Re­mem­ber­ing the god­fa­ther of zom­bie film­mak­ing

Di­rec­tor Ge­orge A. Romero made many of his now-clas­sic genre films af­ter set­tling in T.O.

Richmond Hill Post - - Classyfied­s -

More than a decade ago, we found out that Ge­orge A. Romero was film­ing one of his now-iconic zom­bie flicks at a sub­ur­ban shop­ping mall in Thorn­hill. For some, it was like the GTA had fi­nally made it. He was that im­por­tant.

Ap­par­ently, the late, great film­maker, born in the Bronx, was quite fond of Toronto as well, and he had made his per­ma­nent home here since 2004, with his wife Suzanne Des­rocher, and took up Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship in 2009. And it was here that he passed away of can­cer last month.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing from univer­sity in 1960, Romero be­gan his ca­reer shoot­ing com­mer­cials and short films, in­clud­ing an episode of Mis­ter Rogers’ Neigh­bour­hood.

His ca­reer-defin­ing film, Night of the Liv­ing Dead, came with his first kick at the movie can in 1968. But he didn’t es­tab­lish his now leg­endary Dead se­ries right away. In­stead, he opted to follow up his first film with the ro­man­tic com­edy There’s Al­ways Vanilla. He re­turned to com­plete his Dead tril­ogy with Dawn of

the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985), ce­ment­ing his sta­tus as cin­e­matic leg­end. He con­tin­ued to ex­plore the gory land­scape, of­ten with a side of so­cial commentary to boot. In ad­di­tion, he in­spired count­ess film­mak­ers along the way.

In 2009, Romero pre­miered Sur­vival of the Dead at the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val. In an in­ter­view with Post City at the time, he tack­led the ques­tion of whether or not you had to have a screw loose to make such movies.

“None of us hor­ror film­mak­ers — Wes Craven, John Car­pen­ter — there’s not a weird guy in the bunch,” he said.

“It’s funny, man, peo­ple ex­pect that I walk around in a cape and fangs and sleep in a cof­fin or some­thing, and when­ever I do a photo shoot for a mag­a­zine, they al­ways want to do it in a ceme­tery.” Romero had been work­ing on a new film, Road of the

Dead. A me­mo­rial was held at Mount Pleas­ant Ceme­tery on July 24 to hon­our the ac­claimed di­rec­tor who in­spired (and scared the pants off of ) so many.

Ge­orge A. Romero with his un­dead friends at a film pre­miere

L-R: Sarah Pol­ley in a scene from ‘Dawn of the Dead,’ which was shot in a Thorn­hill mall; look­ing for ‘more brains’ in the orig­i­nal clas­sic ‘Night of the Liv­ing Dead’

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