31 October 2012

f(x) = George Romero

George Romero is hailed as a luminary of horror. This being Halloween, it seems appropriate to write about him.

Night of the Living Dead is widely regarded as a masterpiece and was groundbreaking for its notable blah blah blah. Everyone agrees it's good. I knew it was good before I even saw it.

Then I saw it and I thought, "Hey, that was pretty good."

And I assumed George Romero was dead because I am... often mistaken.

But he's not! He's very much still alive (as of this writing) and still putting out movies.

And that's where the problems arise.

People should listen to George Romero because he wrote and directed Night of the Living Dead. But people shouldn't have kept giving him blank checks to create heavy-handed quasi social commentary in the form of zombie movies.

His movies got worse. Not even like, "I read the wikipedia synopsis of them and they sound like they got much worse."

It's a fact, with numbers and stuff.


The data from Rotten Tomatoes for the "...of the Dead" series:

I didn't include 1990's Night of the Living Dead (written by George Romero but directed by Tom Savini) because it's a remake. 

I did include other films he did not direct but wrote if they fall into the same Noun of the Adjective Dead series because I feel like George Romero owns that and is ultimately responsible for it.

"...Of the Living Dead" Rotten Tomato Scores Over Time with Trend-line
Edward Tufte would kill me for using line widths greater than 1pt but i felt like splurging. The trend-line, in black, is clearly heading down. Wayyyyyy down.

In fact if we plot the x-intercept for this graph we find that his movies should already be getting Rotten Tomato scores in the negative numbers. It would have hit zero somewhere in the 2010 timeframe.

What I'm losing sight of is perhaps the most important thing of all:

He can really rock a pair of gigantic old-man glasses.

To be fair he did kind of create the iconic modern zombie that has absolutely saturated pop culture... and that's perhaps reason enough to let him keep directing whatever he wants. No matter how poorly it scores.

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