In the modern movie genre, horror movies accounts for very great proportion of the number of followers. Relevantly, the zombie film genre has been developed into a dominant part of mainstream horror, replacing the previous monster such as vampires and werewolves. In Max Brooks’s essay “The Movies That Rose From the Grave”, he offers his opinion that throughout the process of zombie film transformation, it increasingly captivates viewers while gradually generates the modern horror. Brooks’s essay should be an appropriate inclusion of a college textbook which explains the phenomenon of the “undead explosion” in various kinds of media, proving to the audiences with enthusiasm, interest, credibility and specific examples that zombie culture is resurrecting a formerly obsolete genre.
“Night of the Living Dead” was the first of its kind. The movie was extremely advanced for the time it was released, which was 1968. It paved new ways towards an advanced style of horror films and opened doors up to more racial representation in the film industry. The film, for example, inspired future movie directors to chase after the zombie cult classic feeling. Zombies were such a hit in Hollywood, and they didn’t cost much to create. A little latex and fake blood could go a long way in old movies.
White Americans took the Afro-Haitian culture meaning of zombies and became fascinated by its mythology. The American then produced films that reproduced the Haitian mythology, while overlooking how it resembled capitalism and slavery. McAlister states, “In successful zombie films I am considering, black men are, like the spirits of former slaves in Vodou” (McAlister, 478). Because of this, American culture used mostly blacks as zombies in movies. “From the 1930s until the 1960s and still today, the zombie is synonymous with a kind of barbaric racial blackness” (McAlister, 472). This statement is profound in showing that blacks were pictured as zombies in early films and this depicted racial symbols. As stated in the excerpt, “… at a time when most black males in film were peripheral at best, viciously stereotyped at worst” (McAlister, 478), blacks were mostly those presented as zombies in these early films.
The popularity and appeal of the undead has greatly increased in the past few years with the rise of the popular television show, The Walking Dead. The show began in October 2010, and is still on the air today. Before the show was created, there were The Walking Dead comic books that were first published in 2003, and continue to be published today with over 148 issues. The fascination did not begin with The Walking Dead, though. Many movies were produced, and many books published before The Walking Dead was even thought of. An extremely influential individual to note is George Romero. Romero is an American-Canadian screenwriter, film producer, film director, and editor. He is best known for his series of apocalyptic films, beginning with Night of the Living Dead in 1968. Romero has been nicknamed the “Godfather of the Undead.” Some other works of fiction and film to note include 28 Days Later, I am Legend, Pride and Prejudice Zombies and The Zombie Survival Guide, also by Max Brooks. Our cultural fascination with “the return of the dead” can be traced back to the events and the general morale leading up to World War Two, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
Zombies, as we know them today, have mortified movie viewers for the last forty six years. Modern zombies first appeared in George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in 1968. These zombies were the slow moving, staggering ghouls that one has seen in countless films, but in 1985, Return of the Living Dead featured a new kind of zombie, the first fast moving and talking ghoul. Both Night of the Living dead 1968 and Return of the Living Dead 1985 feature the zombie as its villain, but Return of the living dead’s fast moving, talking zombies are a more modern take on the movie monster.
Continuing on, zombies have had a huge pop culture impact on the world. The peak popularity time of zombies every year is undoubtedly the month of October as Halloween approaches. During the Halloween season many zombie movies, books, video games, etc. are released and a lot of them have a major “hype” factor around them. For example, the popular video game series “Call of Duty” tends to
The foundation of horror genre was set by monsters that not only haunted your dreams but also conveyed rich themes found deep beneath the surface. Vampires are considered a symbol of seduction and sophistication while Frankenstein monsters represent misunderstanding, oppression, and rebellion. Some of the strongest symbolism is found in standard films of the horror genre does not come from the frequently updated relics. Utilizing fear and horror as mechanisms for subtext, social commentary, and symbolism, George Romero created a new horror genre, one that scares and shines just as much as great horror classics. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead revolutionized the once stagnant zombie film and made into something unstoppable, still to this day zombie movies rake in millions of ticket sales at the box office while remaining culturally relevant.
When analyzing this piece of writing it is clear that the purpose is not to entertain or persuade. The purpose, instead, is to inform and give a new perspective on zombie movies in a simple way that an audience of all ages can understand. In Andrew Cooper and Brandy Blake’s, “George Romero Zombie Films: A Plague of Meaning,” the authors walk the reader through how as time changed zombie movies changed with it. The authors further explain how zombies in many movies represent the time and culture. The writers inform the reader through their use of information from past zombie movies and analysis of the events of the times they were made.
