- You may be looking for Romero and not even know it!
George A. Romero is a New York-born zombie rights advocate based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While he himself is not a zombie, he has been influential in advancing the zombie civil rights fight through his writings and documentary films. He is also noted for his violent rivalry with militant human rights activists based out of Italy. Some of these activists include Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento.
Romero was born in New York, New York on 4 February 1940 to parents that believed in tolerance of all races and classes. When he was a very young boy his family fell on hard times when his father lost his job as a New York City bus driver to cheap zombie labor. His father, though, was not upset with the zombie about losing his job because he felt the replacement "was just trying to make an unliving".
While attending college at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, young George met and fell in love with Christine Forrest, a young zombie coed majoring in Culinary Arts. The two were inseparable and married shortly thereafter, it was during this time that George began to see how people treated zombies and those that are in their company. On several occasions, while out with his wife they were chased by a mob of people with pitchforks and torches, and even when he was alone, he was constantly called names such as "ombie-lover" and "braineater" by his peers. This unfair treatment led him to make his first documentary called Night of the Living Dead (1968)
- Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Night of the Living Dead was about the mistreatment of zombies at the hands of humans and the Zombie Rights Riot of 1965 in rural Pennsylvania. Interposed with actual newscasts of the '60s, this film opened many an eye to the plight of zombies. But unfortunately many Homo-Sapiens Superiors also use this as a training film and to show that man's fight against the undead is not an impossible one. Romero is said to have been appalled that this extremist group is using his film in such a manner.
- Season of the Witch (1971)
This film documents the events ensuing after Romero's assistant Suzanne received a bite during the making of his previous zombie-massacre documentary, In it, George gets into a dangerous battle against his film crew in order to protect his dead aide, who shortly after death had then begun trying to bite George and his crew. George knocks her out of a third-story window to prevent her from receiving any permanant damage. A small zombie outbreak then takes place at the street level, where Romero and his backup film crew go on to document the cruel and inhuman treatment of the zombies by locals. The team also captured the dangerous rescue of George's assistant from the townsfolk and the primary film crew.
This film is about the famed zombie hunter O.J. Simpson who killed his own wife and her "friend" with nothing but a knife when they turned into zombies and tried to eat his children. Mr. Simpson has long claimed that he is not responsible for the deaths of any zombie whatsoever, let alone those of his wife and her friend. The government though, has leaked that he has been instrumental in exterminating nearly 400 zombies.
- Dawn of the Dead (1978)
This documentary was hugely successful in showing the horrors at a local Pennsylvania shopping mall, where over 150 zombies out shopping during the Christmas holiday of 1978 lost their lives due to widespread panic where zombies were thought responsible for the disappearance of an 8-year-old boy, who was later found in a toy store playing with Star Wars action figures.
- Day of the Dead (1985)
This film details the experiments done on zombies by the United States Army, which were very reminiscent of the experiments conducted on Jewish prisoners during WWII by the Nazis, in a secret research facility. It includes the mutiny that tried to save them and made good their escape. It should be noted however, that this film was called a hoax by the U.S. government upon its release in 1985. Some believe this to be a cover-up, as the filmmakers have stated many times that they risked their lives to obtain this footage only because they wanted to get the message of zombie brutality out into the public.
- Two Evil Eyes (1990)
Probably the most terrifying and thought-provoking film ever made by Mr. Romero, it gives an interesting insight into the Zombie Hunter psyche and what might drive them to kill. Profiled were hunters who do so out of fear, revenge, bigotry, religous fervor, a sense of civic duty and one terrifying hunter in particular that simply enjoys it.
- Land of the Dead (2005)
This excursion by Romero, back into documentary films 15 years after the last, details the human separatist movement's fight against zombies and their walled, heavily fortified city of Pittsburgh, and its capital, Fiddler's Green. This film is considered by many to be a classic showcase of panic stricken humans killing the scores of zombie goodwill ambassadors led by Big Daddy who, the film clearly shows, were just trying to be granted an audience with the humans to discuss fair treatment and cohabitation of the surrounding area. The separatists claimed that they thought Big Daddy was the reputedly un-dead Martin Luther King, Jr. and that they were only reacting as any group in a position of leadership ought to. The separatists were however redeemed when one small band of them opened the gates of the city and fled to the north with their new allies, setting off fireworks on their way as a celebration of liberty.
A lot of Romero's fiction films are collaborations with his long time friend Stephen King.
- There's Always Vanilla (1971) - This movie came about when he and his wife were on honeymoon in Venice and she ordered a dinner of roasted entrails in brain sauce for them to share. When the dinner came, Romero couldn't bring himself to eat it and asked his wife what he should do, to which she replied that "there's always vanilla," referring to the dessert that came with the entree, vanilla ice cream. The movie primarily deals with the differences both small and large in a life shared between two people from different worlds.
- The Crazies (1973) - A documentary which explains the roots of a small American town of Evans City, Pennsylvania trying, albeit mostly unsuccessfully, at dealing with societal integration of humans and zombiekind.
