ZOMBIES

BRAINS? I watched a documentary about zombies the other night. Well, the Mrs and I watch walking dead so we both thought we would see what there was to be said on the subject. Interesting in as far as we got the whole voodoo origins of people of said locations using blow fish poison to make a person appear dead, bury the poor sucker and exhume in order to place in slavery. We got the movie interpretations of old Gothic fusion into the narrative and bingo, the first zombies were upon us. th (11) We soon moved onto night of the living dead where they talked about the never before seen horror element until the creators realised that the flesh eating dead were zombies. Moving onto dawn of the dead we then get more to work with on social commentary, the everyone knows that shopping is akin to being a zombie speech as the dead wonder the shopping mall within the movie. So far so good then. We get fast zombies versus slow zombies, brain versus flesh eaters. Video games and comedy zombies…the ever changing adaptable creature of horror that even lends itself to a romantic comedy. What if zombies could be real? what if, what if indeed. th (12) So a zombie apocalypse tends to be either happening as with the fast kind that run hell for leather at you or in the post survival kind where they tend to be walking very slowly yet still manage to catch up to you. Very different beasts then. I remember enjoying the immediate chaos and horror of World War Z where the problem of a virus was handled quite authentically and that the solution was quite inspiring…get ill or die trying and the mass of zombies are turned off by the alternately infected. Not so much social commentary on this kind of film that I could see though, or is it that I haven’t thought of or spotted it yet? th (9)th (10) The nightmare of 28 days later touched upon some ideas of base reality as our team of protagonists eventually come across a group of soldiers who live by the principle of repopulating the world regardless of any female consent, but really the main who done it pointing the blame at scientists creating weapons grade viruses; wonder who that could be for? Let’s rewind here a moment for there seems to be use of the term base reality in many a blog. So here we go. When whatever systems of advanced civilization we build are destroyed via any natural or man made disaster we are faced with a do or die situation. No law, no shopping centres, no police, no infrastructure…you’re on your own; basic reality of no more contrived appliances or rules.  Within any narrative of such kinds and believe me there are so many to choose from it must be a rather popular theme from which to tell a story about the human condition, an obsession with going back to our primitive roots. Start again? re-invent society because the one you’re in doesn’t work or just a nightmare to get through…remember when we had mobile phones and chocolate bars? I do miss them so. Nuclear holocaust, meteor obliteration, robot uprising and so on. There are perhaps two main types of apocalypse. One where you fight other human beings or the other where you fight nature. So what is unique about the zombie is that you get the two rolled into one neat package. th (13) In the movie Deliverance we get a speech from Burt Reynolds kind of bear Grills type wannabe; I have a friend who is exactly the same. He talks about how prepared he is for the end of the world (I mean Burt not my friend, well him too) and how after a long winded theory that it will happen and that he’s got the gonads to survive it y’all. Well Burt, your’e about to be tested on that level of base reality where there is no law and there is no safety net. Bring in the stranger element in the form of some deep south forest backward nasty hilly billies and you get a taste of what it takes to survive without being able to dial for the police. Great movie that sees Burt’s cocky bow and arrow wielding tough guy reduced to a gibbering baby and replaced by the quiet every man to save our city slicker camping band caught in quite the nightmare. Man rape followed by a deadly game of cat and mouse, the folks of the deep south represent humanity at some of its worst. But to me, and including the zombie genre, hills have eyes, wrong turn, even the slasher genre or Terminator franchise. It is always and simply a choice of the kind of unstoppable force used and how we deal with the situation. In walking dead as the most pivotal and well explored notion of what could happen, we get the survival horror that includes other people as part of the problem. A television series of such calibre has the capacity to explore the what if’s, but further still the audience may be asking themselves what would they do themselves? That kind of sums it up for me when I watch something along those lines. It’s either in a movie that I say oh, I would have made the movie different because x y z. In a zombie movie or a deliverance type movie (survival horror) people might be thinking, I would do this and I would do that and nooo don’t go in there! Sort of a very interactive and engaging viewing for the most primal of human responses to calculate how to survive on instinct and common sense. For some, so far gone is the notion of preparing for the end that they buy fall out shelters and survival kits. In the documentary on zombies a shop has labelled its selling of all outdoor camping and survival kits as zombie kits with just the packaging changed…say what?  