There are three films Wes Craven made that, in my mind, helped revolutionized horror as we know today. They were : "Last House on the Left", "The Hills Have Eyes", and "A Nightmare on Elm Street". I am also a fan of his films "The Serpent and the Rainbow" and "People Under the Stairs". From "Last House" to "Nightmare on Elm Street", Wes Craven helped to drive up the exploitational value of horror films. Whether it was with the sexual-deviant "Krug", cannibalistic "Pluto", or the supernatural "Freddy Kreuger", Craven's films always focus on a strong manifestation of evil. These methodical madmen would torture their victims in an unmerciful "game of death". Their unholiness was often counter-balanced by strong female heroine, who when pushed to the brink of despairation finally struck back with an equally violent tencity. His "in your face" imagery has been very effective in causing the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up more than a few times. This realism is based on "philosophical" foundation of terror propelled his own vision of horror.


Born in the Bronx in 1939, Romero began making his first films, in 8mm while still in his teens. He later studied art, design, and theater at the Carnegie-Mellon Institute of Art in Pittsburgh, where he graduated in 1961 with a B.A. Subsequently, he formed his own Pittsburgh-based company, Latent Image, to produce industrial films and television commercials. Then in 1967, he teamed up with another Pittsburgh advertising firm, Hardman Associates, to produce a low-budget feature-length horror film that he hoped would serve as his ticket into the film industry. As a result, "Night of the Living Dead" took shape more as a portfolio piece than as a self-conscious entry into fear film. Owing to its popularity and marketability, the horror film has traditionally been the proving ground for unknown directors, since it's much easier to find a distributor for horror movies than it might be for a drama or a comedy. Romero's first film was a demonstration not only that he could direct a film but that his direction was versatile. The overwhelmingly suspenseful mood of the film also contains moments of dark humor ("They're dead . . . they're . . . all messed up"), romance, and tragedy. This blend of the horrific with the drama of everyday life immediately marks the film as one of lasting power. Romero dislikes being tagged as a "message filmmaker." His films, though, do have messages, and it's hard to believe those messages end up in his films without Romero's knowledge or permission. "Night of the Living Dead", like the majority of his films, has a bitter, cynical message, which, simply put, is this: People are too petty, too full of themselves, ever to survive. After "Living Dead", Romero made "The Crazies" (a.k.a."Code Name: Trixie" 1973), a dark film about the effects of chemical poisoning in a small Pennsylvania town. As in "Living Dead", a feverish claustrophobia leads to distrust of organized control systems (the armed forces in this case) and the terrors of social upheaval. Wishing to expand his repertoire, Romero moved on to the defiantly unusual "Martin" (1978). Starring John Amplas in the title role, Martin is an innovative take on the traditional vampire myth. Yes, Martin does drink blood, but it's unclear whether his thirst stems from supernatural craving or neurosis. Throughout Romero's films runs the theme of doubt in organized systems, whether they be mythic, supernatural, or social. Martin continually mocks his aging cousin, Tata Cuda (Lincoln Maazel), for believing in the folklore surrounding vampirism. Early in the film, Martin emphasizes his contempt for Cuda's the superstitions by caressing a crucifix and eating garlic. As dumbfounded Cuda looks on in shock, Martin tells him, "It's just a sickness---there isn't any magic." Martin's comment may refer to his own vampirism, or to Cuda's reliance on symbols and totems. Either way, the film offers us both Martin's fantasy life (in haunting, surreal black and white) and his real one (in color) as he goes about stalking his victims. In the vampire sequences, Romero's fondness for undermining his audience's expectations comes to the fore. Martin's visions are romantic, adventurous period pieces set in lush locations. In contrast to these lurid fantasies, the actual stalking of his victims against the banal backdrop of suburban America seldom goes easily; his victims fight, shout, and struggle. Martin's desire, he confesses to a radio talk-show host, is to have sex without "the blood part." Sadly, his first such encounter, in the arms of a depressed neighborhood housewife, leads to his undoing. When she commits suicide, Cuda imagines that Martin killed her, and, having sworn to destroy him if he ever did such a thing, Cuda unceremoniously pounds a stake into him. Later, with Dawn Romero took his vision one step further and focused on the human dilemma of survival, rather that traditional gore aspects of the genre. He re --established use of the storyline in horror and developed characters that we could really cared about and other we didn't. Rarely, do you see such substance in horror films. Romero definitely was ahead of his time. Then with Day of the Dead, Romero wanted and need to go farther, and produce a "zombie epic". The world he created need to be destroy by the true He vision was constrained by the machine that is Hollywood. They would never spend the kind of money Romero need to realize his dream. Unfortunately for us, we received a very watered down version of Romero's original concept for this film. Recently, there has been talk of a fourth "Living Dead" movie. Romero wasn't able to make Day the movie he envisions and really wants to complete the series. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Night. A Special Edition, of which Romero has vigorously denied any involvement, is said to be released with new footage. Let's also not overlook that this year marks the 20th anniversary of Dawn. Let's all rejoice in the majesty of these films and the joy they have brought over the years and pray that George Romero can make the next "Living Dead" movie his best ever. NEW FLASH---Here is some sad news. Capcom Producer Yoshiki Okamoto told the editors of "Electronic Gaming Monthly" that "His (Romero) script wasn't good, so Romero was fired". Email Capcom and tell them how pissed you are at Also Romero has just finished a film called "Bruiser". I was able to see the film at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Watch the House for my exclusive review of George Romero's newest film, but in the meantime checkout the movies official website at from more details. Again, as always, if you have anything you can add to help improve this page or if you have any comments, criticisms, and suggestions, please e-mail me.