‘Night of Living Dead,’ more on tap for George Romero celebration starting Saturday
Events celebrating filmmaker George A. Romero will be held across Pittsburgh starting Saturday.
Romero is most famous for 1968’s “Night of the Living Dead” and its related films. The 1968 film has been described as a landmark in modern horror, in independent filmmaking and the first feature film to come out of Pittsburgh.
Romero died in 2017. The 50th anniversary of “Night of the Living Dead” was celebrated last year.
But this year, the George A. Romero Foundation will present its Pioneer Award to the family of the late William “Chilly Billy” Cardille, a name still well known to many Pittsburghers. Among many other duties, Cardille hosted a real, late-night TV show, “Chiller Theatre,” that aired horror movies on what is now WPXI-TV. He played a television reporter in “Night of the Living Dead” and in a TV version that aired in 1990.
The George A. Romero Foundation will screen two Romero films a day for nine days at the Regent Square Theater. Tickets are $10 per person or $100 for all 18 films, said Ramona Streiner, foundation secretary/treasurer.
Saturday’s films include the premiere of Romero’s “lost” film, “The Amusement Park.”
The 46-year-old, restored film was intended to inform viewers about the need to care for the elderly. Instead, as the foundation describes it, Romero “conceived of what was perhaps his wildest, most imaginative movie: an allegory about the nightmarish realities of aging in a world without an adequate social safety net.”
The film stars Lincoln Maazel as an elderly man who finds himself “disoriented and increasingly isolated” as the “pains, tragedies, and humiliations of aging in America manifest themselves through roller coasters, bumper cars, and chaotic crowds.”
It was filmed in the long-defunct West View Park, an amusement park in Pittsburgh’s North Hills.
On Sunday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m., Romero’s first documentary, “Franco Harris: Good Luck on Sunday,” will be shown at the Regent Square Theater. Harris, the Penn State and Pittsburgh Steelers legend, will discuss his work and lifelong friendship with Romero.
A rare 3-D screening of Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” will be held Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 at the Carnegie Science Center.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .