Sunday evening and into Monday morning, grief-filled tribute posts caused “George Romero” to trend on social media. The legendary horror filmmaker passed away Sunday from a swift, aggressive battle with lung cancer. Romero was adored by his fans. That went without saying. The social media posts expressing grief over the loss of Romero weren’t limited to undead fans though. The king of zombies also left countless fellow filmmakers and fellow writers brokenhearted in the land of the living. The substance of Sunday night’s postings made it strikingly obvious how important George Romero was to his fellow filmmakers and industry comrades.
Writer and director Edgar Wright, director and co-writer of the British horror comedy Shaun of the Dead, says he owes a film career to Romero.
“It’s fair to say that without George A. Romero, I would not have the career I have now,” Wright wrote. “A lot of people owe George a huge debt of gratitude for the inspiration. I am just one of many.”
Wright admitted that he was infatuated with Romero’s work before he was actually old enough to watch any of the films. He recalled “scouring through horror and fantasy magazine for stills, posters, and articles way before” he was old enough to watch Romero’s movies.
Special effects artist, director, and stunt man Tom Savini tweeted a number of photos spanning back decades. Savini knew Romero for half of a century. Savini is best known for his work on Romero’s films. Die-hard horror fanatic and film director Joe Lynch expressed how large of an impact Romero made on his life both personally and professionally. R.L. Stine, writer of the children’s horror series Goosebumps, called Romero a “hero of horror.”
Guillermo del Toro, a novelist, film director, screenwriter, and producer, known for Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy, tweeted about Romero’s passing on Friday evening. Later in the evening, del Toro added more grief stricken words to his twitter feed. In between, several retweets show his mind was on Romero the entire night.
“George is gone,” he wrote. “One of the greatest ever. creator of the modern Zombie-as-undead-cannibal myth and dear friend of mine…”
C. Robert Cargill, who wrote Doctor Strange, tweeted a number of comments about Romero, starting with, “Stay scared, George. Stay scared.” Horror comedy writer and filmmaker Adam Green tweeted that he is devastated over Romero’s passing. Sherlock writer Mark Gatiss tweeted a “fond farewell” to George Romero on Sunday evening.
Writer Saladin Ahmed pointed out how Romero was a trailblazer for confronting racial issues through film.
George Romero made a film where the levelheaded Black hero survives zombies only to be killed by scared whites. Almost unfathomable in 1968.— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) July 17, 2017
Filmmaker John Carpenter tweeted a heartfelt tribute, calling Romero “the father of modern horror movies.” Horror author Stephen King even took to twitter to express his grief over the death of his old friend George Romero.
NPR reported that after decades of creating politically captivating, creatively terrifying horror movies, George Romero passed away peacefully while listening to scores from one of his favorite movies. Romero died listening to The Quiet Man, a romantic comedy-drama featuring the songs “Isle of Innisfree,” “The Wild Colonial Boy,” and “Rakes of Mallow.”
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