George A. Romero and Martin Landau, RIP

We’ve lost two great ones.

With Night of the Living Dead, George Romero and his collaborators pretty much invented what we now think of as the zombie fiction subgenre of horror. He also made a fucking good movie, an incredibly taut, tight thriller with superb performances and a very radical casting of a black guy as the heroic lead — complete with brilliantly tragic ending that is a nasty-ass commentary on racism.

I was lucky enough to work with Romero on what turned out to be his last project: the anthology Nights of the Living Dead, which I’ve been talking about a lot for the last week. I’m glad George got to live to see the book’s publication.

Martin Landau also died. He’s played so many iconic roles, from North by Northwest to Mission: Impossible to Space: 1999 to Ed Wood, but I think my favorite role of his is as Judah Rosenthal in my favorite Woody Allen film, Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Rest in peace, gentlemen….

 

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