We know that in order for zombies to continue to ‘live’ they need brains or flesh or whatever they can get from humans and other animals. Check. I want to talk about zombies as a brand, the genre itself. For the last few decades (some years better than others) the zombie always manages to resurface into mainstream entertainment.
There are other supernatural beings that the fiction-reader culture has embraced as well during the same time: witches, werewolves, vampires, elves, dragons and host of other characters that have either antagonized or protagonized a story. I’ve enjoyed reading stories regarding them all over the years. For lovers of the zombie genre, such as myself there’s something extra special about the rising of the dead.
For the zombie era, be it in a book or show or movie, I don’t know about you but I’m always interested in the set designs as well as emphasis in the costume design. Most importantly I’m anxious about how much the zombie looks like a zombie. For me, the more torn and decayed things look- the better. I believe the brand itself thrives on the general sense that things are in dire straits. Movies and shows that present this well tend to be favorites and will have repeat viewership from me.
I believe that zombies are able to thrive because they tear at the most basic level of fear- not just the fear of one losing their own life but the fact someone has survived thus far means they’ve lost at least one or many people they were close to. Werewolves may ravage a town but they don’t threaten the lives of everyone, anybody ever has known to live at that time. Vampires have always lurked in the shadows but they almost never devastate the entire human population on a regular basis.
The one exception I can think of is I Am Legend. In my opinion though there are elements of the zombie virus and that of the rage virus as seen in the movie franchise 28 Days (which isn’t technically a movie about zombies because those infected never actually die). These are good movies though, again they piqued my interest because of the whole dire straights type of world that exists after the onset of the disease. 30 Days of Night was another example but they only affected a whole town. You get my drift.