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Remembering George Romero

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George Romero, the visionary director whose seminal 1968 horror film Night of the Living Dead birthed zombie horror, passed away Sunday after a brief but intense battle with lung cancer. He was 77.

Romero’s three canonical zombie films, Night of the Living Dead, 1978’s Dawn of the Dead, and 1985’s Day of the Dead, single-handedly created the monster we all know as the zombie, a mindless resurrected corpse desperate to devour the flesh of the living, whose sudden and unexplained assault on mankind brings civilization to its knees. His other credits include horror classics such as the 1973 apocalyptic horror film The Crazies, the 1978 realistic vampire film Martin, and the 1982 horror comics tribute Creepshow, the latter of which was written by legendary horror author Stephen King. Unlike other horror directors, Romero never lamented his place in the genre, instead supporting, defending, and delighting horror and its fans for generations.

Romero’s influence on horror cannot be overstated–without him, there is now The Walking Dead, no World War Z, no Resident Evil, and no Shaun of the Dead (Shaun and Baby Driver director Edgar Wright has been vocal since Romero’s passing that he would not be making movies without the director’s influence on him), not to mention every other B-movie featuring hordes of mindless hungry dead. And insofar as metal is influenced by horror more than any genre, Romero’s influence on metal is massive. Without his work, there might be no Death, no Cannibal Corpse, no Deceased, no Misfits (and thus perhaps no Metallica), no Mortician, no White Zombie, no Anthrax (the band has long been a fan of Romero’s work).

Any time you’ve heard a metal song about zombies, you have George Romero to thank for it. His repulsive and nihilistic vision drove countless metalheads to write about horrific gore, corpses stalking their prey, and the end of the world. For that, we cannot thank him enough.

Below you’ll find various members of the metal community remembering George Romero, followed by a playlist of Romero-themed metal. In honor of this great man’s legacy, aim for the head. RIP.

Slash (Guns N’ Roses):

Trailblazer is an understatement. We will miss you. RIP #GeorgeARomero

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Rob Zombie:

 

George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher (Cannibal Corpse):

R.I.P.

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Kirk Hammett (Metallica):

Charlie Benante (Anthrax):

Ross Sewage (Ghoul):

 

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