Since news broke of George Romero’s passing, there’s been an outpouring of affection for one of the truly groundbreaking filmmakers, not only of horror, but all cinema. Directors and performers have touched on his impact and inspiration, and fans have shared stories of meeting the legend, or the first time they laid eyes on Night of the Living Dead (1968). The universal sentiment has been that a light’s been extinguished that can never be reignited.
As a result, HorrorGeekLife felt compelled to share a short video produced by Big Talk Productions Ltd. which documented the experiences of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright as they traveled from London, England to Toronto, Ontario, Canada to make cameos as zombies in Romero’s Land of the Dead (2005).
Pegg and Wright had taken over the world just a year before with Shaun of the Dead (2004), one of the best horror-comedies ever produced, and it turned out that the King of Zombies loved their creation as much as the rest of us.
Pegg had often mentioned that Dawn of the Dead (1978) was one of his favorite films, and Wright shared similar thoughts, but when presented with the opportunity to meet and work with the legend, they were no longer stars, but fans.
To describe the pair as giddy or overwhelmed wouldn’t have been an exaggeration. It was a lifelong dream come true. Much like fans who traveled the country to meet Mr. Romero at conventions, they were simply awed by his talent and relished the idea of being in his presence, if only for a moment.
At one point, Romero offered a suggestion for Pegg and Wright’s scene, and the man who was Shaun excitedly exclaimed “We just got directed by George Romero!”
This wasn’t about voicing respect for his work or how he influenced their careers, but unbridled love and admiration for a man who’d made an impact on their lives.
Simply stated, it was touching to see stars the magnitude of Wright and Pegg briefly revert to wide-eyed, star-struck children, because Romero was not just an industry colleague, he was larger than life.
The twosome was not only thrilled at their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but clearly relished every moment.
This 13-minute video perfectly encapsulates what George Romero meant to film, and his fans.
Mr. Romero has left us, but as Dr. Seuss once stated with brilliant eloquence, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”