Strauss, "Les yeux, la bouche. Dis moi qui tu manges je te dirai qui tu es," in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), February 1989.

Profile, in Cineforum (Bergamo), July-August 1989.

Newman, Kim, and M. Kermode, "Twilight's Last Gleaming: George A. Romero," in Monthly Film Bulletin (London), February 1990.

Grant, B. K., "Taking Back the Night of the Living Dead: George Romero, Feminism, and the Horror Film," Wide Angle, vol. 14, no. 1, 1992.

Caruso, Giacomo, article in Cineforum (Bergamo), March 1993.

Schubart, Rikke, "Romeros mareridt," in Kosmorama (Copenhagen), vol. 41, no. 212, Summer 1995.

Bradley, Matthew R., "I Am Legend: The Underlying Legacy of a Horror Classic," in Outré (Evanston, Illinois), vol. 1, no. 5, 1996.


* * *

As with Francis Ford Coppola, George Romero's reputation—his position as a major American filmmaker—rests ultimately upon a trilogy. Without the three "Living Dead" films his work would merit little more than a footnote.

The other films can be dispensed with briefly. The interest of the early ones lies primarily in their relation to the trilogy. Jack's Wife reveals an early interest in feminism that would be fully realized in Day of the Dead; The Crazies takes up certain themes of Night of the Living Dead and anticipates the later concern with militarism. The best of these films, Martin, stands somewhat to one side, though its insights into alienation and its consequences are consistent with the trilogy's themes. Little need be said of the later films. The liberal attitudes of Knight Riders collapse into liberal platitudes—and are the more surprising given the uncompromising radicalism of the trilogy. The five-part anthology film Creepshow is barely distinguishable from the British Amicus horror films of the 1970s: nasty people doing nasty things to other nasty people. The Dark Half is an undistinguished adaptation of one of Stephen King's worst novels. One might rescue Monkey Shines, with its intriguing premise, in which Romero seems somewhat more engaged.

The "Living Dead" trilogy, on the other hand, constitutes, taken in its entirety, one of the major achievements of American cinema, an extraordinary feat of imagination and audacity carried through with exemplary courage and conviction. The intelligence it so convincingly manifests in its sustained significance could scarcely be guessed at from the rest of Romero's work to date. Each of the three films—Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and Day of the Dead—belongs absolutely to its period yet still carries resonance today; together, they constitute an implicit radical sociopolitical critique of the dominant movement of American civilization. Night of the Living Dead develops the themes of the modern family horror film inaugurated by Psycho: from its initial brother/sister bickering in the cemetery (which conjures up the first flesh-eating zombie) it proceeds inexorably to the destruction of an entire nuclear family (its members killing and literally feeding on each other, as they had done metaphorically in their lives) and of the young couple (the embryonic future family), characters whose survival has traditionally been generically guaranteed. Unlike its successors, it also kills off its solitary hero-figure, mistaken for a zombie and shot down by the sheriff's team. As in the other two films, the hero is black, his color situating him outside the dominant mainstream; the authority-figures are treated throughout with bitingly sardonic humor. The whole film is rooted in the disturbance and disillusion of the Vietnam period.

Dawn of the Dead, in the 1970s, focuses its attention on consumercapitalism: the zombies, having taken over a vast shopping mall, proceed to carry on exactly as they did in life, except that they now consume human flesh. As one of the characters remarks, "They are us." The film makes clear what was already there but unstated in its predecessor: the zombies do not consume for nourishment, they consume in order to consume. In both the first two films the characters are valued very precisely in relation to their ability to extricate themselves from the socially conditioned patterns of behaviour, with the difference that in Dawn of the Dead two are permitted to survive. Although male and female they are not presented as even potential lovers; the woman has earlier rejected marriage to the man (subsequently a zombie) by whom she is pregnant, not because she no longer loves him but as a matter of principle. The implication is that a non-zombie future would necessitate an entire rethinking of the prevailing social-sexual organization.

