Apropos of nothing except that I was listening to a fantastic episode of GAYLORDS OF DARKNESS about DAY OF THE DEAD, this is how Romero shakes out for me.
I will brook no argument, it’s not up for discussion. This is about George and Me:
1) MARTIN – a film that never fails to move me every time I see it. I truly think that it’s a perfect film.
2) DAY OF THE DEAD – before I ever saw the film, the trailer scared the shit out of me. The film is EVERYTHING that a zombie apocalypse ever could or should be. It’s a stunningly well made movie, beautifully acted with depths that continue to reveal themselves. The cast are uniformly excellent, the effects still the best gore I’ve ever seen. It remains my favourite and, for me, the pinnacle of Romero’s dead movies.
3) KNIGHT RIDERS – Romero was a hippie at heart and this is a love letter to the romantic idealism of an outsider life, and a critique of it at one and the same time. In so many ways it’s Romero’s movie about the 60’s, about the hippie dream, what it wanted to be, could have been, and what it became. Beautiful, melancholy, heartbreaking.
4)NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – the truth remains that the original trilogy explored basically everything there was to look at in Zombie Apocalypse America. The Walking Dead was always (again, for me) a waste of time. Romero had explored it all in microcosm.5)CREEPSHOW – nostalgic, fun loving, a heartfelt ode to the simple joy of the genre itself and the comics that inspired it. Genre comfort food.
6)DAWN OF THE DEAD – no two ways about the fact that it affected me from the first time that I saw it, but never as much as the films either side of it (in trilogy terms). As disturbing as anything to me was the sense of fun that certain portions of the country took amidst the carnage. The montage with country music and the friends taking potshots at zombies in the field disturbed me as much as anything the zombies were doing.
7) MONKEY SHINES – I’ve always liked this one. Not a mind blower, but a tight, effective thriller that was better than it had a right to be in some ways.
8)THE CRAZIES – probably more effective if watched now than it was say a decade or two back. But the anti military stance is clear. Romero is still refining his craft, but amidst the palpable chaos and outrage there’s real heart, real fear, real political anger.
9)THE DARK HALF – undervalued adaptation of one of my favourite King novels. Good, but it makes you wish he’d gotten to make PET SEMETARY or THE STAND as almost happened.
10)SEASON OF THE WITCH – because Romero was always a feminist. Always a thinker. Always someone trying and growing and hoping and wanting things to be better.