What Makes Zombies So Awesome?</u>
By Robt Foppe.
Zombies have been an ongoing obsession in today's vision of pop-culture. They've appeared in movies and television shows since the 1930's. Also, due to their wavering ideology, the term "zombie movie" basically applies to about 75% of all horror movies ever made. There are those movies that are obvious about their zombie themes, whereas others are more questionable to the sticklers. For instance, John Carpenter's "The Fog" features pirate ghosts. So they're ghosts, right? Wrong! They appear as zombie-ghosts.
So then, what classifies as a zombie?
Zombies are humans (sometimes creatures) that have either...
*Died, yet resist death
*Have been put under mind control
*Have been infected with a mind-altering virus
There are several classifications of zombies. These classifications include:
(obviously, egyptian dead people that were mummified that are brought back to life via a curse or evil spell.)
(zombies that have been brought back to life much like Frankenstein, through electric currents.)
(zombies that have become that way due to the spread of a virus.)
(humans that become zombies as a result of a parasite using the body as a host.)
(dangerious radiation causes the outbreak.)
(usually through contact with nuclear waste, you get zombies.)
(zombies that have come to earth directly from hell.)
*Alien Zombies: Type A
(zombies that have come directly from space.)
*Alien Zombies: Type B
(something from space shoots to earth and people begin to turn.)
*Voodoo Zombie: Type A
(zombies that have not died, but are regular people under hyptnosis that do their master's bidding.)
*Voodoo Zombie: Type B
(zombies that have died, and were brought back from the dead via voodoo magic/witchcraft.)
(zombies that actually are ghosts, yet instead of appearing as humans, they chose to appear as zombies.)
Now that we've classified the types of zombies, let's classify the three different types of zombie movies...
These movies focus all on gore, and lack in the storyline department. The acting can completely suck, as long as the lead character's brains are hanging out of his head, as he's dying. Also, he's being strangled with his own intestines, and his left eye pops out of the socket with no visual cause for doing so.
These movies may be gory as all bejesus, but is purposefully portrayed in an unrealistic manner, specifically aimed at humourous results.
These movies may borrow basic elements from the other two genres to portray some sort of message or statement on human behavior, society as a whole, and the nature of humans in general.
Where does the term "Zombie" come from?
Zombie lore apparently started in Haiti. According to what I've heard, they used to punish criminals by basically lobotomizing them and letting them wander the streets in confusion as they were ridiculed by the people they had wronged. Oftentimes, they'd even bury the lobotomized criminal alive for a few days before even letting him wander. Also, as an added note, I believe that certain tribes in Haiti were even cannibals, which also hints at the modern ideology of a zombie. If this whole paragraph is full of complete lies, don't hold me accountable for it. I'm just stating what I've been exposed to...correct me if I'm wrong.
Observe the following timeline.</i>
Zombies in Cinema
1930 - Basically all voodoo zombie stories due to closeminded terror of the "unknown."
1945 - Basically all radioactive zombies due to WWII and birth of nuclear age.
1980 - Basically all chemical zombies. why? i dunno.
1990 - Basically all viral zombies.
So what does this prove? Zombies are not going anywhere. They adapt to the times, and find ways to stick in pop culture through the events and problems of the times.
So what makes a good zombie movie?
Obviously, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Personally, I like the mix of gore, humor, and meaning all into one. This brings me to the topic of the MODERN zombie movie, what has changed, and why it SUCKS.
It may be blasphemy to say it, but George A Romero is slightly to blame. It all started with "Day of the Dead." Basically, he began to change what the zombies were. (and should be/stay.) It started with BUB. If you haven't seen the movie, basically a scientist trains a zombie that is chained to a wall to not attack people and to perform normal human-like functions, rewarding and scoulding it like a dog. This suggests that zombies have some sort of functioning intellect. Thus started the craze. OH NO! THEY'RE LEARNING! It was cool in Jurassic Park when the Velociraptor learned to open doors...but zombies learning to plan out intricate attack strategies, firing automatic weapons at people, and even verbally communicating with each other? CRAP CRAP CRAP. I suppose modern horror demands that sort of behavior due to the popularity of such horror icons like freddy, jason, and michael.
Another complaint that I have about modern zombie films is the locations. What threat is a large mob of zombies against a group of survivors, backed by the military, all armed with automatic firearms. In this instance, the zombies don't stand a chance. Where's the excitement? This is why "Shaun of the Dead" worked so well. It was in an urban setting that most people can relate to, and there was only one friggin gun in the movie.
So how should zombies act?
They should be mindless, animalistic, and senseless. The only thing that unifies them into mobs is thier uncontrollable taste for flesh...not brains, you bungholes...(although movies where they want brains are always funny.) In short, if UFC Prizefighters have difficulty breaking open human skulls when they're actually trying, I'm pretty sure a mindless zombie wouldn't be able to do so either. I personally have never tried to break someone's skull with my teeth, but I'm going to put my money on the skull as far as durability goes. As far as the flesh eating goes, why do zombies apparently want flesh, yet sometimes devour a whole human, and other times only bite once? I mean, obviously, they do it to reproduce, but why not eat all the flesh you can get your grubby little undead paws on? Yeah, we're zombies, we want to eat your flesh and all, but instead we're only gonna pull your ribcage out and throw it over there, then eat a few handfulls of this ketchup-covered ham that we're pulling out of your gaping chest before we walk away, still moaning about our hungry bellies. We'll make sure to leave most of you so you can get up and join us!
The movie "28 Days Later" suggested that a virus had triggered the part of the brain in humans that produces an enzyme promoting rage. Therefore, the "infected" destroyed everything and everyone they saw...so why didn't they destroy each other, and only go for uninfected victoms? Makes no sense to me. Apparantly a human can live 28 days without food. How long can a zombie live without food if all it will eat is human flesh?
The remake of "Dawn of the Dead" made zombies run like demons and thrash quickly and violently. I liked this idea. It's about time that a movie depicts the recently dead acting in this behavior at first, but clearly weakening and becoming less mobile as it rots. THIS PEOPLE, IS HOW IT SHOULD BE.
Things That You Should Never Do
1. You should never try to raise the dead by experimenting on dead bodies for reasons of science, love, a cure for death, or just plain boredom. Nothing good ever comes of this.