Love them or hate them, they’re a staple of pop culture.
Some people can’t get enough, while for other the zombie genre is like beating an undead horse.
With the concept rising from the dead in recent years due to shows like The Walking Dead, the genre doesn’t seem to be going away. So, why are people still drawn to it?
I can see at least three reasons why people are into a category of entertainment, that like it’s monster, can’t seem to stay dead,
As I’m sure many of you know Zombies historically hail from islands where Voodoo is a practiced religion.
So back in the 1930s through to the 1960s there was a big boom for Tiki and island culture. Often implemented by storytellers as a way to explain away fantastical elements of their story, usually while having very little knowledge of the culture they are trying to utilize.
So this splits into two camps: The Voodoo/Spiritual Zombie, and The Flesh Eating Zombie.
I think however, that because of the suggestion the voodoo zombie are a result of chemicals and toxins, and the modern zombies being mostly the result of radiation or chemical weapons that they are the same as far as origins are concerned.
Also the “zombie rules” are something for fans of the genre to discuss and debate for years. Why do zombies eat flesh? Why don’t they eat each other? Does one become a zombie because they where bitten? How do you kill them? Can they be permanently killed? Etc.
This ones a little more obvious. There will usually be gore in a zombie film.
In my opinion, unlike slasher films, zombie movies for the most part all the same gore (head shots) but they do mix it up sometimes. It’s also good to see the bad guys be the ones getting sliced & diced instead of the innocent.
Some people are drawn the the situations of the human characters.
Oddly enough, Zombie films much like the Sci-fi and horror genres seem to be able to cross genres and even mix.
But mostly it’s the drama that comes from the people in the story, and the “what would we do in that situation?” aspect.
People whose loved ones have died. People whose loved ones have died and now come back to life and are now trying to eat their face.
The better written ones know how to make you cry over the death character… or of a mindless flesh eating zombie.
I think the one thing that keeps me watching something like The Walking Dead is I find it oddly encouraging.
As someone who has dealt with depression I see parallel with the overall story, the struggle to survive in a world that’s gone to crap.
The desire to stay alive and fight against thoughts and monsters that won’t stay dead. Monsters that will try to take you down every chance they get.
The survival instinct to try to keep a level head in the face of bad situations that you might find yourself in. To stay you. To stay human. To stay sane. To try to stay in control, in spite of the situation. That no matter what’s going on, you have to focus on what’s important and what needs to be done.
A few weeks ago I found out Loot Crate was doing some zombie items for October (no Evil Dead though) and I was not happy.
I did start watching Walking Dead over a year ago and never picked it back up until last week…. and I’ve been binge watching it ever since. I’m also going through a tough time right now, and I kinda need it.
So yes, right now pop culture has been over saturated with zombies. But I’ve learned not to judge a meme/genre by it’s cover.
I’m sure I’m leaving out a lot of things that can/need to be said on the subject.
So by all means, utilize the comment section to add the bits I missed or to tell me your take on the whole thing.