Jun 22, 2009

Zombie Culture

In my spare time, I do a lot of fiction writing, particularly works of horror, psychological thrillers and such. My subgenres range everything from A-Z but recently I've become infatuated with Zombies. This is likely because when I'm not writing, I'm watching movies, and in the past few years the walking dead have stalked their way through American cinema like a glorious plague. If I had been talking about this movement a year ago, I would have left out the glorious part, but currently own the Resident Evil film Trilogy, Planet Terror, plan on buying the 28 (Days/Weeks) Later films along with Shaun of the Dead, and own the audiobooks, World War Z and Stephen King's Cell. I didn't understand how addictive the topic was until I looked through my collection, but had to do some soul searching. Zombie works always struck me as very formulated stories so I had to figure out why I loved them. This is a list of why it seems to me that Zombies are all the rage right now:

5) Guaranteed Gore! The premise of any zombie story is how frightening how quickly anyone you know could become insanely violent and cannibalistic. Depending on the rating, maybe the gore will be implied, or maybe you'll watch something downright gut-wrenching occur before your eyes. Surprisingly, even if you go back to the 1968 Night of the Living Dead you'll get a real treat for the mind: though the production delivery falls through, the implied image of a small girl eating the intestines of her father is quite haunting.

4) The Hopeless Apocalypse Hook. It worked for Independence Day, Terminator 2 + 3, The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon, and Knowing, and will likely work quite well for the upcoming movie 2012. What I think of 2012 could fill its own blog, but I'll save that for another time. The point is - when the glove comes off and rules no matter apply, who will do what they need to in order to survive? And with a rapidly spreading infection (or whatever you want to call it) Zombie Apocalypse is always imminent and unstoppable.

3) Life After Death. For the same reason we strive to believe in ghosts, or even vampires, hopes that there's something after the grave will always draw us in. The twist with Zombie fiction, is that while you can retain at least the majority of yourself if you come back as a ghost or vampire, coming back as a zombie means you're only back in physical form. Mentally, you're gonzo.

2) It Could Really Happen. It probably sounds like people are just reaching for straws by comparing to video games and movies for scientific phenomena that could potentially bring to life the walking dead. Cracked.com did a great article on it in fact, found here.

1) No Morals Required. As mentioned in #3, if a loved one comes back from the dead as a zombie, their not really themselves. They're a mindless, sociopathic, cannibilistic killing machine! You HAVE to kill them in order to save yourselves and others. This is greatly in contrast to fictional instances where you're forced to kill aliens, soldiers fighting you in a war, or fearsome beasts, as those have feelings, motives, maybe families even. Kill away.

And on a closing note to show just how infused Zombies are in popular culture, here's the next big Zombie flick coming out. A comedy called Zombieland.

1 comment:

  1. Love keeping up with the blog. Will one of you (or both of you) review Crank 2? :D I'd love to hear your take on it.