Grimm Up North pay tribute to the father of the modern zombie movie this Sunday with a marathon tribute to late American film director, George A. Romero. Starting at the beginning with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, Stockport Plaza will play host to four films from Romero’s iconic Living Dead cycle — each justly celebrated for combining gore and suspense with sharply observed satire and social commentary.
Made for $114,000 and shot on black and white film to save money, Night of the Living Dead sees a group of strangers forced to fight for their lives when they find themselves trapped in a farmhouse in the middle of a zombie uprising. Filmed in the revolutionary year of 1968, Romero’s decision to cast black actor Duane Jones in the lead role added a layer of racial tension to proceedings and provided the film’s gut-punch of an ending with a lasting resonance.
Romero returned to his zombies a decade later with 1978’s Dawn of the Dead — which follows in Grimm’s marathon. Widely regarded as the director’s masterpiece, Dawn of the Dead, amps things up as it replaces the farmhouse with a shopping mall and adds numbers to its undead horde. The film exploits the public’s appetite for consumer products and on-screen violence for a satirical horror that packs a wallop.
By the time of 1985’s underrated cult classic, Day of the Dead the undead outnumber the living by 400,000 to 1, and the remnants of humanity are trapped underground and starting to warring amongst themselves. Grimm close their marathon with Romero’s 2005 Land of the Dead, in which the by now veteran filmmaker uses his zombies to comment on global inequality, whilst maintaining all of the gore, thrills and dark humour that audiences had grown to expect.