In a comedy such as Zombie land we get the survival rule countdown; buckle up and keep fit. So what is our obsession? In the documentary they pointed out that the zombie is the metaphor for mortality and that the slow moving inevitable death will catch you in the end no matter what you do. Fair enough I liked that, never thought of that. But what else? There is a sort of freedom to the nightmare in a zombie land that seems to be played on in equal amounts in many films. Indeed the boys on the camping trip in Deliverance are going to the woods to get a sense of nature and freedom..but such things might come at a price. th (14) Even walking dead reminds me of Deliverance. Similar setting and similar problems with not only zombies but people. Dear God the people. The world ends and the nut cases come out the wood work for sure. Altruism versus utter selfish barbarism. Not to give anything away but by the time we get to the fourth season I have never been quite as disturbed and that has nothing to do with zombies. Dawn of the Dead sees our group enjoy the freedom and luxury of all that an abandoned shopping mall can offer, for a while, but inevitably the making do of a bad situation ends in being eaten alive. In the Walking dead though we get a better taste of what might really happen. The way in which the unexpected ruins any best laid plans and that there is never ever a safe place to stay for very long. What is strange to me is how atomised groups of people become as though naturally and not fully explained groups of maybe ten maximum seem to get together into to small little tribes as though it would be too difficult to expand and amass a better level of safety in numbers. Trust is an issue, food, water, shelter and safety are all as much an issue as zombie smashing. But I wonder if in fact the size of a group is just a casting and filming issue; could actually be that for I imagine that when the excrement hits the fan in say an apocalypse, the ones who survive the longest are most likely the most altruistic. So then our entertainment of zombies within these forms of media are perhaps far from realistic…really? you don’t say! But moving on still, I also got to think, how many group dynamic shows and movies are we going to create before something new arises. Every time I see a group in a survival horror situation there is this thought of oh, that’s just for the body count, the arguments and the dialogue. What else is there. I for one wonder how people manage at all to get along in these scenarios. It’s hard enough trying to get along at a wedding do let alone organising for a group to venture into a forest infested with zombies with nothing but a cork screw and a packet of condoms. Who ate the rations? What’s that white stuff on your top lip. It’s cream for my cold sore I say. Looks like whipped cream to me. People! What did occur to me most of all was a groups ability to establish a sort of rule system for trust or simply justice. Walking dead stands out here because it has our group pitted against other groups that are obviously all wrong for different reasons. Sort of a roaming look at the context of violence and what we accept on a primitive basis. FThgN Eating people? Not acceptable. Being the leader of a town and keeping zombie daughter in a closet. I’m not sure exactly. Fudged is the situation here. Rick and clan are in the right, but then Elvis with a patch is just protecting his stuff, but being mean about it. The dramas of a post apocalyptic world in walking dead are fascinating. Shoot the disturbed pre-teen girls for murdering a baby. The horror. So when I hear people saying. Oh, I’d do this when the zombies come, seems like such crazy nonsense that I wondered when horror stopped being horror and just a shout out at the tv for getting survival wrong. Have you killed anyone and why are the walking dead teams two leading questions for joining them. Err yes, but they stole my pack of Mars bars and Ungo Bungo Juice. So in the new season we get something most interesting, for when you consider what the context of violence means, it is that the internal logic and justice of the human mind that seeks altruism and co operation; the normal law abiding types now set in a land with no systems to support their values. When they enter a new town which seems to be depicted full of the weak and cowardice you have to ask yourself the question, is Ricks team actually just as bad as the rest of the savages potentially out there. Different levels of acceptability for different types. I’m interested to see how the show develops and whether there are limits to how savage and deranged a zombie infested land can make our favourite characters…


5 thoughts on “ZOMBIES

    1. You made me laugh with this comment. Nice one. No I’m not a money grabber and this site goes as far as discussing the novels some times, but I would not expect any sponsorship for waffling on. Thanks though.

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  1. Hey there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell
    you I genuinely enjoy reading your articles. Can you suggest
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