So what’s the deal with zombies? Why have they, for the past few decades, been moaning and limping their way to fame? Why did the Center for Disease Control feel the need to post a blog entry on how to survive the zombie apocalypse, and why was it so popular that it crashed the servers? Not to mention all the movies, books, television shows, graphic novels and video games. What’s got people so caught up in this trend?
Zombies have been on the rise for quite a while, with popular movies like Zombieland, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead (to name very few), video games Left 4 Dead and The Last of Us, and of course The Walking Dead TV series adapted from the graphic novel. Why do we have such a fascination with the undead?
A case can be made that we are all engaged in the social commentaries that these films are making. George A. Romero, the arguable master of zombie flicks and original creator of films such as Night of the Living Dead and The Crazies, is often viewed as making a statement on the government and the general human condition with his movies.
The Resident Evil series, originally a video game and later adapted into films, blames ‘The Umbrella Corporation’ — a giant conglomerate experimenting with genetic engineering and biological weaponry — for the outbreak that leads to the fall of society.
Much is being said by The Walking Dead of the animalistic nature of man and the horrible things we cannot walk away from, but also of humanity’s ultimate ability to survive.
These stories often speak to a dissatisfaction with the government, which is often discussed by many, but publicly and grandly voiced by few. They may also speak to the lack of humanity some are seeing in this generation, where politeness has become such a rare quality, and selfishness, distrust, and violence are becoming more prominent.
There are also many people out there looking at the comedic aspect of a world fallen to savagery. As the movie Zombieland states, “enjoy the little things.” Even in a living hell, there can be an upside. As we see in both Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead, there’s the romantic possibility of winning over the girl.
Perhaps it is because we are simply unhappy with the current state of living.Immersing ourselves in the idea of a zombie apocalypse allows us to temporarily escape from today. Formulating an intricate zombie survival plan, and imagining how one will survive, can perhaps give us the fantastical chance to be the hero we strive to be, but fall short of attaining in reality.
It may just be that we enjoy the action and gore, but whatever it is, there is no sign of the zombie fad fading any time soon. But just for good measure, it can’t hurt to keep your knives sharp, and a copy of The Zombie Survival Guide close by.