November 2, 2018
Hon. Ruben Díaz, Jr.
Bronx Borough President
851 Grand Concourse, 3rd Floor
Bronx, New York 10451
Dear Mr. Díaz:
As we pause to celebrate the great tradition of Día de Los Muertos, I want to take a moment and provide the name of an individual who I believe would make a strong and viable candidate for your 2019 Bronx Walk of Fame induction ceremonies that take place on the magnificent Grand Concourse, as part of the borough’s annual Bronx Week celebrations: GEORGE A. ROMERO.
The mere mention of his name alone evokes memories of nostalgic childhood terror and images of the dead rising again to forever walk the Earth among the living in search of BRAAAAINS! And while the image of the zombie has become a universally recognized icon, many do not know that Romero, who came into this world to make OTHERS kick and scream on February 4, 1940 (and passed away on July 16, 2017), was born in the wonderful borough of The Bronx of Lithuanian and Spanish/Cuban parents!
There is no doubt, however, that George A. Romero’s seminal black and white horror film Night of the Living Dead (1968) started what is today a worldwide phenomena and obsession with zombies. As witnessed by the ever-expanding concentric circle of derivative content born out of his singular vision, you need only look at such prime examples as Michael Jackson’s groundbreaking music video THRILLER, the cult cable TV program The Walking Dead, or view such films that pay homage to his creations like 28 Days Later (England), REC (Spain), Train to Busan (South Korea), The Horde (France), The Beyond (Italy), Pontypool (Canada), and Juan of the Dead—the first horror film to ever be filmed in Cuba, among others, to witness his influence.
Romero’s work as a visionary director, screenwriter and editor has inspired the minds of several generations of filmmakers, writers and other artists to create new evolutions of the seed he planted 40 years ago. Romero’s work continues to serve as a fountain of inspiration, as the gaming industry has jumped on the bandwagon in recent years. Even the prolific and highly regarded Mexican director Guillermo del Toro (Pans Labyrinth, Blade 2, Pacific Rim) paid homage to Romero’s work with the three-part novel “THE STRAIN,” which subsequently became a mini-series on the FX Network.
Earlier this year, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh dedicated an entire day of special panels and film screenings to recognizing the horror meister’s vast contributions to the genre with a “Symposium on the Cinema of George A. Romero.”
Additionally, “Zombie Walks” have become a cultural part of annual festivities throughout North America and have also begun to spread to other countries around the world, including England, Ireland, Chile, and Brazil. Argentina even attempted to officially gain entry into the Guinness Book of World Records by staging the largest zombie gathering ever assembled—25,000 zombies—on October 28, 2012. And there is no end in sight to where this pop-cultural phenomenon will lead in the future.
It is a no-brainer (pun intended) that an induction ceremony that includes George A. Romero could innately have a built-in zombie crawl as part of the event’s festivities, where hundreds (if not thousands) of Romero’s loyal fans would potentially turn out to honor the Godfather of the Walking Dead! And LATIN HORROR (as well as throngs of other horror-related media outlets) would help promote the event and participate in any manner possible to make this induction a reality, as well as a highly successful and memorable event proper.
I hope that you and staff and committee members who coordinate the annual Bronx Walk of Fame induction process, strongly consider in earnest this remarkable individual, who began his historical journey of bringing back the dead to walk the streets of our imagination and nightmares in the fantastic borough of The Bronx.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at 646-853-8159 anytime, if you or members of the Bronx Week coordination team wish to discuss this nomination further, or require additional information to fully inform your decision. I thank you in advance for your consideration.
cc: Olga Luz Tirado, Executive Director, Bronx Tourism Council