This could very well be the age of the Zombie. Sure, the mindless, shuffling, flesh-eating undead have been an element of pop culture since George Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead, but they’ve been relegated to the Horror movie genre… and usually taking the B Movie backseat to ‘mainstream’ horror titles like “Scream” or “Nightmare On Elm Street.”
Yes, as creators of Zombie T-Shirts and more we’re Zombie Fans and have an unnatural bias – but in recent years there’s been a pop-culture surge in Zombie popularity. I’d argue that it’s the hours and hours people have spent fighting the relentless undead in games such as “House of the Dead”, “Resident Evil” and “Left for Dead” (to name a few) have soaked “Zawareness” into people’s minds.
THE LITERARY AGE OF THE ZOMBIE
The literary age of the Zombie came with Max Brook’s The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z and more recently with Seth Grahme-Smith’s bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Yes, you read it right “Bestseller” and “Zombie” in the same sentence.
ZOMBIE MOVIES EVOLVE
Yes, the horror movie Zombies keep coming – but bigger budgets and better marketing have helped the genre evolve from Romero’s hit-or-miss “…of the Dead” series to hits like “28 Days Later” (with new, controversial, fast-zombies), action flicks like the “Resident Evil” films push the scope and firepower in post-Zombie apocalypse world and even comedies like “Shaun of the Dead” and “Zombieland” to take on the lighter side of living in an undead world.
As the infection spread comic-books saw beloved heroes infected in the popular series Marvel Zombies where the citizens of earth have been turned into meals for zombified Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron-Man and friends.
But the future of the undead may lay with Image Comic’s The Walking Dead. Written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated by artist Tony Moore, the story of a rag-tag band of survivors trying to make their way through a zombie-filled world is an epic tale.
ZOMBIES IN YOUR LIVING ROOM!
In a bold programming choice AMC has commited to broadcast “The Walking Dead” as an ongoing series… Until now all, and I mean ALL zombie stories have been limited. A 2 hour movie, perhaps a sequel or two… but in the end the people either survive or the zombies win. The story ends. But the ongoing nature of the Walking Dead lets us see just what living, long term, in a zombie world would be like… The gore and rot of any self-respecting Zombie movie are there…. but that’s not what it’s about. This story is about a very tough world, the characters in it and what you have to do to survive.
We have seen the Zombie Future – and it is on television.
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