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Zombie Stuff: On Film, Comics and Collectables

Updated on March 11, 2012

Zombies can trace their heritage back to a variety of cultures, including West Africa, South Africa, Haiti and even Tibet. The word zombie is derived from the Haitian Creole word ‘zonbi’ as well as the word ‘nzumbe' from North Mbundu. However, although zombie stuff can be traced back hundreds of years, what we consider to be zombie cannon is actually less than fifty years old. In that time, zombie stuff can be found in all forms of media, including books, comics, television, movies and video games. There are also zombie toys, games and collectables.

Zombies entered into the mainstream through novels and of course movies, specifically what we would consider b-grade horror films. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is considered to be not only the first zombie movie, but the first horror movie period. However, it has as much similarity to a modern day zombie film as it would to a Frankenstein or vampire movie, and you can see its legacy in all three genres. Victor Halperin's White Zombie in 1932 is widely cited as the first genuine zombie film, and was actually the first mainstream form of media to use the term ‘zombie’.

Generally what we consider to be a modern-day zombie is closely related to zombie apocalypse films. It was only a matter of time before zombies became synonymous with apocalyptic scenarios. Kim Paffenroth, an authority on the subject having written Gospel of the Living Dead:

George Romero’s Visions of Hell on Earth, notes that "more than any other monster, zombies are fully and literally apocalyptic ... they signal the end of the world as we have known it”. In other words, the zombie genre, more than any other ghoul scenario, lends itself perfectly to apocalyptic stories because there is only one direction things can go. There is no literally motivating force for them except to feed, and by doing so usually just creates more zombies. Any survivors eventually become food for the zombies and the horde grows stronger.
George A. Romero’s and John Russo’s Night of the Living Dead has become the seminal zombie movie, although it was actually inspired by Richard Matheson's novel I Am Legend (1954), which was more of a vampire book. Night of the Living Dead went on to inspire Romero’s ‘Dead’ series and the ‘Return of the Living Dead’ and set the template for the genre.

This hub features some of the zombie stuff that I have published on hub pages. Hopefully it grows over time and becomes more of a resource for people interested in zombie stuff, particularly zombie movies.

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Zombie Films

This hub discusses some of the history of zombies in cinema. It includes how zombie movies started in the 1920s and evolved into what we consider modern day zombie movies. There is also a selection of must-see zombie films to kick start your zombie education.

Zombie Movie List

As implied by the title, this hub is a list of zombie films. It focuses on the zombie movies released between 2000 and 2010. The genre enjoyed a renaissance over that period, particularly from 2002. As a result many of those movies have higher budgets, better stories and more impressive cast and crew than their predecessors.

Top Ten...

Top 10 Zombie Movies

As mentioned earlier, there has been a zombie resurgence over the last 10 years. Between 2000 and 2010 there was actually over 400 movies released that could be considered zombie films. This is great for genre junkies, who often rejoice in how formulaic these films are. For hardcore zombie fans, the lower the budget, the more unrealistic the gore and the worse the acting the better. However, most of us don't have the time or desire to work through 400 movies. This hub lists the top ten zombie films of the last fifteen years.

Zombie Toys and Games

There are countless zombie toys available, and not as implied by the subject matter not all of them are suitable for children. Many zombie toys are inspired or based on media, such as films or games. They make popular collectables.

Another popular zombie option are zombie boardgames.

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead

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