George A. Romero, creator of the Zombie Apocalypse, has died

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George A. Romero, creator of the “Zombie Apocalypse,” has died at the age of 77. His family said he passed away in his sleep, after short but aggressive battle with lung cancer.

Romero will be forever remembered as the man who started the zombie craze with his groundbreaking 1968 horror film, Night of the Living Dead. Once it became a cult classic Romero made five sequels, all of which were successful films at the box office.

The world couldn’t get enough of zombies and Romero spawned copycats and other filmmakers with other ideas on depicting zombies. There were also two remakes of his original classic. Now, one of the most highly rated shows on cable is centered on humans surviving the zombie apocalypse — “The Walking Dead” on AMC.

There are video games based on killing zombies and all types of clothing with zombies, or zombie movies depicted on them.

George A. Romero didn’t start a fad, he started a genre that has seen explosive growth over the past 49 years.

Before making Night of the Living Dead, Romero was making a nice living as a director of TV commercials. In 1979 Romero told Roger Ebert, “At the time we did ‘Night,’ I was a director of television commercials. Some of them cost a lot more than our whole movie. They were very slick, sophisticated … we wanted the opposite look for ‘Night.’ We wanted it to look like a newsreel.”

Films like The Blair Witch Project refined that technique, but it started with Romero’s black and white classic.

Whether you like his movies or zombie movies in general, there is no denying George A. Romero is — and will remain — a cultural icon.

George A. Romero: February 4, 1940- July 16, 2017.

Photos are from Wikipedia