As “The Godfather of the Modern Zombie” writer/director George A. Romero’s influence on horror can never be overstated. That’s why his death last July was felt so deeply by genre fans of all agves; almost a year later, his loss is still being mourned.
Though his influence will remain for many generations come, it’s been heartening to see the outpouring of love Romero has received since his passing. Last year’s Comic-Con in San Diego held multiple tribute events, and the filmmaker was even given a posthumous star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Another recent Romero tribute got less attention but was just as heartfelt. Not long after his death, sculptor and Night of the Living Dead mega-fan Christian Stavrakis launched his “Monroeville or Bust” campaign to honour the hugely influential auteur. His goal was to produce a bust of Romero for installation at the Monroeville Mall in Ohio, a location that featured prominently in Dawn of the Dead.
On June 8th, Stavrakis vision came to fruition with an unveiling ceremony attended by Romero’s friends and family, film historians, and legions of fans. While the mall has been a destination for Dead fans for decades, it’s now a must-see for any genre fan who finds himself in the vicinity. The dedication nearly coincided with the 40th Anniversary of Dawn of the Dead, which was filmed in early 1978.
Check out the history of the “Monroeville or Bust” campaign and the unveiling ceremony in the video below.
George A. Romero was born in 1940 and passed away at the age of 77 on July 16th, 2017. Check out the trailer and synopsis for Dawn of the Dead below.
As hordes of zombies swarm over the U.S., the terrified populace tries everything in their power to escape the attack of the undead, but neither cities nor the countryside prove safe. In Pennsylvania, radio-station employee Stephen (David Emge) and his girlfriend, Francine (Gaylen Ross), escape in the station helicopter, accompanied by two renegade SWAT members, Roger and Pete. The group retreats to the haven of an enclosed shopping center to make what could be humanity’s last stand.
Words by: Josh Millican (@josh_millican)