George A. Romero Quotes
“Tony Williams: You’ve often mentioned that Tales of Hoffmann (1951) has been a major influence on you.
George Romero: It was the first film I got completely involved with. An aunt and uncle took me to see it in downtown Manhattan when it first played. And that was an event for me since I was about eleven at the time. The imagery just blew me away completely. I wanted to go and see a Tarzan movie but my aunt and uncle said, “No! Come and see a bit of culture here.” So I thought I was missing out. But I really fell in love with the film. There used to be a television show in New York called Million Dollar Movie. They would show the same film twice a day on weekdays, three times on Saturday, and three-to-four times on Sunday. Tales of Hoffmann appeared on it one week. I missed the first couple of days because I wasn’t aware that it was on. But the moment I found it was on, I watched virtually every telecast. This was before the days of video so, naturally, I couldn’t tape it. Those were the days you had to rent 16mm prints of any film. Most cities of any size had rental services and you could rent a surprising number of films. So once I started to look at Tales of Hoffmann I realized how much stuff Michael Powell did in the camera. Powell was so innovative in his technique. But it was also transparent so I could see how he achieved certain effects such as his use of an overprint in the scene of the ballet dancer on the lily ponds. I was beginning to understand how adept a director can be. But, aside from that, the imagery was superb. Robert Helpmann is the greatest Dracula that ever was. Those eyes were compelling. I was impressed by the way Powell shot Helpmann sweeping around in his cape and craning down over the balcony in the tavern. I felt the film was so unique compared to most of the things we were seeing in American cinema such as the westerns and other dreadful stuff I used to watch. Tales of Hoffmann just took me into another world in terms of its innovative cinematic technique. So it really got me going.
Tony Williams: A really beautiful print exists on laserdisc with commentary by Martin Scorsese and others.
George Romero: I was invited to collaborate on the commentary by Marty. Pat Buba (Tony’s brother) knew Thelma Schoonmaker and I got to meet Powell in later years. We had a wonderful dinner with him one evening. What an amazing guy! Eventually I got to see more of his movies that I’d never seen before such as I Know Where I’m Going and A Canterbury Tale. Anyway, I couldn’t do the commentary on Tales of Hoffmann with Marty. But, back in the old days in New York, Marty and I were the only two people who would rent a 16mm copy of the film. Every time I found it was out I knew that he had it and each time he wanted it he knew who had it! So that made us buddies.”
“Housewives forming covens as a means of survival. Stopgap police forces burning citizens to contain what they stubbornly believed was a biological agent. A young man encouraged by the chaos to play out delusions of vampirism. A troupe of ren-fair motorcyclists who believed their Arthurian code could withstand any strain. A paraplegic man trapped indoors, tortured by his helper monkey, begging her to send help. Such strange tales, and Hoffmann read them over and over. One day they might remind us who we used to be, and who we tried to be, and that recollection could save the world.”
“The men crashed back through the store and Peter moved right to the racks of weapons. He pulled down a gorgeous high-powered rifle that was equipped with a sophisticated scope for sighting. “Ain’t it a crime!” he ejaculated. “What?” Steve asked, confused by the man’s sudden outburst. “The only person who could ever miss with this gun,” Peter said, looking through the telescope, “is the sucker with bread enough to buy it.”
“Roger snapped on the large, battery-powered radio. He rolled the dial around, but all he got was static. Finally, he heard a signal, and he tuned it in. A badly modulated voice droned through the interference. It sounded as if it were a war correspondent sending a signal from very far away. Steve clicked off the TV set so that they would better be able to hear the announcer: “. . . Reports that communications with Detroit have been knocked out along with Atlanta, Boston and certain sections of Philadelphia and New York City . . .” “Philly . . .” Roger said almost to himself. “I know WGON is out by now,” Steve said with animation. “It was a madhouse back there . . . people are crazy . . . if they’d just organize. It’s total confusion. I don’t believe it’s gotten this bad. I don’t believe they can’t handle it.” He looked around the room proudly. “Look at us. Look at what we were able to do today.” A few feet away, still in a slumped position by the pyramid of cartons, Peter’s eyes blinked open. He had been listening to what he wanted to hear, and now this statement by the kid really made him take notice. His eyes moved slightly to the side so that he could watch Stephen. The young man was gesturing wildly with his hands, going on and on about their exploits as a team. The other two didn’t realize Peter was awake. Roger nodded his head, but it didn’t seem as if he were really listening to Steve’s ramblings. “We knocked the shit out of ’em, and they never touched us,” Steve exclaimed. “Not really,” he said in a quieter tone. The rumbling voice erupted from the other side of the room. “They touched us good, Flyboy. We’re lucky to get out with our asses. You don’t forget that!”
“his voice barely above a whisper. “There’s no more room in hell.” His face was set in a grim expression, his eyes downcast. “What?” Steve spun around, not believing what he had just heard uttered. Peter took the wide-brimmed hat off his head and wiped his forearm across his sweating brow. He leaned against the railing and gazed long and hard at the couple. “Somethin’ my grandaddy used to tell us. You know Macumba? Voodoo? Grandaddy was a priest in Trinidad. Used to tell us, ‘When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth!”
“Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love, was littered with the bodies of its citizens. Moonlight loomed over the embattled city, illuminating the destruction. In the early morning hours, the few lights remaining on were reflected in the waters of the Delaware. The quiet was interrupted only by the sounds of the lapping water and the occasional creak of wooden floating docks as they strained against one another.”
“All of a sudden, a great crash sounded, and even the calm, collected Peter flinched at the noise. The closet door flew open and two small children, a girl and boy, burst out into the room. They were a ghastly sight, even to Peter’s cynical eyes: the little girl had no left arm, the boy had been bleeding from a great wound in his side. Peter felt a touch of sympathy for the pathetic creatures, but then he reminded himself—they were dead!”
George A. Romero
- Date of birth: February 04, 1940
- Died: July 16, 2017
- Born: in The Bronx, New York City.
- Description: George Andrew Romero was an American film director, screenwriter and editor, best known for his gruesome and satirical horror films about a hypothetical zombie apocalypse, beginning with Night of the Living Dead (1968). He is nicknamed "Godfather of all Zombies."