R.I.P. George A. Romero and Martin Landau

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The film world suffered two major losses over the weekend as both George A. Romero and Martin Landau reportedly passed away within 24 hours of each other. Romero is obviously best known as the godfather of the zombie genre which he single-handledly spawned with Night of the Living Dead in 1968, while Martin Landau will be fondly remembered as one of the stars of the original Mission: Impossible TV series as well as for his performance as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. Romero had been battling lung cancer but died peacefully in his sleep. He was 77 years old. Landau was 89.

George A. Romero’s first movie out of university was the groundbreaking Night of the Living Dead, which gave birth to an iconic series of zombie films that includes Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead. Most recently, he had been working on a seventh installment called Road of the Dead which would revolve around zombie prisoners racing cars for the entertainment of wealthy humans. Other genre films that he has directed over the years include The Crazies, Martin, Knightriders, Monkey Shines and The Dark Half.

As for Landau, he started in TV in the 1950s before getting a big break from Alfred Hitchcock with a major role in North by Northwest. He appeared in Cleopatra and The Greatest Story Ever Told in the ’60s before starring in Mission: Impossible from 1966 to 1969. In the ’70s he starred in the British sci-fi series Space: 1999, then a decade later his career was back on the upswing with Oscar nominations for roles in Francis Ford Coppola’s Tucker: The Man and His Dream and Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors. His comeback was finally complete Tim Burton’s Ed Wood in 1994. What are your favourite George Romero and Martin Landau films?

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  • Lori Cerny

    Night of the Living Dead is a semiannual watch, for me. While the acting may not be the best, the FX, creepiness, social commentary, and simplicity of the film still hold-up.

  • Tommy

    Creepshow, bud!

  • Lori Cerny

    If anyone has a chance to see 2015’s Remember, Landau had a small, but very good part in an emotional, and disturbing, film about revenge.

  • OsoAmorito

    Just bought your Trilogy of the Dead premium two days ago, so this is probably my fault.

  • Beerdude

    Space: 1999