About Russ

Russ Streiner was born in Pittsburgh, PA on February 6th, 1940. His parents are the late Josephine and Russell George Streiner. He has a younger brother, Gary, who was born in 1946.

At age 8, Russ planned on becoming an actor, and his journey to stardom began onstage at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, where his castmate and friend Rudy Ricci introduced him to a tall, eccentric young man named George Romero.


Several months later, George called Russ and asked if he would be willing to appear in an ambitious independent film project called Expostulations. Russ agreed; as the film took shape, he became intrigued with the filmmaking process. From that moment on, George and Russ remained close friends until George's passing in 2017.

In 1961 George and Russ founded The Latent Image, a commercial and industrial film production company headquartered in a vacant storefront on Pittsburgh’s South Side. Rudy and his cousin Richard Ricci assisted part-time as production crew members. Eventually Gary joined the company, as did a young man named John Russo.

By 1966, Latent Image had made a name for itself in the Pittsburgh ad industry, producing TV commercials, educational films, and government and business pictures.

One such project, Autumn in Pennsylvania, was a 35mm 10-minute short to be screened in local movie theaters, commissioned by the Commonwealth of PA's Office of Tourism. As Latent Image did not yet own equipment suitable for this assignment, Russ and George bit the bullet and purchased a used 35mm Arriflex camera for $3,500 with which they promptly and efficiently produced the film in widescreen CinemaScope.

In 1967, George and John Russo – frustrated by the limitations and minimal returns of the ad game – persuaded their partners to pool their resources to make a feature film, the first ever to be filmed entirely in Pittsburgh and its surrounding environs.

After some tentative ideas involving comedic aliens and teenagers, the team opted to make a “monster flick” instead. A consortium of ten investors – mainly partners, friends and family – was assembled and christened Image Ten. These investors would each contribute $600; with a $6,000 seed budget in place, production could begin.

Enthusiastic about the project, most of the cast and crew pitched in as necessary, acting, building, applying makeup, building props, performing stunts, and so forth. Russ was an executive producer on the film, but is best known for his brief role as Barbara's irritating brother Johnny. One line in particular would become one of the best-known quotes in movie history:

"They're coming to get you, Barbara..."

In 1971, Russ, John Russo, and Rudy Ricci formed their own creative partnership called New American Films, which produced TV commercials and comedic movies such as The Booby Hatch and The Devil and Sam Silverstein.


In 1990, Russ founded the Pittsburgh Film Office.

The PFO is a non-profit organization dedicated to attracting film and television productions to the greater southwestern Pennsylvania region; providing information on the region, locations, vendors, and crew; and to coordinate government and business offices in support of such productions. As a result, Pittsburgh is among the top 10 cities in the country for movie and TV series production.


Russ, George Romero, and John Russo also produced the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead directed by Tom Savini. Russ cameos as Sheriff McClelland with original 1968 cast members Bill Cardille and Steve Hutsko.

In 2008 Russ and John Russo structured, coordinated, and taught a filmmaking program at DuBois Business College.


Russ has been attending horror conventions since the legendary 25th anniversary Zombie Jamboree in 1993 and has become a beloved guest on the convention scene.

Russ and John Russo are currently working on a labor-of-love film project entitled Monster Flick, the true story/period piece about the making of the original Night of the Living Dead.