The dead walk. Putrid corpses claw their way out of earthy graves and stumble towards civilization. They are bloody, rotting, and hungry for human flesh—and it’s all George Romero’s fault. With 1968’s Night of the Living Dead Romero unleashed the modern zombie onto cinemas, annihilating their voodoo roots and resurrecting them as passed away friends and dead loved ones. Its sequel, the zombies in a mall masterpiece Dawn of the Dead, took Romero’s apocalyptic nightmare further. Its frank depiction of bloodshed changed horror cinema forever and paved the way for such recent offerings as Shaun of the Dead and 28 Days Later. But there is more to Romero than just the living dead. He reinvented the vampire in Martin, took on the American military in The Crazies, and has collaborated with horror legend Stephen King on both Creepshow and The Dark Half. Even today films like Land of the Dead have proven Romero to be a fearless anti-establishment filmmaker. He’s a maverick—a man who frequently directs outside of the Hollywood mainstream, allowing his films to work as both chilling frightfests and impassioned comments on the American psyche.