Discussion turned to the strengths and weaknesses of Romero’s various films, with general consensus being that high-budget “Land of the Dead” was by far the weakest of his canon, which Reid in particular attributed to Romero having, for the first time, big Hollywood resources that thinned out the typically raw nature of his past indie works. Hoade discussed the underlying allegorical themes of Romero’s work, how the affected his work, and how they made the fear of a zombie uprising more powerful. For Smithson the fear was in “the inevitability” not only of death, but undeath—in the Romero world, even dying of a heart attack means you will return as a zombie if you’re brain’s not destroyed, which leaves survivors in Romero’s movies in an existentially dark place. Overall this was a panel of appreciation for the work of a director who has influenced far, far more than other filmmakers, and whose legacy is as permanently cemented in geek and horror culture as is possible.

Check out the rest of our Salt Lake City Comic Con 2014 coverage!

Matt Brunk’s Photo Gallery

Megan Kennedy’s Photo Gallery