Dubbed the "Grandfather of Zombie," Pittsburgh-based independent filmmaker George A. Romero was a pivotal figure in the development of the contemporary horror film and the progenitor of the zombie apocalypse subgenre. Beginning with his first feature, "Night of the Living Dead" (1968), Romero not only upped the ante on explicit screen violence and gore, but also offered a satirical critique of American society that reflected the cultural upheavals of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Most importantly, Romero ushered in a fascination with zombies and spawned numerous imitators over the ensuing decades. Though he had a massive hit in terms of box office versus budget, Romero failed to capitalize with his following films until he returned to zombieland with "Dawn of the Dead" (1979), which went on to become one of the most successful independent movies ever made. Taking a brief sojourn into studio filmmaking with "Creepshow" (1982) and series television with "Tales from the Dark Side" (syndicated, 1984-85), Romero rounded out his trilogy with "Day of the Dead" (1985), only to take a seven-year hiatus from filmmaking. Returning in the new millennium, Romero reinvigorated his series with "Land of the Dead" (2005), "Diary of the Dead" (2007) and "Survival of the Dead" (2010), proving to all that even in the face of direct descendants "Shaun of the Dead" (2004) and "Zombieland" (2009), Romero was still the master of the zombie genre.