Fans expected to gather for George Romero memorial at Toronto cemetery

TORONTO — George Romero, the horror director who brought new life to the living dead, will receive a fond farewell today in Toronto.

A public memorial for the zombie master behind the influential 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead” will be held at the Mount Pleasant Funeral Centre from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Fans are expected to pay tribute to a maestro of the modern horror genre.

Romero died last week following a battle with lung cancer, according to a statement from his family.

The director is credited with making zombies mainstream with his cult classic “Night of the Living Dead,” which was produced independently for US$100,000 and went onto become a staple of the genre. It spawned various sequels, including a 1990 remake.

Romero made other horror flicks, including “Monkey Shines” and “Creepshow,” though none were nearly as iconic.

The director moved to Toronto in 2004 where he shot many of his later films.

Movie theatres in Toronto have booked showings of Romero’s films in the coming weeks, including an Aug. 6 screening of his last film, 2009’s ”Survival of the Dead,” which will be attended by several members of the cast and crew.

Other tributes have popped up in recent days, including a billboard in Pittsburgh that features a zombie from his original “Living Dead” film with a teardrop running down her face.

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