Romero. Genre diehards will hate that’s it has taken me this long to get to Romero and vice-versa for those who view horror as some sort of lower art-form (which it isn’t—in the hands of the right auteur). Romero is a style-minus director, I don’t think that can be argued- the visuals just aren’t overly remarkable and it’s not the framing or the editing. But there’s a consistency in his work (beyond working mostly in the same genre, and sub-genre (zombie horror). There’s the strong black protagonists. There’s a razor sharp social commentary that is a little different for each of his three archiveable films (more below).
Best film: Dawn of the Dead. Romero takes Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo, places it in his sub-genre (yes, this is his), and takes aim at commercialism, Capitalism, and America. It is also hypnotically rewatchable and though I differ with the consensus from the critics here- I think Romero’s crowning achievement.
total archiveable films: 3
top 100 films: 0
top 500 films: 1 (Dawn of the Dead)
top 100 films of the decade: 2 (Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead)
most overrated: Night of the Living Dead lands at #263 on the TSPDT list and I’m 500 slots or so behind that- it isn’t in my top 500. Those who oppose me here with cite the influence of the film— I’ll site the lack of cinematic style (which I hate doing because it is a very good film indeed) as evidence for the counter if need be. Still- what an amazing debut!
most underrated: Nothing here. Romero only has two films in the TSPDT top 1000 – Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead- I’m below the consensus for both.
gem I want to spotlight: Day of the Dead. There are an endless supply of “… of the dead” movies if you count remakes, spoofs, and imitators so I feel like this one gets lost in the shuffle.
stylistic innovations/traits: Whether he’s tackling racism (Night of the Living Dead), commercialism (Dawn of the Dead), or the military (Day of the Dead) Romero remains true to his straightforward storytelling (this is a description, not a compliment) to make engaging narratives that have the undeniable stamp of Romero’s emblem.
- Dawn of the Dead
- Night of the Living Dead
- Day of the Dead
By year and grades
|1968- Night of the Living Dead||HR|
|1978- Dawn of the Dead||MS|
|1985- Day of the Dead||R|
*MP is Masterpiece- top 1-3 quality of the year film
MS is Must-see- top 5-6 quality of the year film
HR is Highly Recommend- top 10 quality of the year film
R is Recommend- outside the top 10 of the year quality film but still in the archives