Kickstart Your Weekend: Get Stephen Romano Back on His Feet

Local author needs your help after getting hit by a truck

Stephen Romano on the long road back to recovery
Stephen Romano on the long road back to recovery (Photo by Todd V. Wolfson)

It just seems like it's one crash after another on Austin's roads, but the latest victim is a name familiar to many in the local film community. Author, scriptwriter, illustrator and film historian Stephen Romano is currently recovering after being run over in a shocking accident.

For many people, the news broke in a shocking way when Romano Tweeted on Monday, "For anybody wondering where I've been the last two weeks … well, I got hit by a truck and was almost killed. Life is weird."

On April 18, Romano was walking along the sidewalk on North Lamar when a lorry jumped the curb and smashed straight into him. He was immediately transported to UMC Brackenridge, where his leg from femur to ankle was pinned back together, and surgeons closed a "golf ball-sized hole" in his bladder. He spent 10 days in hospital before being sent home, but he's a long, long way from being well. He faces a long and expensive path to recovery and, like so many independent artists, he doesn't have the insurance or financial resources to help him through.

Romano is a mainstay of Austin's horror movie scene. A former Chronicle cover star, his masterwork may be 2008's Shock Festival, the mindbending cinematic history of a 1970s that never quite existed. In 2010, he followed that up with a three disc collection of (mostly) fake trailers for those fake films. He's also been part of the real deal: In 2005, Romano brought together two of his favorite fearmongers, Phantasm creator Don Coscarelli and the king of Texas Gothic Joe Lansdale for Showtime's adaptation of Lansdale's Incident On And Off a Country Road.

He's also a published novelist, cowriting Black Light with The Collection creators Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan before solo penning last year's technothriller Resurrection Express.

Romano's friends (and there are a lot of them) have all gathered together to launch a GiveForward online fundraiser to help cover food, bills, rent and medical expenses as he recovers. There will also be a benefit screening on Wednesday, June 25 at the Alamo Village, and we'll share the details as soon as they're all confirmed.

The GiveForward campaign has already raised $3,900 of the $4,000 target, but as anyone who has faced a major accident like this can tell you, that $4,000 won't go a long way. You can help Romano get back on his feet (literally) and working again by donating via the campaign page.

Kickstart Your Weekend is a series intended to showcase Texas film and tech projects that are crowdfunding their way to a goal, be it distribution, a prototype, or production costs. If you have a project that we should know about, email us at

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