George A. Romero, Originator of Modern Zombie Movie, Dies

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Made influential horror classics Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. By Jim Vejvoda

Filmmaker George A. Romero, father of the modern zombie film, died Sunday at the age of 77.

Variety reports that Romero passed away from lung cancer.

While not the inventor of zombies, the Bronx-born Romero originated the now-universal depiction of zombies as shambling, flesh-eating hordes of the undead in his groundbreaking films Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978).

George A. Romero on the set of Land of the Dead.

IGN ranked Night of the Living Dead fourth on our list of the Top 25 Monster Movies: “Put simply, the zombie genre as we know it would not exist without George Romero’s original Living Dead movie. It introduced flesh-eating zombies as we know (and love) them today, and it showed us that a movie full of blood and guts can still have a conscience. Romero’s zombies were terrifying in black and white, but one could even argue who was the true monster in the movie: the undead or the living? It’s hard to undersell the importance of this movie, but consider the things we wouldn’t

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