George Romero has expressed his distaste with the zombie genre once again in an interview with Indiewire, saying that it’s overblown and just purely “entertainment.” I’d like to take this time to speak to Mr. George Romero personally, if you do not mind.
You are the godfather of the zombie genre. No, you did not create zombies out of thin air. That was kind of a thing gleaned from voodoo lore, but you popularized it, gave it some life (or death), nurtured it, and injected it with some social satire. We love you for that. Dawn of the Dead is one of the best films — not just in the zombie genre — of all-time. Your original zombie trilogy should be cherished and spoken of by traveling bards, who spread the message of your wondrously infectious tales of the rising dead.
But, George — may I call you George? — your time was then. You bestowed the creative community with your version of the zombie apocalypse, and that was amazing, but it’s time to hand the reins over to the new generation. Of course the current crop of writers and directors in film and TV will have a different take. Perhaps they will not have the satirical edge that you once displayed. Maybe the sense of overcoming dread that you imbued in your work will not be present. But, George, what did you expect?
Your shoes are mighty ones to fill. There’s no need to speak down towards the Walking Deads of this world, nor is it necessary to call World War Z the final nail in the genre’s coffin. They’re simply different structures on the foundation that you built.
That’s all said to say this, George: There will never be another George Romero; it’s simply not possible. We’re left with the vestiges of what you gave us, so let us have it in peace. Many of us like The Walking Dead; no, it’s not perfect, and it’s perfectly bland at times. World War Z kind of rocked; it wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect popcorn material. Zack Snyder tried his damnedest to remake your Dawn of the Dead, and he did a pretty fine job.
You see, you exhausted much of the flames in the genre with your magnificent trilogy, and the only thing left to do is fan the fire you set. Again, I ask you… what did you expect?