September 6, 2012
Zombies in Popular Culture
We were surrounded. From atop the walls of the dingy apartment building we were taking refuge in, we could hear the muffled moans and groans coming from the streets below, as those creatures, zombies, meandered around, aimlessly. No, not aimless. They were after something. Us. They craved human flesh, and had insatiable appetites. There were only 4 of us left, of the 20 that had originally fled as the school was overrun by those things. I can still remember the smell. That smell. The putrid flesh burned the inside of my nostrils, as the metallic scent from the blood stuck to the roof of my mouth. Did that get your attention? Are you interested to know the rest of the story? I bet you are. According to Dr. Frann Michel from the Department of English at Willamette University the Zombie Movie Database lists nearly 1,600 zombie films since the year 2000, that listing includes shorts, television shows, and direct to video releases.(391.) Michael Winter from USA Today estimates that the total gross for all things zombie related; movies, video games, halloween costumes, and conventions is upwards of five billion dollars (Winter). In order to generate profits as such, there must be a huge market for zombies. But why? Why is our society, as a whole, so intrigued by these stumbling, deformed, flesh-craved monsters? The English Oxford Dictionary defines the term “Zombie” as a person who is or appears lifeless, apathetic, or completely unresponsive to their surroundings. In this essay, we will be using the term “Zombie” as applied to an undead being, largely drawn from George A. Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. According to Patrick McCormick, author of Zombie Economics, there is a direct correlation between the economical standing of our society, and the release of zombie themed films. Night of the Living Dead was released shortly after the assignation of President John F. Kennedy, and during a time of...
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