Showing posts with label zombies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zombies. Show all posts

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Living Zombies or Dead Zombies: What do you prefer?

The most common debate about zombies these days is the “fast zombie vs. slow zombie” debate. I’ve seen this debate last for days in various online forums and groups. People will debate this topic endlessly, but a zombie-related topic I rarely see discussed is whether or not zombies are scarier as supernatural “living dead” creatures or as regular people gone insane.

The Romero-style zombies are obviously the best example of the supernatural undead. In all of his “Living Dead” movies, the zombies are literally the walking dead. They are recently deceased people who have risen from the grave to feast on the flesh of the living. There’s definitely a creepy element to these things. Seeing a person with rotting flesh stammer (or run) toward you would without a doubt be a terrifying experience. It would also be an extremely emotional experience if that zombie is someone you knew and loved in life.

A recent trend, however, has been to do the zombie movie with “living zombies.” 28 Days Later really brought this version to the mainstream audience. These zombies aren’t the walking dead. They are simply people who have been infected with some sort of virus that makes them act like zombies. Some other movies that use this are The Crazies and 28 Weeks Later.

Zombieland is a little vague on this issue. In Zombieland, it’s never quite clear whether these are people driven insane by a virus or literally people who have risen from the dead. I personally lean toward the “they’re alive” angle for this movie.

The scariest thing about the “living zombie” is that it feels far more realistic. There are no supernatural elements that you can shrug off as magic. These are just people who have been infected with a virus and are now trying to kill you. That can be damn scary.

And when you factor in family and friends, it takes it to another level altogether. Your spouse is infected. Should you kill her? What if there’s a cure tomorrow? Without the supernatural element, putting a bullet in your best friend’s head would be far more difficult.

For me, I’m undecided. I don’t know which is scarier. If it were to happen in the real world, I think the risen dead would be far more frightening, just because it would change everything about the way we see the universe. But as a movie, I the “living zombie” might be a little scarier, because it takes place in the real world. It is something that could happen.

So what about you? When you go watch a zombie movie, are you freaked out more by a living person with a “zombie virus” or by the actual walking dead?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Why Zombies Will Never Die

Written By:
Brandon Hale

Are you tired of the zombie craze yet? Are you looking forward to seeing this fad pass on by? If so, I’m afraid I have some bad news for you… It’s not going to die.

Sure, we may think the craze is dead from time to time, but it always comes back from the grave, just like the zombies the movies are about.

Since George Romero brought the modern ghoul to a mainstream audience back in the late 60’s, people have never completely escaped them. They go away for a while, but they always come back. They come back because people always welcome them back.

Modern audiences will always be fascinated by the living dead because that genre has managed something unique. It has successfully blended the supernatural with the feeling that “it could happen.” For most movies, that is an either/or scenario. You can have the supernatural or you can do something that feels like it could happen in the real world.
Zombies have managed to do both.

People are drawn to zombie movies because the idea of a virus we can’t control feels possible, and that makes it scary. The fact that they’re “living dead” has become secondary to the idea that a plague could wipe out human civilization. People seem less interested in the zombie and more interested in the apocalypse. That’s why movies like 28 Day Later and The Crazies were so popular. These “zombies” were very much alive… just homicidal.

And, of course, once something feels possible, we can easily put ourselves in that situation. It takes some effort to imagine what you’d do if a werewolf started stalking your hometown. But it’s not hard at all to imagine what you’d do if the entire world just went to hell. Many people have developed their own zombie survival plan. There are books about it. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) even did an article about it. I’ve never seen the CDC do anything about protecting yourself from a vampire, but they jumped right on the zombie apocalypse craze.

They did this because zombie survival is very similar to surviving any major catastrophe, so preparing for a zombie apocalypse actually prepares you for most emergencies. That is precisely what makes a zombie movie exciting to the movie going public. With a zombie movie, you’re not just watching other people survive a horrible ordeal. You’re surviving it with them. When a character has to shoot his zombified mother, you’re asking yourself if you could do it.

Yeah, the popularity of zombie movies is finally going down, but it won’t be down for long. The Walking Dead is coming back for another season. Another network is actually developing a Zombieland series. “Zombie walks” are growing in popularity across the country (I’ve been in two myself). Zombies are now horror icons. They’re right there with vampires, werewolves, ghosts, Frankenstein, and masked mass murderers.

So I hope you enjoy a good zombie story because they’re a permanent fixture on the horror landscape now. I suspect zombie apocalypse movies will be around until…


Until the apocalypse happens.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Zombie Horror Movies

Ultimately, zombies are terrifying for a number of reasons. Unlike vampires, there is nothing romantic about them. Zombies are simply there to not only destroy humanity but to convert it. After all, the end result of a zombie apocalypse is that a population of people who were once alive are transformed into the bloodthirsty walking dead.

Zombies are apocalyptic, which also conjures up certain nightmares in our psyche. People are obsessed with the end of the world. Writers, religious scholars, scientists, etc., have all theorized since the early days of civilization about how the world will eventually end. Zombie horror movies represent one more theory that while obviously fictional still appeals to that certain yearning for apocalyptic fantasy that seems to exist in most people. While outlandish, the thought of a world in which the living return to consume the dead is both terrifying and wildly imaginative. And it really isn't any more fantastical than those believed by numerous societies and religious devotees.

As a fan of zombie movies, I particularly enjoy the claustrophobic feelings that a good zombie film can create. To watch as a group of survivors have to fend for themselves while fighting off hordes of the dead makes for excellent drama, which accounts for the success of the genre to begin with.

Of course, not all zombie films focus on the survival aspects of a potential epidemic. Some zombie movies are comedies. So what is the appeal there? Well, I think zombies are a way for us to shatter the taboo of death. After all, we're all going to die eventually. Those are the grim facts. By watching zombie movies, we can assuage our anxieties about the inevitable end. Perhaps some of use even wish to become zombies ourselves.

Fortunately, there is a wide range of zombie movies available for fans of the genre. First, there is the hardcore survivalist movies, followed by the action-comedy variety and then the offbeat comedy films. There is always something new on the horizon as well, since filmmakers are constantly trying to re-imagine the traditional zombie movie. Zombies have changed a lot since the release of Romero's 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, and will probably continue to change well into the future. Our desire to see these lumbering, hungry dead folks on the big screen seems to have no end, as well. So we can all look forward to a brighter future with more undead entertainment coming our way.

Visit our zombie horror movies blog to learn more about zombie films in general and see our collection of zombie art.