In Night of the Living Dead the main female character is catatonic through most of the film; in Dawn of the Dead, Fran is treated by the men as the traditional "helpless female," but at the end, having extricated herself from conformity, she is sufficiently empowered to take over: it is she who pilots the helicopter to a possible though unlikely safety. In Day of the Dead the woman, Sarah, becomes central—active, assertive, intelligent throughout. At the same time Romero extends his analysis of contemporary western culture to a more overtly political level, the critique of "masculinity" now directed at the two main bulwarks of male domination, the scientists and the military. The film is not anti-science: Sarah is herself a scientist. But she detaches herself from the masculinist science of Dr. Logan (aka "Dr. Frankenstein"). Logan's aim is to prove that zombies can be tamed and trained for use as slaves. The zombies have now taken over the earth, what is left of human life driven underground, and there is nowhere left to fly away to (the tropical island of the close is surely to be understood as fantasy). Logan's solution is represented by his prize pupil, Bub. What Bub learns—through Logan's system of punishments (beatings) and rewards (raw human flesh) that parodies the basis of our educational system—is "the bare beginnings of civilized behavior," in fact, the conditioned reflex. It is understandable that the film has been the least popular of the trilogy: it is unrelievedly dark both in tone and setting, rarely emerging into the light of day, in stark contrast to the brilliant colors and satirical humor of Dawn of the Dead, and it systematically demolishes all the central assumptions of our culture. What is inexplicable is its critical neglect and misrepresentation: it seems universally regarded as the weakest of the trilogy, yet it is, besides being the one great American horror film, the only one that is about something other than mindless titillation and essentially trivial gory excess since the end of the 1970s, when the genre was invaded and conquered by Michael, Jason, and Freddy. The answer may be that critics see the films only individually, not as panels in a triptych. It seems to be the case that Romero did not conceive them as a trilogy (how could he?—each is a response to a different decade), yet each demands the next, inexorably, and that is how they must be read.

Romero is currently trying to turn the trilogy into a tetralogy, with the addition of Twilight of the Dead, but has so far been unable to secure the necessary funding. The apparent finality of Day of the Dead makes speculation difficult, but one would certainly want to see what path he can find beyond it.

—Robin Wood

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"Romero, George A.." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Romero, George A. 1940-

Romero, George A. 1940-

PERSONAL

Full name, George Andrew Romero; born February 4, 1940, in Bronx, NY; father, a commercial artist; married Kate McNeil (divorced); married Nancy (an advertising executive; some sources says a costume designer), 1971 (divorced, 1978); married Christine Forrest (an actress, producer, director, and casting director), 1981; children: (first marriage) Cam. Education: Studied art, theatre, and design at Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, 1957-59.

Addresses:

Agent—Gersh Agency, 232 North Canon Dr., Suite 202, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

Career:

Director, cinematographer, film editor, and writer. Latent Image (production company), founding partner and producer of television commercials and industrial films; Laurel Productions (film production company), cofounder and producer, 1973—.

Member:

Screenwriters Guild of America, Directors Guild of America.

Awards, Honors:

Prize of the Catalan Screenwriter's Critic and Writer's Association, Best Screenplay Award, and Best Director Award, all Catalonian International Film Festival, and Critics' Award and International Fantasy Film Award, best film, both Fantasporto, all 1988, for Monkey Shines; Best Film Award, Fantafestival, 1993, Saturn Award nomination, best director, Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, 1994, for The Dark Half; Career Award, Fantafestival, 1993; Lifetime Achievement Award, New York City Horror Film Festival, 2002; Vanguard Director Award, CineVegas International Film Festival, 2005.

CREDITS

Film Director:

The Man from the Meteor (short film), 1954.

Gorilla (short film), 1954.

Earthbottom (short film), 1954.

Curly (short film), 1958.

Slant (short film), 1958.

Expostulations (short film), c. 1960.

Night of the Living Dead (also known as Night of Anubis and Night of the Flesh Eaters), Continental, 1968.

There's Always Vanilla (also known as The Affair), Cambist, 1972.

The Crazies (also known as Code Name: Trixie and The Mad People), Cambist, 1973.

Hungry Wives (also known as Jack's Wife and Season of the Witch), Latent Image, 1973.

Martin, Libra, 1977.

Dawn of the Dead (also known as Dawn of the Living Dead, Zombi, Zombie: Dawn of the Dead, and Zombies), United Film, 1979.

Knightriders, United Film, 1981.

Creepshow, Warner Bros., 1982.

Day of the Dead, United Film, 1985.

Monkey Shines (also known as Ella and Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear), Orion, 1988.

