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Horror Legend John Carpenter Smears The Walking Dead

When Halloween director John Carpenter speaks, the industry listens. And the horror legend recently shared some choice words about AMC's hit zombie series The Walking Dead.

Carpenter was a guest on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast and when the interview veered into the state of the modern horror genre, Carpenter said it doesn't compare to the level of creativity exhibited by his generation of filmmakers from the '60s and '70s. And when it comes to his opinion of one of the biggest shows on cable, Carpenter was a little more harsh.

"[The Walking Dead] was a movie that George Romero made back in 1968," he said. "They have milked that, and they are still milking it."

Carpenter (who also directed 1980's The Fog and 1982's The Thing) definitely knows horror. But he's essentially saying that the critically acclaimed and hugely popular AMC series and the current zombie revival are just ripping off Romero's genre-defining Night of the Living Dead (1968).

And while The Walking Dead, World War Z and every zombie-themed Call of Duty add-on definitely owe their existence to Romero, Carpenter is overlooking how the invention of a new kind of monster leads to the creation of an entirely new horror sub-genre. Bram Stoker can be credited with creating the vampire genre, Lon Chaney almost single-handedly popularized werewolves with The Wolf Man (1941) and William Friedken made demonic possession en vogue with The Exorcist (1973).

We think The Walking Dead (like everything else about zombies) takes inspiration from Romero and uses zombies as a metaphor for society. Whether it's taking on mindless consumerism or simply providing a reflection of our savage inner selves, The Walking Dead is truly the postmodern evolution of Romero's vision.