Out at dinner last night, the conversation inevitably turned to horror movies. Most of my friends aren’t huge fans of the genre, but when you know someone who runs a horror website you generally end up getting steered (gently) towards talking about them. It’s one of the many fun things about being my friend.
At one point the upcoming release of Diary of the Dead came up, with me telling everyone about the special screening in NYC next week where George Romero will be appearing.
“Isn’t he like your boy?” asks one of my friends. Just cause I’m in the horror community doesn’t mean I know every goddamn person in it, I replied. But then again, we do have a special connection.
I’ve met George Romero a couple of times at conventions. About 5 or 6 years ago a friend and I took a ridiculous roadtrip to Ohio for a 24-hour horror marathon they had going on there there. Showing was all kinds of incredible flicks like Dead Alive, Ichi the Killer, I Walked With a Zombie and Pieces. It really was a great night, with a great crowd of people that were completely into it. There was even a special super secret film that ended up being a beautiful 35mm Dawn of the Dead print, and Romero himself showed up to present it.
While getting a dvd signed (I feel kind of embarrassed to admit I used to get autographs) I chatted with him a bit, and he was naturally surprised to hear we came all the way from NYC. He was even more surprised to hear that we came from The Bronx, specifically.
Why? Cause he was born and raised there.
You get that, Pittsburgh? He’s not yours. He’s ours.
George Romero used to go to the Whitestone Cinemas on Bruckner Boulevard when it used to be a drive-in theater, and not the ghetto shithole it currently is and has been for almost 2 decades. He grew up in my neighborhood. He knows all about Pelham Bay and Throggs Neck. We talked a while about various locations in the neighborhood and had a connection for a few minutes.
So yes, George Romero’s my boy.