- Martin (1977) - A fictional movie based on a true acquaintance of Romero's named Martin Alucard. In the film Martin is a self-styled Vampire, who drinks the blood of the living. The real Martin is believed to have been a vampire by many and was seldom seen in the daytime. When he was asked about the vampire myth, he stated that he just likes to party at night and sleep during the day. In the end, that is left for the viewer to decide for themselves.
- Knightriders (1981) - This is a 1981 film written and directed by George A. Romero. It was filmed entirely on location in the Pittsburgh metro area, with major scenes in suburban Fawn Township and Natrona. The film is a change of pace for Romero as that it is a period piece set in medieval England.
- Creepshow 2 (1987) - This movie was made after Mr. Romero and acclaimed horror novelist Stephen King became friends and decided to work on the relationship between humans and other misunderstood peoples. Apparently, King had already wrote a book with many stories along these lines, but just hadn't been able to get a movie made about it to get the broad audience he wanted until he met George.
Mr. Romero has also written many essays on the peaceful coexistence of zombies and humankind.
- ''I Too, Have a Dream'' — this essay is basically a reworking of an earlier speech by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. detailing Romero's hope that one day man and zombie can be friends without any public backlash, and that zombies will be able to shop with humans without fear of undeath.
- ''My Brother, My Zombie'' — this essay was written shortly after his brother (Zach Romero) was mugged and partially eaten by a zombie in 1994, then shortly thereafter transformed into a zombie. In this writing, he details how even some zombie supporters have turned their backs on family members who have turned into zombies and that even though his brother is now undead, he is still his brother. He points as well to his rescue of his assistant Suzanne and also to his long-term successful relationship with his zombie wife Christine Forrest. He also details that we need more law enforcement officers on the street, because if this had been a mugging by a human, his brother could have been shot in the head and have no chance at coming back to life as a productive member of zombie society.
- ''To Begin, Anew'' — This short story is based largely on certain aspects of his documentary Land of the Dead. However, this is a fictionalized account with the leaders of Pittsburgh being half zombies and half humans. When asked about this story, Romero says that he wanted to show that peaceful cohabitation could be achieved, and in this story he shows how humans working with, rather than against zombies, deal with everyday problems of a large city, such as crime, hunger, Medicare and taxes, among other things.
Some other zombie rights activists that currently ally with George Romero are as follows.
- Michael Jackson - Famous zombie entertainer, most likely the biggest in the music industry, who had the hugely successful number one hit Thriller which crossed over from the fringe zombie charts to the mainstream Top 100. After his breaktrough in the media he continued to be a rising star even though his career had many controversies. He was investigated multiple times for eating underage brains. During a concert he was set on fire by anti-zombie protesters. Zombie rights supporters turned against him for allegedly undergoing surgery to make himself appear more alive. he still remains one of the top-selling and most widely respected musicians either living or undead, even earning the name "The King of Rot".
- Simon Pegg - Co-creator and producer of the hugely successful Shaun of the Dead which details a young boy named Shaun being raised until adulthood by a family unit of zombies.
- Edgar Wright - Co-creator and producer of the hugely successful Shaun of the Dead which details a young boy named Shaun being raised until adulthood by a family unit of zombies.
- Stephen King - A long time friend and collaborator of Romero's, King was and still is an influential zombie rights movement writer. King lobbied for the Zombie Work Act of 1983 and helped to establish fair work treatment and pay for zombies.
- Peter Jackson - Director of the double documentary Braindead/DeadAlive, split into two parts. The first part, Braindead, tells the story of how a right-wing religous zealot of a mother can transform a kind, well-intentioned boy into a blood thirsty zombie-killer. The second part DeadAlive shows how young zombies cut loose and try to enjoy themselves in a hateful world. It's the story of how a peaceful group of zombies having a "Monster Mash", the name given to uproarious raves frequented by zombies, are brutally murdered by the aforementioned zombie-killers. It was highly acclaimed, and a lot of young sympathizers started to go to these "zombie parties" as they were pictured as Caligula-esque in scope.
- Umbrella Corporation - A huge company that devotes money to zombie causes, hires zombies almost exclusively, and is trying to develop simulated human brains for the undead to eat.
- Zombaid - Along with Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, and Coldplay (who have two zombie members), George Romero helped to found this annual benefit concert that supports zombiatairism. The first concert was held in London, England, and in following years was held in Chicago, Sweden, with next year's in Los Angeles. The Misfits, a famous zombie punk band, usually headlines, with bands such as Demented Are Go or Golgol Bordello and similar acts filling out the roster.
- Nelson Mandela - South African civil rights/zombie rights activist. Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was also active in his own country as a civil rights leader. He saw similarities in his struggle and that of the undead and has consistently spoken up for both causes world wide, even going as far as to author numerous books on the subject of peaceful cohabitation.
There is a small but growing movement among other organizations calling for the "extermination" of zombies.
- Danny Boyle - While a fellow advocate, Boyle has a vastly different perspective on zombies, insisting they are nothing more then innocent victims of the plague.
At last report, Romero was working on a fictional film showcasing an aging zombie rock band called the Diamond Dead, but information has leaked that this film is supposedly a metaphor for the long abused zombies in African diamond mines. We will have to wait to see if these reports have any truth about them.
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