Celebrating the work of the late George A. Romero (1940-2017), BFMAF 2017's closing gala presents a brand new restoration of his 1973 epidemic thriller The Crazies, introduced by Artist in Profile, Peggy Ahwesh. The greatest horror director of all time, Romero pioneered the zombie genre with masterpieces Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, but The Crazies is the film that quite literally drove him to insanity. 

In Romero’s rarely screened sci-fi horror, inhabitants of Evans City become crazed killers after a top-secret government bio-weapon infects the town’s water supply with a deadly virus.

The Army are ordered to shoot on sight, officials threaten to nuke the area while quarantined residents tote dynamite and knitting needles in a fight for survival. Contagion and chaos ensue in bloody Romero-style Armageddon.  

The product of the crisis ridden early '70s and chock full of confrontational social commentary, character-driven tension, dark humour, visceral cinematography and editing, The Crazies is a raw, humanist horror. 

The perfect closing film for a riotous 13th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Artist in Profile Peggy Ahwesh shares Pittsburgh roots with Romero and worked on set with him in the early 1980s (with tasks including playing Dungeons & Dragons with Stephen King). We're delighted that Peggy will introduce the screening. 

Prior to the screening will be the announcement of the Berwick New Cinema Award 2017.

George A. Romero

George Romero’s (1940-2017) name may be synonymous with the zombie genre, but his filmography is far richer and more varied than his reputation would suggest. Following the breakout success of his debut feature Night of the Living Dead, the director would embark upon a series of projects which, whilst firmly rooted in the horror genre for the most part, demonstrate a master filmmaker with much more than gut-munching on his mind. Romero managed to inject his films with subtle social allegories, nuanced examinations of the human condition, and just the right amount of black humour, so that they were immediately recognisable as his and his alone.

Filmography

Survival of the Dead (2009), Diary of the Dead (2007), Land of the Dead (2005), Bruiser (2000), The Dark Half (1993), Two Evil Eyes (1990), Monkey Shines (1988), Day of the Dead (1985), Creepshow (1982), Knightriders (1981), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Martin (1978), Magic at the Roxy (1976), The Crazies (1973), Season of the Witch (1972), There's Always Vanilla (1971), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Expostulations (1962)