Up until the late 1960s, the term “zombie” applied to Haitian folklore where voodoo was used to transform a living person into a mindless slave. In 1968, however, Pittsburgh filmmaker George Romero released his classic Night of the Living Dead, in which the dead literally rose from their graves as mindless creatures, and forever changed the essence of a zombie in the process. Another Pittsburgher, Greg Nicotero, learned his craft under Romero’s tutelage and currently serves as executive producer of the AMC drama The Walking Dead. In 2006, meanwhile, the Steel City established the first Guinness World Record for largest collection of zombies with a “zombie walk” at Monroeville Mall, while the House of the Dead in Lawrenceville opened in September 2012 and exclusively sells zombie-themed merchandise and apparel—all of which proves that Pittsburgh is ground zero for the coming zombie apocalypse.
Zombies and Pittsburgh
Birth of the Living Dead The 2013 documentary examines the classic Pittsburgh zombie film Night of the Living Dead, and contains many anecdotes from director George A. Romero regarding the production.
Night of the Living Dead: The Opera Composer Todd Goodman discusses transforming George Romero’s classic 1968 film into a contemporary opera that simultaneously appeals to both opera and horror fans.
Simon Pegg and Dawn of the Dead The British actor not only created the cult classic Shaun of the Dead as homage, but appeared as a zombie in Land of the Dead and attended its 2005 premier in Pittsburgh.
The Walking Dead and the Steel City The AMC drama was influenced by George Romero, features special effects expert Greg Nicotero, and has even cast former Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward as a zombie.
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