'Night Of The Living Dead' Director Dies. George Romero Was 77

Jul 17, 2017
Originally published on July 19, 2017 7:42 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Sorry to say that director George Romero died yesterday at the age of 77. He's the man who brought us zombies.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As character, yelling).

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Oh, lovely, yes. Nearly 50 years ago, he directed "Night Of The Living Dead." Studios wouldn't buy it, and so he released it independently. It became the prototype for zombies onscreen today.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

GEORGE ROMERO: All I did was, I took them out of exotica, and I made them the neighbors.

GREENE: Yeah, neighbors who would eat your brains. Speaking to NPR in 2014, Romero said, though, that it was not the undead that made his films.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

ROMERO: My stories have always been more about the humans and the mistakes that they make. And then zombies are just sort of out there. They could be a hurricane or a typhoon or anything. They are the disaster that everyone is facing. But my stories are more about the humans.

INSKEEP: And old saying, a great old saying holds you can't control events, only how you respond. For George Romero's characters, the test was how they responded to the undead.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPENCER MOORE'S "NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD THEME") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.