For nearly 50 years, George A. Romero has remained one of the greatest names in modern horror. Starting with 1968's "Night of the Living Dead," he popularized the zombie movie genre and became the gold standard for low-budget filmmaking. Here are seven movies and TV shows heavily influenced by his work.
"The Evil Dead" series (1981 - )
In many respects, director Sam Raimi took the torch once carried by Romero as the master of low-budget horror and carried it into the '80s. Instead of simply zombies, Ash Campbell and his fellow college students must face masochistic spirits called Deadites who possess the living and turn them into hideous beasts after our doomed heroes find a evil tome called the Necronomicon in the cabin they soon find themselves trapped in.
"The Thing" (1982)
John Carpenter's tale of paranoia and Eldritch Abominations was directly inspired by Romero. Just as the "Dead" series often trapped people in isolated areas surrounded by evil, the characters in "The Thing" are trapped in Antarctica not knowing when or how the horrors from beyond will strike next.
"Shaun of the Dead" (2004)
The famous horror-comedy directly takes its name from one of Romero's most famous films, "Dawn of the Dead." Taking the basic concept of Romero's films, a group of humans banding together to survive while surrounded by the undead, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg turn the formula on its head for laughs in a film that launched Wright's career.
"The Walking Dead" (2010 - )
Pretty much the biggest zombie tale of the past decade, AMC's hit series is built on the concept initiated in Romero's "Dead" sequels, where the outbreak of the undead expands to consume the entire world.
"World War Z" (2013)
Another film that takes zombie attacks global. Brad Pitt plays a man that flies around the world trying to find a cure for an undead outbreak that threatens to destroy human civilization. In an interview with Daily Dead
, Romero said he first didn't like "World War Z," but enjoyed it after seeing "Man of Steel."
"Cabin In The Woods": From shooting zombies in the head to protagonists getting picked off one by one, Romero established and/or popularized many frequently used horror tropes during his career. By 2012, those tropes had become used so often that "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" creator Joss Whedon mocked the genre's reliance on them in this gory and very self-aware horror flick that includes nods to Romero's work, along with other horror greats.
"Get Out": "Night of the Living Dead" was particularly notable for getting white audiences to sympathize and identify with a black protagonist, who at the end suffers his demise not at the hands of the undead, but at the hands of white men. "Get Out" takes a similar path, using horror tropes like Romero did to highlight social issues.