THE ZOMBIES THAT ATE PITTSBURGH: The Films of George A. Romero by Paul R. Gagne


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The story of George A. Romero's troupe of Pittsburgh filmmakers, who have been responsible for some of the world's most ghoulish (and funny) horror films. Romero is among the most respected, curious (""Why does he stay in Pittsburgh?"") and admired independent filmmakers. His greatest success, Dawn of the Dead, cost $1.5 million and earned $50 million, making it the most successful small-budget independent film in history. He began as a maker of TV commercials in Pittsburgh. Then he came UP with the super-low-budgeted Night of the Living Dead, which used local actors and crew but managed to be a gripping visual experience. It was the first chapter of Romero's ""Dead"" trilogy (which may well become a quartet), his saga about ghouls taking over mankind. Despite Dead's success, Romero's next three films--all non-horror--were flops. Romero found himself to be an inept businessman, but a partnership with Richard Rubinstein to form Laurel Entertainment, Inc. got him centered and brought forth a campy vampire tale and Dawn of the Dead, a ghastly satire set in a huge Pittsburgh shopping mall where flesh-eating ghouls--who largely have taken over the city-are waiting for the doors to open. With this success, Romero again tried a non-horror film (Knightriders) and flopped again. Then he teamed up with Stephen King for Creep-show and has been doing well ever since, while hankering to do non-horror mainstream work. The present book has an excellent chapter on Romero's special effects (sometimes called ""splatter tech""). Warmhearted, fairly intimate survey of the cold-flesh salesman.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1987
Publisher: Dodd, Mead