Cinematic Thought Experiments Of The Living Dead

2090 WordsJan 4, 20179 Pages
“Cinematic Thought Experiments of the Living Dead” Philosophical conceptions of consciousness represented through the zombie film The zombies that George R. Romero showcases in Night of the Living Dead (1968) now dominate the film industry as the prototype for the undead: the mindless corpse that is void of its prior consciousness. And the preferred food source of the undead has become like law for any pop-culture universe about zombies—even undead superheroes will eat people in the comic books from the Marvel Zombies series. As the prototypical zombie thought experiment, the Night of the Living Dead allows the audience to confidently respond to any questions about the undead’s identity, actions, or morality by referring to that void of…show more content…
Romero’s Mindless Undead I initiate the discourse on the purpose of consciousness by first introducing Night of the Living Dead, as an effort to reveal an intuitive claim as a running theme of the movie: consciousness is what distinguishes me from the living dead. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead can teach us about what our assumptions on the purpose of higher consciousness by having it be the root feature that distinguishes the living from the undead. When Johnny dies and his corpse comes back from the local cemetery, the consciousness of his mind is left behind—there remains only emptiness inside the zombie. As his consciousness vanishes, so does the person that we used call Johnny—the corpse itself is now just a mindless shell. The Romero zombie comes back as completely subject to the zombie law of nature; leaving behind the mind, all that they can do is what a zombie does—and all zombies devour. The absolute mindlessness that characterizes the zombies in Romero’s creation, reflects on the idea, that, a free-acting human being can be reduced to nothing more than a mindless corpse by stripping away their consciousness. Also apparent in the Night of the Living Dead, is the assumption, that, it is from consciousness that I claim to have an identity, to act on reasons and to rise above my innate instincts—all of which are concepts

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