The creator of such iconic horror classics such as Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978) died in Toronto last week of lung cancer, 13 years after setting down permanent roots in the city where he made many of his later films.
George A. Romero, father of the zombie genre, dead at 77
But Romero, 77, was praised by fans for the subtext behind his gory films, touching on themes such as rampant consumerism, as well as his personal warmth when meeting admirers.
“He (Romero) played by all his own rules and didn’t bow to the studio pressures,” Turnbull said.
“(His films are) campy and it’s kicky. I love being scared just outrageously,” Citulski said.
One room featured films playing on televisions at either end while another room featured memorabilia from Romero’s long career, including a photo of him sporting vampire fangs with horror author Stephen King, who wrote the screenplay for Creepshow (1982).
Romero’s casket featured two yellow rubber ducks on the closed lid as well as a floral arrangement featuring a skeletal face and a large doll in his likeness.
“There’s social commentary in his films. They’re mostly not about horror. Horror is not the heart of his films. There definitely was a deeper meaning,” Terry said.
“Without (Romero), it would have been a far less interesting world,” said Darryl Joseph, 41.
“Without the work of George Romero, I would not have met any of the friends I have and I wouldn’t have the experiences I had. His do-it-yourself scrappy get-it-done attitude convinced so many people that, even with limited means, you can make your vision come true,” said Adam J. Pearson, 35.
With files from The Canadian Press