The word just broke that George Romero has passed away. And as a way to commemorate everything he has done, I will echo back to some words I wrote about the passing of Bill Hinzman and the effect Night of the Living Dead (1968) had on me -- hell, on all of us:
"Sure, the out of the blue, opening assault on Barbara and Johnny in the graveyard, which ultimately led to her brother's death, is the opening salvo in the seminal, ground-breaking and still scary as hell Night of the Living Dead.
"But it isn't until after Barbara reaches the apparent safety of the car when the collective Image-10 punched their fists into our brains and then seized and squeezed the crap out of our respective amygdalas because -- call it subliminally or subconsciously, or breaking the plane, whatever you prefer -- it's here, when the silent ghoul chucks the notion of leaving a stainless steel hook in the door latch, picks up a rock, and goes to town, we, as an audience, realize he's no longer coming to get Barbara, but, instead, he's breaking through the screen and, therefore, irrevocably, coming to get us!
"And so for that, Mr. Romero, I say this in all sincerity: thanks for scaring the hell out of me and for the permanent case of the drizzles whenever I watch this movie, and for making the simple act of sitting in a theater / living room to watch a movie no longer a safe and secure inevitability."
George A. Romero