HINT: Use the "J" and "K" keys to navigate between posts.
The basic rules of most zombie movies are thus:
Survive with as many people as you can, unless they get bitten, in which case ditch them before they make you a zombie.
Despite titles such as Dead Alive, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, etc. zombie movies aren’t about dying at all since the dead just go on living. They are a game of tag with much higher stakes and no untagging. They are about friends turning on each other.
I’m going to throw Zombieland out right here and say that it was mostly a glorified gore fest for zombie-killing gamers.
But, movies like I am Legend, on the other hand, face us with difficult situations and then field difficult question after difficult question. It says, “Imagine that the person you loved most suddenly became a monster and a danger to you. What would you do?”
In addition to the above question, Carriers asks, “How far would you go to survive? Would you become a monster to avoid the monsters?”
So what human need does the zombie flick fulfill over and over, so that we keep making them and people keep getting bitten and dying and living again and biting again … (you get the picture)?
I think the zombie movie is a tragedy at its core and it’s purpose is catharsis, or the purging of wicked tendencies that lie dormant within us all. And what better metaphor for that than the dormant ability to become a terror-wreaking spawn of Satan? But, here’s the kicker—the zombies aren’t always the terror-wreaking spawns. Sometimes it’s the people trying to stay alive.
That’s the nature of human tragedy isn’t it? It’s less about the bad guys and more about the good guys who make bad choices.
So in what ways does your favorite zombie movie ask the question “What does being human really mean?”