Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!
When There Is No More Room In Hell, The Dead Shall Walk The Earth
It's spreading like the plague it's all about, and it is the undead.Over the past two decades the nation has been caught up in zombie mania. It's spread through every medium, art, comics, books, movies, television, video games, it really doesn't matter what it is, it has been infected.
But, what's the source othose infection? Where's the bite mark on society that willleave us all stumbling through life from one tasty rotting corpse to another?
To that question, there are aboutfive hundred different answers, running the gamut from intenselyintellectual to just liking blood and guts. Many of those reasons also point at the violent nature of the human being, and how the human species acts like a virus (in relation to our planet anyway). But, I'm going to try my best to leave the intellectual discussion for another Hub. For now, I'm going to look at a few pop culture reasons responsible for the zombies stumbling rise to popularity.
Voodoo is a religion brought to the western hemisphere by the peoples of West Africa, particularly Ghana and Nigeria where Nzambi was revered as the creator deity in the Vodun religion. Nzambi, if you can't guess, is the root of the word zombie and the zombie is derived from the voodoo religion.
The voodoo zombie is the original idea of the zombie. The stumbling monster with a blank stare and a slack jaw was not created by a virus, but by an act of magic (science really, zombie powder is a neurotoxin). And, was brought to popularity in the early days of the silver screen. The movie White Zombie stands out in my mind, even though I've never seen it.
I'll put it on my list of movies to watch.
Anyway, Voodoo is one of the top reasons zombies are popular, because, without Voodoo the idea of the zombie (flesh eating or mind controlled) wouldn't exist.
Which reason do you think makes zombies the most popular horror monster?
#4 A Republican Government
This is going to be the strangest and most intellectual of the reasons zombies are popular in today's media. And, I have to admit, I wish I was the person who thought this connection up. But, so far as I can tell, Cracked.com beat me to it.
Anyway, why do you think Republicans would be afraid of zombies?
Strange answer right? Either way it's true. The Republicans are the elites, the survivors, and the democrats represent the zombies, the masses and masses of consumers responsible for destroying society.
And, yeah, that pretty much sums up the whole of the situation. It shows the differences in the party systems. The Democrats are dedicated to furthering the cause of the people (which group of people I'm not sure, but that's my own political view). While the Republican's worry more about the elites of our society.
Socialism might play into that as well , but it's a topic for another day.
#3 George Romero
George Romero is the GUY who quite literally stands behind the zombie craze. If it wasn't for his 1968 film Night of the Living Dead the idea of the flesh eating zombie wouldn't have spread among the populous.
He also went on to film a number of zombie movies, building the foundation upon which these movies stand today, that basically became a series that runs from the sixties to today. (Land of the Dead and Diary of the Dead are the most recent releases, I believe.) And, many of his movies have authorized and unauthorized remakes.
Beyond that, though, I don't know much about George Romero. But, as with Voodoo, if it wasn't for Romero, we wouldn't have the zombie genre we do today. Instead we'd be forever trapped in the days of Twilight.
#2 The Zombie Survival Guide
Have you ever had a steroid injection? It burns at first, but as it spreads strength spreads with it. You feel great about an hour after you take it, your appetite increases quite a bit (Brains!), and you feel good for quite a while. Long enough, anyway, for whatever else you're taking to kick in. Max Brooks The Zombie Survival Guide was that steroid injection.
I'd seen zombie movies before (the 2004 remake, Resident Evil, and one or two of the B movies) I found The Zombie Survival Guide. And, I found it in such a strange way. I was just poking through the bookstore, and I found it misshelved. The book is labeled as Humor, but it was shelved in the guide section. The same place you would find wilderness survival guides, travel guides, desert island guides, that sort of thing. It's the way the book was treated that attracted me too it.
I think that treatment is also the same thing that brought hundreds of thousands of readers to the genre.
Max Brooks single handedly created a generation of readers all across the social board that are ready for the zombie apocalypse. People everywhere are preparing themselves by buying ammunition, machetes, stocking up on this and that. And, yeah, he basically made hundreds of thousands of brand spanking new doomsday preppers. And, he made it kind of cool.
#1 The Walking Dead
And, now we're down to the number one reason zombies are popular right now.
The Walking Dead.
I remember The Walking Dead back when it was a comic book, and when Rick wasn't crazy. Of course I never quite made it up to The Governor (I'm not very good at keeping up with comic books, too much money) and I think that's when Rick kind of lost it.
That and Laurie wasn't a total bitch.
And, Michonne was the crazy one, talking to people who weren't there, and listening to them talk back.
Oh... Daryl Dixon didn't exist. Yep. Daryl was an addition to the cast specifically for Norman Reedus.
But, yeah, The Walking Dead is an entirely new type of show. It's pure horror, pure survival, in a market that's been glutted on vampires and werewolves and the supernatural since the early 70s. It rivals shows like True Blood and Game of Thrones in popularity. Both of those programs are on HBO, a premium channel that you have to pay extra for. The Walking Dead is on cable.
So, there you have it. that's why zombies are so popular in this day and age.
They're on cable.