George A. Romero, it turns out, got the idea for 1968's ``Night of the Living Dead'' from the civil rights movement. Wes Craven (``Last House on the Left,'' 1972) and John Carpenter (``Halloween,'' 1978) were traumatized by the carnage they saw on TV of the Vietnam War, while Tom Savini, who worked as a makeup artist on many of these films, learned his trade as an actual army photographer in Vietnam. Tobe Hooper was shocked by the violence of consumer behavior in response to the oil shock, and came up with ``The Texas Chain Saw Massacre'' (1974) after experiencing an epiphany during a sale at Sears (``It was so crowded and I just had to get out, and suddenly I saw this chain saw''). David Cronenberg (``Shivers,'' 1975) and John Landis (``An American Werewolf in London,'' 1981) were spooked by the sexual revolution.
Judging by that, the morass the world is stumbling into should lead to some interestingly edgy cinema. So much for the prophesied New Norman Rockwell Era... (via a certain mailing list)