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20 Greatest Horror Directors

George Romero talks

So, you’re number one…
Somebody made a mistake! I mean, honestly… I’ve got a lot of gratitude that people think this way of me, but I think there’s also a little bit of me that is more myth than substance. I’m still learning how to make movies. I don’t know that I’ve done anywhere near a masterwork yet. Martin is my best work. Unencumbered. I really was set free. But it was a little early. If I’d made that film three films later…

What would the kid who set out to make Night Of The Living Dead have made of this accolade?
I think that kid might have said, “Well, of course!” The arrogance of youth… But really that’s all it would have been. He did not know what the business was like. In those days there were no film studies that you could take that were in any way close to a professional experience. So you had no idea, you had to learn everything absolutely from the bottom.

Growing up, who were the directors you looked up to?
Michael Powell was my main man. I thought he was sensational. An aunt and uncle of mine sent me to see The Tales Of Hoffman, kicking and screaming. And I landed up loving it… I didn’t see Peeping Tom for a long time. I’d love to remake it. I would treat it with the utmost respect.

Which horror movie shook your world?
The Thing From Another World – people were talking over each other, you couldn’t hear any of the dialogue! It was so natural, hyper-natural. I though, “That’s the way to do it.” No holds barred, not apologetic in any way. And people have used the reading-it-on-a-Geiger-counter, here-it-comes gimmick ever since.

Looking back, is there anything you’d change?
I’m very happy with my life. I just wish I could have made more movies. That’s the only thing. It’s such a slow process and you never earn your gold credit card; you have to go in and pitch every time. But I hope that I maybe have a couple of movies left in me…

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