With the news dropping this week that the beloved father of modern zombie culture was getting a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2017 I think it can be said that there was one collective thought running through just about every horror fan’s head; it’s about time!
When you consider that, over the course of Romero’s career spanning 54 years and counting he has written and directed 16 films, has a writing credit on a handful more, and been involved with a number of film and television projects along the way, you would think he would have gotten one of these a long time ago. He’s a beloved trailblazing filmmaker with a strong legacy and body of work to match. It’s kind of a no-brainer (no pun intended)!
Perhaps he’s been ignored until now because he’s spent almost his entire career working in horror, a genre of storytelling that, like science-fiction, doesn’t get treated with a lot of legitimacy by the establishment. To be certain, there aren’t many directors working in, or who have dabbled with, horror that have been recognized with stars. Off the top of my head I think Cronenberg might be one of his only peers to have one. I lnow Tod Browning and Hitchcock also have stars. Doing a quick search on the Walk Of Fame website, however, I couldn’t really find anybody else of note: no Craven, no Whale, no Carpenter, Argento, or Hooper.
Whatever the reason may be, when you consider the impact Romero’s work has had on the current entertainment landscape (brain devouring zombies on film and on TV…they’re all riffing on a mythology of the undead he originated back in 1962), I think it’s about time he was presented with something like this. Not just the accolades from the horror and fantasy communities but by the establishment.
And, while getting a star on the Walk Of Fame isn’t the industry kudos it used to be, I do like what this acknowledgement means for the genre and filmmakers like Romero. Hopefully he’s the first of many. I think it’s a good thing.
I’ll leave you with a little Romero rarity in the form of a commercial he directed for the horror survival game, Biohazard 2 (Resident Evil 2 to anyone not in Japan). It was made exclusively for the Japanese market, starred Brad (Apt Pupil) Renfro and Adrienne (Hack!) Frantz, and was photographed by cinematographer, Peter (Evil Dead 2, Mulholland Drive) Deming.
And here’s the making of featuring interviews with all the principals: