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Really, That Living Dead Guy?

May 6, 2009
Because of TiVo, I have 10 episodes of “The Directors”  in my queue at all times.  Tonight, I watched George Romero’s episode. I know, I know.  He is considered a legend now by many horror movie fans, and Night of the Living Dead did start a revolution in horror and is constantly paid homage to today and I am sure in the future.  But George Romero?  Really?  The Crazies, Martin, Knightriders?  Creepshow, Monkey Shines, The Dark Half?  Are we this desperate for a horror visionary that we will hang our hats on George Romero’s huge noggin? 
Aside from Creepshow, which is really Stephen King’s genius, Romero has barely managed to stay on the radar screen.  So I ask the question again; really, that living dead guy?

And suddenly, surprisingly, I find myself wanting to say yes, that guy, that living dead guy is someone I should go back and look at.  And the reason, the reason I should go back and look at this guy’s pantheon of work is because of one word:  longevity.  40 years of film making is a long time.  To see him tell the story of the night he threw his little film called Night of the Living Dead in his trunk and while driving to New York to see if he could sell it hearing of Martin Luther King’s assassination really made me take note.  This was in 1968.  This was 41 years ago.

And then I paid close attention to him while watching this episode of the directors; and this is what I heard. I heard George Romero talk about a revolutionary society swallowing up the outgoing generation.  I heard George Romero talk about apocalyptic upheaval and question all of the directors out there by asking this question: “Why do you want to bring things back to normal (after working so hard to turn them upside down)?  I heard Ed Harris in a clip from Knightriders, yes, Knightriders, listen to this line: “Change doesn’t have to mean compromise.” 

And I knew, I knew then that yes, really, that living dead guy deserves a second look.  So I will give him that second look.  But first, I need to watch another episode of The Directors; John Carpenter is in my TiVo.  Now I know he does not deserve a second look.  Right?

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