ZOMBIES!

14 Jan

I’m not pretending to be a thought pioneer when I say that otherworldly creatures are all the rage these days. Vampires, werewolves, and zombies (oh, my!) are the central characters or antagonists in an
ever expanding army of dark books, movies and TV series. I’m not even complaining, just noticing. I openly admit I read the Twilight series. Now that that’s out of the way, want my theory on why these creatures make so many appearances? People love stories of human triumph and what is scarier to triumph over than deadly creatures that were once like us. It says something about the human spirit and ultimate good. Plus these other worldly creatures usually pose huge odds to overcome, which is another crowd pleasing theme.

All this talk is leading up to my thoughts on 3 zombie-inspired media. Believe me, I’m not an expert.  These are just some light observations from a zombie-curious gal. Please feel free to leave some other movies I should check out to get a better feel for what the zombie genre has to offer. Oh yes, and if you are even more of a zombie novice than me, don’t read the blurbs unless you like spoilers.

I Am Legend

Notable Zombie Theme:

The human population is decimated by a worldwide ___________(fill in blank choices include virus, chemical leak, government test, etc.)

For Zombie purists out there, I will admit I Am Legend is categorized as both a Zombie and Vampire movie. For the Vampire side, the creatures cannot tolerate the sun and are fast, strong, and have the mental capabilities to set traps. But they travel in Zombie-like packs, have lost the ability to speak and are more animal than human. But the most Zombie-ish characteristic to me is the cause of the infection and thus the mutation. Zombies always seem to be created by some disease (manmade or otherwise) that is presented quickly then pushed into the background, because so far, I haven’t ever seen a convincing reason why nearly every human would be changed into a moaning dead shell of their former selves.  And in this case, humans messed up and tried to cure cancer with some fancy anti-virus or something. But the cause really isn’t the important part. The important part is how the survivors deal with their new lonely and hard to overcome surroundings.  In this case, Neville watches Shrek a lot and tries to find an antidote for this altered human state. I like the movie, but when dogs get hurt, I don’t press rewind that often.

Zombieland

Notable Zombie Theme:

Survivors initially want to tough it out on their own on the way to some mystical place where there are no Zombies

I don’t know about you, but if I somehow managed to survive the initial worldwide virus that turned 90% of the human race into crazy flesh crazed monsters, I’d want some friends and quick. But at the beginning of most zombie movies the protagonist is alone and usually likes it that way. In Zombieland, Columbus has made survival rules that make hanging with other humans dangerous. Plus, he was already a loner. Lucky for him, a crazy zombie killer and a beautiful girl have survived so he can finally make deep human connections. And when they finally make it to the mystical zombie-less amusement park, they of course attract every monster in the state. Never believe in the ‘safe place’ lie! One more thing, a discussion of this movie is incomplete without mentioning the hilarious cameo by Bill Murray. Okay, now this blurb is complete.

The Walking Dead

Notable Zombie Theme:

GORE!

To be honest, I was inspired to write this post because of my mixed thoughts on the new AMC show The Walking Dead. I’m a huge fan of AMC shows – I love you Mad Men and Breaking Bad! So, I was up for trying out their new zombie-centered series. And I’ve watched several episodes and I’m not disappointed, but I’m not blown away yet either. The acting is a little hokey and some of the characters (most of the women) are just annoying. If a show is going to have an ensemble cast, make SOME of them likable, ok? But this show definitely embodies the gore aspect of zombie flicks. There have been beheadings, head shots and of course that 1/18th of a zombie dragging itself to who knows where. But the grossest thing so far was the zombie guts camouflage that Rick and Steve have to wear. How do you produce Zombie guts camo? Well, you have to hack a zombie with an axe then wrap its intestines and limbs around you. Ew. The jury is still out on the show, but I will probably finish the first season. It is only 6 episodes and I can handle a few more amputations and mutilations to make a well rounded judgment.

Well, those are your graphic thoughts to lead you into the Friday night. For those of you looking forward to a 3 day weekend – lucky you! Have fun and watch out for slow moving moaning people who try to bite.

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