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November 7, 2005
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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:
*Egyptian Mummies
(obviously, egyptian dead people that were mummified that are brought back to life via a curse or evil spell.)
*Electrified Zombies
(zombies that have been brought back to life much like Frankenstein, through electric currents.)
*Viral Zombies
(zombies that have become that way due to the spread of a virus.)
*Parasite Zombies
(humans that become zombies as a result of a parasite using the body as a host.)
*Radioactive Zombies
(dangerious radiation causes the outbreak.)
*Chemical Zombies
(usually through contact with nuclear waste, you get zombies.)
*Satanic 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.)
*Zombie Ghosts
(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...

The Gore-Feast.
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.
The Comedy.
These movies may be gory as all bejesus, but is purposefully portrayed in an unrealistic manner, specifically aimed at humourous results.
The Message.
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.
In light of the board game I am creating, and the growing group of deviants that are joining me in my crusade, I've decided to rant a little about my personal views and opinions on the subject of zombies...
Add a Comment:
 
:iconemmetearwax:
EmmetEarwax Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
One computer game casts you as a zombie, but one who retains his intelligence and wants mostly to find out 2 things"

1 - who were you when you were human ? You have no memory of your human life !
2 - How did you become a zombie ?

Since I never played it, I know little more about it. This type of zombie asks people questions, and acts on what information it gets.
Reply
:iconshadowgirlari:
Shadowgirlari Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow...this is cool...how u get all this juicy info
Reply
:iconlmonlimecat:
LmonLimeCat Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2013
Haven't you seen The Walking Dead? it's amazing.
Reply
:iconflairestears:
flairestears Featured By Owner May 1, 2011
the original dawn of the dead was hillarious. a guy in an orange skin suite came running outta a room screaming i was on the floor busting a gut! :D
Reply
:iconsolaceentwined:
solaceentwined Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010
This is awesome. I find myself wondering about the obsession and the bit about the origin and haiti? If that's true? It's freaking crazy as hell, but kinda interesting.
Reply
:iconjackey-jinx:
Jackey-Jinx Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2010
this is really cool. And it will help me a lot in the zomcom story I'm doing. It's very awesome!
Reply
:iconzombie-lover-101:
zombie-lover-101 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2010
YA ZOMBIES!!!!! i love them
Reply
:iconimpossibleperfection:
I completely agree with most zombie movies these days. They really have no clue what they are talking about.

-Training zombies is NOT a good idea.
-They wouldn't last very long, because eventually they would eat most of the population and just as we die without food, they will as well, because they are left with no more flesh to eat.

Personally, I love the "Gore-Feast" sort of movies, because I really like gore. But it will also need some sort of meaning behind it. Zombies are great, but there has to be a story line.

I really enjoyed reading this and I love your opinion on these things. Thank you :)
Reply
:iconfirephoenix89:
FirePhoenix89 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2009
Wow, thanks for the info! Really great!!
Reply
:icondeimonos:
Deimonos Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2009
Romero makes the best zombie outbreak explanation ever...
NONE!!!
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