Zombies Today

Sounds like a magazine title doesn’t it?

“1001 ways to eat flesh!”

“The falls hottest shuffling trends”

Anyway.

Suffice to say I’ve been a zombie fan for some time now. Heck, I was even going to film my very own zombie film! I just kinda…didn’t. But that’s another post for another time.

I’m not sure when my love of zombies really bloomed. I don’t think it was high school, or even college, which means it was likely in the last 10(ish) years that I moved zombies to the top of the monster list. In fact, I’m not sure if there was one movie in particular that made me think “Man, zombies rock!” I’m not really helpful here am I? But I do know, for certain, that it happened sometime.

The end of grade school was around this time that I really started to get into the whole horror movie thing. I had watched the odd scary movie earlier on, but nothing like I do now. And I think, for me at least, it was the practical effects that really drew me in. Sure, I was scared, but at first I was “How did they do that?!” and would have to watch the behind the scenes tv special to find out. This was the era of Freddy and Nightmare on Elm Street, where they would have the tv specials to draw people into the theatre. If only I was old enough to watch it. Thank goodness for vhs rentals! High school for me was about Vampires. They were starting to make their comeback with the Dracula remake and Interview with a Vampire. I read up on them, collected the odd magazine, and knew more about Vlad the Impailer(coulda been a sailor) than I ever really needed.

But then vampires became cool, and romantic and later sparkly(sparkles, really? esh…) and they stopped being scary.

Enter the zombie.

Here we have a creature that has one thing on it’s mind; flesh(or brains, depending). And nothing will stop it until it eats. They don’t fall in love, they don’t have a complicated back story, they just want to eat. And that, ladies and gents, is why they’re number 1. People don’t swoon over zombies. They get eaten. And I’m really glad that, overall, this aspect of them hasn’t changed.

This isn’t to say that zombies themselves haven’t changed. With the current zombie craze, people are trying to flesh out(pun intended) the idea of the zombie and make them a little more interesting. And therefore, a little more scary. Let’s have a look shall we:

  1. First zombies were just mindless people, or people under a spell
  2. George Romaro changed this up and made them the undead in ‘Night of the Living Dead’
  3. These zombies just wanted flesh, living flesh, and as much as they could get
  4. Wanting Brains were introduced with ‘Return of the Living Dead’
  5. Both zombie camps had them shuffling around(because they’re dead)
  6. For a brief period of time, they danced
  7. More recently, they ran! (Dawn of the Dead remake)
  8. Some got smart, and learned to swim(Land of the Dead)
  9. They also learned to shoot(Day of the Dead/Land of the Dead)

And that’s just the movies. While I haven’t read a lot of Zombie related books(really really mean to read World War Z), I have listened to this awesome zombie podcast called “We’re Alive”. Check it out here. They introduce another interesting twist:

(Spoiler)

The smarter you were in life, the smarter you are in death. Some can set traps, some can disguise themselves, and they take prisoners and their fallen comrade. Cool Beans!

(end Spoiler)

So zombies aren’t just one trick ponies, they have many tricks. But mostly, they eat.

Tara doesn’t understand why I like them so much. And I think they main reason is that they’re still a monster. They can’t be reasoned with, they can’t be bribed, they just keep coming and coming until you run out of ammo, or trip and your ‘friend’ throws you to them. They really just do one thing, and they do it well.

And no one can take that away from them.

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One thought on “Zombies Today

  1. Hey!

    Thanks!

    You got me to look up zombies on Wikipedia!

    (I’d forgotten the Voodoo connotation… well, it’d pushed to the back anyway…)

    Found a Wired interview with Romero too…

    http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/06/george-a-romero-zombies/

    I thought he was on the books about making zombies a political movement too (something about societal classes, etc.)… If so, I guess he’s gotten over it.

    [Of course, thanks to that Wired article I’m now unfortunately aware they’re making a 2012 “21 Jump Street” movie…]

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