The article “Dead man still walking: Explaining the zombie renaissance” by Kyle Bishop is about the revitalization of the zombie genre. The article talks about the inception in the late 1960’s, the category of zombie films has had its roller coaster ride of ups and downs, starting with its decline in the early 1980’s with the release of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. Furthermore, during 1990’s, due to the shift in the cultural consciousness that came with the Clinton Administration and the countries isolation from global tragedies, the popularity of these films continued to decline. Cultural consciousness refers to the understanding and awareness a shift in feelings, sensations, thoughts, of not only our own culture, but adjoining cultures.
There has been a resurgence of zombie films in the last decade, ranging from Danny Boyles 28 Days Later to Paul W.S. Andersons Resident Evil. This renaissance of zombie cinema has resurfaced in response to the cultural, political, and social volatility experienced in today’s society, much like its predecessors. A zombie film, unlike other monster movies, plays more with the real-world fears and anxieties, presenting the audience with inescapable realities. However, to understand why this subgenre has been brought back into the mainstream cinema, a comparison is needed across generations of film. This paper will focus on the comparison between George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and Danny Boyles 28 Days Later; in an attempt to show how zombie cinema is a reaction to cultural shocks.
The horror genre has been captivating and enthralling the masses for centuries, but more recently in the twentieth century these morbid tales have moved from the old media of oral stories and literature to the new medium of horror pictures. Horror pictures still are not the end of the evolution of the horror genre, as this medium itself has experienced evolutions to satisfy an increasingly desensitized audience. To exemplify this evolution of horror pictures we will be taking a look at an occult classic from 1968 Night of the living dead and a new thriller The Walking Dead. Both horror pictures portray a zombie apocalypse and there are similarities and differences in the main characters, the zombies, and the worlds of the two pictures.
The name of the article is Our Zombies, Ourselves written by James Parker. In this article Parker discusses the historical backdrop of zombies and talks about where it is that they started from. Parker additionally raises exceptionally fascinating point on the notoriety of zombies and a short timeline on zombies. He also talks of different sorts of popular cultures which incorporate zombies and are utilized, for example, the movies Night of the Living Dead, White Zombie, the books The Zen of Zombies, Zombie Haiku, and the television series The Walking Dead.. By utilizing these references Parker helps demonstrate to us how zombies appear to ceaselessly draw our interest. The article additionally educates the reader about how zombies came
Today, the new movie "Zombieland" has just been released into theaters so the zombie is still going strongly through culture. Night of the Living Dead was a serious horror look at zombies but society has turned a once terrifying genre into some humor. Spoofs like ‘Shawn of the Dead’ and ‘Zombieland’ “has fun messing around with the rules of the post-apocalyptic zombie movie genre” (Machosky). However the reason the undead have survived so long is because they have broadened their publicity range. Not only does the world see zombies in movies, but mankind must “watch out for Nazi zombies rising from the grave in videos games like ‘Dead Snow’ and ‘Call of Duty: World at War’” (Greene). Zombies have been expanded into music as well with the Kingston Trio’s release of the song “Zombie Jamboree”. Even books have been used to spread the disease, such as “at Borders zombie literature runs the gambit from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies to Zombie Haiku” (Greene). In addition, David Lubar has just recently expanded the zombie craze to elementary school children with his newest novel, My Rotten Life (Lauer-Williams). This is a children’s book about a middle school student who is also a zombie. Zombies, once a scary menace only for the brave at heart, have become a friendlier topic for everyone.
Ever since the first zombie movie was created in 1932, there has been a constant rise of zombie appearances in popular media. Like with all monsters, the majority of zombie media aimed to represent a certain aspect throughout the society in question. Whereas vampires represented romanticism and Dracula represented how a certain social group was viewed during a certain time period, zombies in Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” aimed to create a situation whereby a group of people had to survive a night together, despite their racial tensions between one another. Being the founder of all subsequent zombie films, “Night of the Living Dead” provided a guideline for zombie behavior. As time passed, more and more versions of the zombie came out, whereby zombies stopped being a plot device and turned into the focus of the film itself. The Walking Dead, currently standing as the fourth most popular TV series, took a turn from this progression and decided to imitate Romero’s take on zombies. By including zombies which simply aimed to sustain themselves by consuming the flesh of the “live,” the creators of The Walking Dead caused the remaining survivors to gather together and rely on primitive human instinct to survive. Even though the zombies in this series run rampant, they play a very minimalistic metaphoric role. Instead, by presenting the zombies as a plot device, the characters in this series were able to demonstrate their true prejudiced view on society, ultimately revealing
Is it possible to kill an idea when it is undead? Classic movie monsters tend to fade in and out of popularity as audiences grow bored and move on to fresher concepts. But there is one that has risen up and does not seem to slow down: zombies. Zombies have gone from being a small subgenre of horror film to a staple of popular culture across various media. This paper will explore the rise of zombies in popular culture and why it continues to remain relevant.