Famed filmmaker George Romero passed away today at the age of 77. While not always thought of as a brilliant auteur, he was a truly influential artist. As the man behind the Night of the Living Dead series, he almost single handedly defined the modern perception of zombies in popular culture, and any media involving zombies in the last half century (including movies, comic books, video games, television, etc.) owes a great deal to his work in the genre. Furthermore, his superb social commentary — having zombies serve as a metaphor for society at large — should be recognized for its seemingly ever-increasing relevance in the modern world.
Beyond that, the do-it-yourself, low-budget, unorthodox nature of the production of his early work proved hugely inspirational to a generation of young filmmakers looking to get started in the industry, showing them that one didn’t need a lot of money or have to fit a typical mold in order to be successful.
Anyways, farewell, Mr. Romero. May you rise from the dead and live forever on that great stage in the sky.