"The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar," Due occhi diabolici (also known as Two Evil Eyes), 1990.

Night of the Living Dead (remake), 1990.

The Dark Half, Orion, 1993.

Night of the Living Dead: 30th Anniversary Edition, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 1999.

Bruiser, Lions Gate Films, 2000.

The Ill, 2001.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, 2001.

Land of the Dead (also known as George A. Romero's Land of the Dead, Land of the Dead—Le territoire des morts and La Terre des morts), United International, 2005.

Diary of the Dead (also known as George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead), Voltage, 2007.

From Buick 8, Chesapeake, 2007.

Film Producer:

Creepshow, Warner Bros., 1982.

Film Executive Producer:

Night of the Living Dead (remake), 1990.

The Dark Half, Orion, 1993.

Film Editor:

Night of the Living Dead (also known as Night of Anubis and Night of the Flesh Eaters), Continental, 1968.

There's Always Vanilla (also known as The Affair), Cambist, 1972.

The Crazies (also known as Code Name: Trixie and The Mad People), Cambist, 1973.

Hungry Wives (also known as Jack's Wife and Season of the Witch), Latent Image, 1973.

Martin, Libra, 1977.

Dawn of the Dead (also known as Dawn of the Living Dead, Zombi, Zombie: Dawn of the Dead, and Zombies), United Film, 1979.

(With Pasquale Buba), Knightriders, United Film, 1981.

"Something to Tide You Over," Creepshow, Warner Bros., 1982.

Film Cinematographer:

Night of the Living Dead (also known as Night of Anubis and Night of the Flesh Eaters), Continental, 1968.

There's Always Vanilla (also known as The Affair), Cambist, 1972.

Hungry Wives (also known as Jack's Wife and Season of the Witch), Latent Image, 1973.

Film Appearances:

Washington reporter, Night of the Living Dead (also known as Night of Anubis and Night of the Flesh Eaters), Continental, 1968.

Beer commercial director, There's Always Vanilla (also known as The Affair), 1971.

Television director, Dawn of the Dead (also known as Dawn of the Living Dead, Zombi, Zombie: Dawn of the Dead, and Zombies), United Film, 1979.

Father Howard, Martin, Libra, 1979.

Zombie with scarf, Day of the Dead, United Film, 1985.

Himself, Scream Greats Vol. 1: Tom Savini Master of Horror Make-up (also known as Scream Greats, Vol. 1), 1986.

Gromero, Lot swierkowej gesi (also known as Flight of the Spruce Goose), 1987.

Himself, Drive-In Madness! (also known as Screen Scaries), 1987.

Himself, Lightning over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy, 1988.

Document of the Dead, 1989.

FBI agent in Memphis, The Silence of the Lambs, 1991.

Himself, The American Nightmare (documentary), 2001.

Land of the Dead (also known as George A. Romero's Land of the Dead, Land of the Dead—Le territoire des morts and La Terre des morts), United International, 2005.

The I Scream Man, NoRemake, 2007.

Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream, MFA, 2005.

Son of Horror Business, Fortune Teller, 2007.

Television Work; Series:

Producer and director, The Winners, 1973.

Creator and executive producer, Tales from the Darkside, syndicated, 1984-85.

Television Work; Specials:

Director and editor, O. J. Simpson: Juice on the Loose, 1974.

Executive producer, Tales from the Darkside, syndicated, 1983.

Television Work; Episodic:

Director of episodes of the series Tales from the Darkside, syndicated.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Stephen King's World of Horror (also known as This Is Horror), 1986.

Heartstoppers: Horror at the Movies, 1992.

The Anatomy of Horror, 1995.

David Cronenberg and the Cinema of the Extreme, 1997.

Masters of Fantasy: John Carpenter, Sci-Fi Channel, 1998.

Dario Argento: An Eye for Horror, 2000.

Masters of Horror (also known as Boogeymen II: Masters of Horror), 2002.

Tales from the Crypt: From Comic Books to Television, AMC, 2004.

05 Spaceys, 2005.

Dream of the Dead, Independent Film Channel, 2005.

Dream of the Dead: George Romero, Independent Film Channel, 2005.

50 Films to See Before You Die (also known as Film4's 50 Films to See Before You Die), 2006.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

"Michael Powell," Artworks Scotland, BBC, 2005.

Ireland AM, 2005.

