George Romero, master horror director, will be signing autographs. Time and location:
- 2/20/09 3:00 PM at Heroes Comics – E. 7th Street. Charlotte, NC.
George Andrew Romero (born February 4, 1940) is an American director, writer, editor and actor. He is best known for his Dead Series of five horror movies featuring a zombie apocalypse theme and commentary on modern society. He is the father of filmmaker G. Cameron Romero.
1. Dawn of the Dead (with Susan Sparrow; movie tie-in), 1979
2. Bizarro! by Tom Savini (foreword), 1984
3. Martin (with Susan Sparrow; movie tie-in), 1984
4. Book of the Dead edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector (foreword), 1989
5. Toe Tags #1-6 (“The Death of Death”; DC Comics), 2004–2005
Romero was born in New York City to a Cuban-American father and a Lithuanian-American mother. His father worked as a commercial artist. Romero attended Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. After graduating in 1960, he began his career shooting short films and commercials. One of his early commercial films, a segment for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in which Mr. Rogers underwent a tonsillectomy, inspired Romero to go into the horror film business. He and friends formed Image Ten Productions in the late 1960s, and they chipped in roughly $10,000 apiece to produce what became one of the most celebrated horror films of all time: Night of the Living Dead (1968). The movie, directed by Romero and co-written with John A. Russo, became a cult classic and a defining moment for modern horror cinema. Romero updated his original screenplay and executive produced the remake of Night of the Living Dead directed by Tom Savini for Columbia / Tristar in 1990.
Romero’s films during the years after 1968’s Night of the Living Dead were less popular: There’s Always Vanilla (1971), Jack’s Wife / Season of the Witch (1972) and The Crazies (1973). Though not as acclaimed as Night of the Living Dead or some of his later work, these films have his signature social commentary while dealing with primarily horror-related issues at the microscopic level. The Crazies, dealing with a biospill that induces an epidemic of homicidal madness, and the critically acclaimed arthouse success Martin (1977), a film that strikingly deconstructs the vampire myth, were the two standout efforts during this period. Like almost all of his films, they were shot in or around Romero’s favorite city of Pittsburgh.
In 1978, Romero returned to the zombie genre with Dawn of the Dead (1978). Shot on a budget of just $500,000 (the producers gave a false figure of $1.5 million to help their negotiating position with distributors), the film earned over $55 million worldwide and was named one of the top cult films by Entertainment Weekly in 2003. Romero made a third entry in his “Dead Series” with Day of the Dead (1985), which was less popular at the box office, but has since gone on to gain a cult following thanks to VHS and DVD releases.
During this period, Romero also made Knightriders (1981), another festival favorite about a group of modern-day jousters who reenact tournaments on motorcycles, and the successful Creepshow (1982), written by Stephen King, an anthology of tongue-in-cheek tales modeled after 1950s horror comics.
Throughout the latter half of the 1980s and 1990s, Romero made various films, including Monkey Shines (1988) about a killer helper monkey, Two Evil Eyes (1990), an Edgar Allan Poe adaptation in collaboration with Dario Argento, the Stephen King adaptation The Dark Half (1993) and Bruiser (2000), about a man whose face becomes a blank mask.
Romero had a cameo appearance in Jonathan Demme’s Academy Award-winning The Silence of the Lambs in 1991 as one of Hannibal Lecter’s jailers.
In 1998, Romero returned to the horror scene, this time with a commercial. He directed the live action commercial shot (promoting the videogame Resident Evil 2) which was shot in Tokyo, Japan. The 30-second advertisement was live action and featured the game’s two main characters, Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, fighting a horde of zombies while in Raccoon City’s Police Station. The project was a natural for Romero, as the Resident Evil series has been heavily influenced by Romero’s “Dead” projects. The commercial was rather popular and was released in the weeks before the game’s actual release, although a contract dispute prevented the commercial from being shown outside Japan. Capcom was so impressed with Romero’s work, it was strongly indicated that Romero would direct the first Resident Evil film. He initially declined, stating in an interview, “I don’t wanna make another film with zombies in it, and I couldn’t make a movie based on something that ain’t mine”, although in later years he reconsidered and wrote a script for the first movie. While many were impressed with the script (which garnered positive reviews), it was eventually rejected in favor of Paul W.S. Anderson’s far less faithful treatment.
Universal Studios produced and released a remake of Dawn of the Dead in 2004, with which Romero was not involved. Later that year, Romero kicked off the DC Comics title Toe Tags with a six-issue miniseries titled The Death of Death. Based on an unused script that Romero had previously written as a sequel to his “Dead Trilogy”, the comic miniseries concerns Damien, an intelligent zombie who remembers his former life, struggling to find his identity as he battles armies of both the living and the dead. Typical of a Romero zombie tale, the miniseries includes ample supply of both gore and social commentary (dealing particularly here with corporate greed and terrorism – ideas he would also explore in his next film in the series, Land of the Dead). Romero has stated that the miniseries is set in the same kind of world as his “Dead” films, but featured other locales besides Pittsburgh, where the majority of his films take place.
Romero, who lives in Toronto, Ontario and has applied for permanent residency there, filmed a fourth “Dead” movie in that city titled Land of the Dead. The movie’s working title was “Dead Reckoning”. Its $16 million production budget was the highest of the four movies in the series. Actors Simon Baker, Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento, and John Leguizamo star in the film. It was released on June 24, 2005 to generally positive reviews.
Some critics have seen social commentary in much of Romero’s work. They view Night of the Living Dead as a film made in reaction to the turbulent 1960s, Dawn of the Dead as a satire on consumerism, Day of the Dead as a study of the conflict between science and the military, and Land of the Dead as an examination of class conflict.
Romero is currently separated from his wife, Christine Forrest, whom he met on the set of Season of the Witch. They have two children together.
Romero collaborated with the game company Hip Interactive in creating a game called City of the Dead, but the game was canceled midway due to the financial problems of the company.
In June 2006, Romero began his next project, called Zombisodes. Broadcast on the web, they are a combination of a series of “Making of” shorts and story expansion detailing the work behind the film George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead. Shooting began in Toronto in July 2006.
In August 2006, The Hollywood Reporter made two announcements about Romero, the first being that he will write and direct a film based on a short story by Koji Suzuki, author of Ring and Dark Water, called Solitary Isle and the second announcement pertaining to his signing on to write and direct George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead, which follows a group of college students making a horror movie in the woods, who stumble on a real zombie uprising. When the onslaught begins, they seize the moment as any good film students would, capturing the undead in a “cinema verite” style that causes more than the usual production headaches.The film was independently financed, making it the first indie zombie film Romero has done in years.
After a limited theatrical release, Diary of the Dead was released on DVD by Dimension Extreme on May 20, 2008.
Shooting began in Toronto in September 2008 for Romero’s newest zombie film. The working shooting title is currently Island of the Dead and the production company is called Blank Of the Dead. Originally, the film was reported to be a direct sequel to Diary of the Dead, but recent reports have stated that this film will feature a new cast of characters, and most likely not retain the first-person camerawork of Diary of the Dead. Filming has commenced on the movie, with Alan Van Sprang starring who featured in Romero’s Land of the Dead and Diary of the Dead, and the majority of the story taking place on an island.
source for autograph event: www.geocities.com/leecoke