My very first horror convention was in April of 1988, out in California. Up until then, I had never met anybody famous, especially any idols I had from the horror genre. But at the show, one of the first ones I met was George Romero. I had come walking out of the dealer room on my way to the auditorium for the Q&A’s, and there he stood, surrounded by fans like a scene from one of his zombie flicks. Except, instead of trying to eat him, they just wanted to get an autograph or just say hello and thanks. I didn’t take me long to join the growing mass of fans either. I had him sign my copy of Tom Savini’s Grande Illusions, which was my very first autograph as well. I still have that book to this day and is one of my most memorable.
The Zombie Film: From White Zombie to World War Z
By Alain Silver & James Ursini
Published by Applause Theatre & Cinema, 2014. 384 Pages
Directed by George Romero
Starring Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz Weaver, Leslie Nielsen, Carrie Nye, E.G. Marshall, Viveca Lindfors, Ed Harris, Ted Danson, Stephen King, Warner Shook, Robert Harper, Elizabeth Regan, Gaylen Ross, Tom Atkins
One question that horror fans get asked a lot is “what’s your favorite horror movie?” I know a lot of fans do have a particular one that is their favorite. For me though, it really would be impossible for me to narrow it down to even 20, let alone a single one. But I do know that if such a list was ever conceived in my brain, somewhere near the top would be George Romero’s Creepshow. In fact, it is my favorite of all of Romero’s work, even above Night of the Living Dead. Maybe it was because I saw this in the theater at the time my obsession with the horror genre really started to explode. Maybe it was the great mixture of horror and humor. Or the way it blended the world of horror comic books that I read as a child into the movie world in such a beautiful way. Whatever reason it might be, or all of them, I have loved this film since I first witnessed it in the theater back in 1982, and I still love it just as much today.
It was announced today that George Romero would be getting one of those illustrious stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And all I can say is it’s about damn time. For a man who pretty much invented the modern day zombie, created so many films that gave millions of us the chills, and more than a few nightmares, it’s nice to see him get a little bit of credit for his work.
My very first horror convention that I attended was at a Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in LA in 1988. I had never seen or met anyone famous before so one of the first ones that I see there, just standing outside the dealer room, was the one and only Romero. I pulled out my copy of Tom Savini’s Grand Illusions and asked him to sign it since he wrote the forward to it, which he graciously did with a huge smile. That was my very first autograph. And I still have that copy of the book.
As a life-long horror fan, we all know that Halloween is one of the few times when we seem like normal people. Or maybe it is because the ‘normal’ society is celebrating something that we do every day. But when I heard about this recent event that happened in a small town in Pennsylvania, it brought a smile to my face and a little tear to my eye. Evans City, Pennsylvania is the little place where the movie Night of the Living Dead was filmed, almost 50 years ago. Many horror fans have made the trip out to their, especially the cemetery where the famous opening sequence was filmed, myself included.
Now, most of society, at least in my experience, would want to shy away from the exposure their town might have because of some horror movie that was made there. God forbid that it would draw those crazy fans that would loiter around, and destroy and vandalize the area. But it seems that not only does Evans City not have that attitude, they actually embrace the fact their little town is known for this historical film.