Cinema mil, 2005.

Also appeared in The Incredibly Strange Film Show (also known as Son of the Incredibly Strange Film Show) and "The Films of George A. Romero," The Directors.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

A-Z of Horror, (also known as Clive Barker's A-Z of Horror), 1997.

The 100 Scariest Movie Moments, Bravo, 2004.

30 Even Scarier Movie Moments, Bravo, 2006.

RECORDINGS

Videos:

Scream Greats, Vol. 1: Tom Savini, Master of Horror Effects (also known as Scream Greats, Vol. 1), Paramount Home Video, 1986.

Night of the Living Dead: 25th Anniversary Documentary, Elite, 1993.

The Dead Walk: Remaking a Classic, Columbia TriStar Home Video, 1999.

Two Masters' Eyes, Blue Underground, 2003.

The Many Days ofDay of the Dead’, Anchor Bay, 2003.

Behind the House: Anatomy of the Zombie Movement, Artisan, 2004.

The Dead Will Walk, Anchor Bay, 2004.

Shadows in the Dark: The Val Lewton Legacy, Warner Bros., 2005.

When Shaun Met George, Universal, 2005.

Make Your Own Damn Movie!, Troma, 2005.

Digging Up the Dead: The Lost Films of George A. Romero, Anchor Bay, 2005.

Land of the Dead: Bringing the Dead to Life, Universal Studios Home Video, 2005.

Undead Again: The Making of "Land of the Dead," Universal Studios Home Video, 2005.

After Effects: Memories of Pittsburgh Filmmaking, Synapse, 2005.

Music Videos:

Director, Scream (music video by the Misfits), 1999.

WRITINGS

Screenplays:

Night of the Living Dead (also known as Night of Anubis and Night of the Flesh Eaters), Continental, 1968.

The Crazies (also known as Code Name: Trixie and The Mad People), Cambist, 1973.

Hungry Wives (also known as Jack's Wife and Season of the Witch), Latent Image, 1973.

Martin, Libra, 1977, novelization (with Susanna Sparrow) published by Stein & Day (New York City), 1977.

Dawn of the Dead (also known as Dawn of the Living Dead, Zombi, Zombie: Dawn of the Dead, and Zombies), United Film, 1979, novelization (with Sparrow) published by St. Martin's (New York City), 1979.

Knightriders, United Film, 1981.

Day of the Dead, United Film, 1985.

Creepshow 2 (based on stories by Stephen King), New World, 1987.

Monkey Shines (also known as Ella and Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear; based on a novel by Michael Stewart), Orion, 1988.

"The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar," Due occhi diabolici (also known as Two Evil Eyes), 1990.

"Cat from Hell" (based on a story by King), in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, Paramount, 1990.

Night of the Living Dead (remake), 1990.

The Dark Half (based on a novel by King), Orion, 1993.

Night of the Living Dead: 30th Anniversary Edition, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 1999.

Bruiser, Lions Gate Films, 2000.

The Ill, 2001.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, 2001.

Night of the Living Dead Survivor's Cut (video), CustomFlix, 2005.

Land of the Dead (also known as George A. Romero's Land of the Dead, Land of the Dead—Le territoire des morts and La Terre des morts), United International, 2005.

Creepshow III, Taurus, 2006.

Night of the Living Dead 3D, Midnight, 2006.

Day of the Dead, Millenium, 2007.

Diary of the Dead (also known as George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead), Voltage, 2007.

Film Score:

Dawn of the Dead (also known as Dawn of the Living Dead, Zombi, Zombie: Dawn of the Dead, and Zombies), United Film, 1979.

Television Specials:

Tales from the Darkside, 1983.

Television Episodes:

"The Devil's Advocate," Tales from the Darkside, syndicated, 1985.

"The Circus," Tales from the Darkside, syndicated, 1986.

Television Pilots:

"Trick or Treat," Tales from the Darkside, syndicated, 1983.

Other Writings:

The short story "Clay" was anthologized in Modern Masters of Horror, edited by Frank Coffey.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 2: Directors, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.

Periodicals:

Total Film, April, 1997, pp. 76-80.

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"Romero, George A. 1940-." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Romero, George A. 1940-." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 16, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/romero-george-1940

"Romero, George A. 1940-." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Retrieved October 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/romero-george-1940