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The Gorehound Goes Philosophical With Zombies

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.” -Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith.

Why do we like them so much?! Regardless of the cinematic quality, whenever I see a zombie in a movie, I think, “Man, this movie is actually pretty good.” Is it the fabulous makeup, time, or maybe preparation that goes into creating them? Are they a symbol? I don’t know. Let’s think about it.

I recently started reading Marvel Zombies. I haven’t read many graphic novels but I love them and now it’s my primary source of literature. It’s about the typical superheroes (Wolverine, Spider Man, Cpt. America, etc.) as zombies. I don’t know much about comics but it’s REALLY great. Brains, appendages ripping, flesh eating fun. But I ask, why are superheroes becoming zombies NOW?

Zombies are everywhere! Zombie Walks, a big influx of zombies in movies (comedies, dramas, and TV shows), literature, videogames, even on shirts (from Walmart), discussions of zombie apocalypse (from my sister). In elementary school, I daydreamed about being a professional wrestler with the Hardy Boyz. Now I daydream about slicing off a zombies head. BUT WHY? Why are zombies so popular?


I have some possibilities:
1. A zombie apocalypse levels the playing field for all of us. American social classes are eliminated, for the most part, and all of us will be given equal chances for survival. Rules have changed and just like biology class, it comes down to the survival of the fittest. We, as Americans, like that because it switches up the game. I like this one in particular because it allows us to forget about the stresses of our  everyday lives. We can, in a way, run away from it all and start anew.

2. Zombies are symbols that affect us. We feel we connect with the zombies in some way or another. These are humans with ulterior motives and altered inner emotions. Seeing zombies lets us remember that we are humans and we value things other than consumption. Are zombies capitalists? Are they republican or democrats? Are they the minority from the majority’s perspective? We can take zombiism anyway we like but, ultimately, it is a OUR personnel reflection of why we like it. Thus, we take zombies to reflect our emotions.

3. It’s an acceptable form of violence, similar to videogames. We would love to go hijack a car, cruise down the sidewalk and watch the poor citizens fly over the hood of our car but we can’t and won’t do that. We, as a society, love “What if” situations and daydreaming. Thus, I can kill zombies for hours while playing Dead Rising and forget about time itself.

4. Zombies form relationships that we would like to mimic. They are united in one cause, doesn’t matter what they care about, but they are united in their fight. If we as living humans formed a mob like zombies did, but fought for peace and not for brains, we might get something done.

We can reason out some theories:

-It’s something new to conquer for our producers. The movie industry is not capitalizing on this one. There aren’t enough zombie movies out and the phenomenon spreads further than the theater. The closest thing we have is Brad Pitt working on the new World War Z.

-They aren’t becoming popular because we fear them like the Red Scare. We don’t fear zombies. We fight back. We all feel we would survive against an attack.

I believe in Theory 2 the most, that we like them because we relate to them, but want to refute it. Yes, Americans may sometimes exhibit zombie-like behaviors but we are not zombies. We have more emotions, drives, passions, and hearts, than our temporary sluggishness. But then again, women who yearn for romance watch romances, men who want to stand up for freedom watch Braveheart. So we do watch movies which reflect our inner desires to some point.

I don’t know why I have developed an affection for the decomposing and walking dead. Simply put, I’m unable to answer that unless I’m able pinpoint why I love the more vague-horror movies. I long for zombies just as much as I love monsters, vampires, werewolves, and other psychopaths. Thanks for reading.

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2 responses to “The Gorehound Goes Philosophical With Zombies

  1. CultureCast-N February 14, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Nice look into the Zombie popularity. Personally, I’ve never been big into zombies. It seemed like they were everywhere in popular media a few years ago. Then again, I never got into the whole zombie craze as I could never buy into the actual concept (actually, I think it is a horribly flawed concept that doesn’t hold up once you think about it).

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