♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Zombies – Love them or hate them?
If there is anything you should know about me, then it is my love of horror. I’m not the usual fangirl, overly obsessing to prove my love for the genre. I have read only a few horror novels, all of them classics. I prefer film horror and I go nuts for Halloween (the holiday). This is definitely my thing. You wouldn’t guess it to look at me, I know.
I inherited this love of the macabre from my mother. She and her cousins used to go to the movies to watch horror and she introduced me to Hammer Films. I used to be terrified of scary movies when I was a girl. I remember hiding behind my babysitter as they watched Aliens. The dark hallway to my bedroom was always a gauntlet filled with ghouls (all 8 feet of it). But, when we are children we tend to be completely unrealistic. As of right now, I cannot comprehend why my good friend won’t go to films like Insidious with me (it’s my favorite, and I did sit through a reshowing of Singing in the Rain for her–okay, she did go with me for the double feature of Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein, so I guess that made us even).
In a way, Frankenstein is the first beloved Zombie of classic horror. A reanimated corpse (by human intervention) does fit the definition, although in his case, he wasn’t keen on eating brains and wasn’t reanimated by some super virus. Zombie evolved post Shelley. They became less Voodoo and more science, because it was less believable that some magic trick reanimated bodies than a virus made them tick again. And, now, it’s getting even harder to make these kinds of zombies believable.
The focus of films like The Evil Dead and the television series The Walking Dead is actually a lot less on the Zombies and more on the human condition. The Evil Dead does it with humor, and I could go on for days about how it symbolizes man’s struggle with himself. The zombies in The Walking Dead are simply the catalyst by which we are able to experience human behavior at it’s lowest and most desperate—a return to the wild. The loss of civilization is something that haunts the mind of man, as our brains are still very much full of archaic fears (fear of the dark, the invisible, etc). In this way, the zombies become the archetype for that de-evolution. Only the strong willed, both intelligent and strong, can survive.
I rather enjoy such movies, because it proves the idea that man is neither inherently good nor inherently bad. Man is, for the most part, a result of man’s environment. So much outside stuff goes into the forming of a human being. Sociopaths, it is known, are made within the first few years of their lives–the lack of empathy occurs when the lesson fails to click in. They have not yet determined a physical correlation, but the brain is a piece of machinery that we’re still struggling to understand. Sociopathic brains function different than other brains, and the hallmark of it is the lack of empathy (they cannot relate to others with emotion). You will never know if someone is a sociopath, because in most cases they’re capable of imitating emotions and getting along just fine. The behaviors that should clue you in are quite subtle.
But, anyway, these films really reveal a lot of psychology about humanity, human behavior, and that is fascinating to me. So, I definitely love the Zombie thing. It is of no wonder to me why it’s become so popular.
Let’s hop on over to see what other authors had to say about Zombies. Before you go, check out Rebecca Lovell an up and coming author you’ll want to get to know…
Rebecca Lovell started out writing fan fiction when she was in middle school, and all of it had original characters and romantic entanglements. Over the years she has gotten much better at writing and moved on to her own work but the romance has always stayed the same.
Rebecca enjoys reading all kinds of books (her favorite writers include JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Carolyn McSparren and Lynn Graeme), and loves swimming and interesting beer (current favorite is Revolver Brewing’s Blood and Honey). She lives in Texas with her cats and is uncertain about the weather.
PJ Fiala says
I agree Kelly. I wrote a blog post just a couple weeks ago on how the Walking Dead can teach you about life. When it all comes down to the basics, the characters in that show make you realize just how you can make do if you need to and how you learn to evolve to survive. Interesting, really.
Captain Maiel says
Shows so much more than that. It’s an exercise in human psychology and personality types and how civilization actually helps prevent a great deal of the hardship and cruelty we’d inflict upon one another if it wasn’t there.
Lela Markham says
Ah, yes, I find a companion spirit! I’m really not into horror films. Insidious was much too claustrophobic for me. I don’t like zombie films where the zombies are the focus. I like when they are the backdrop as they are in I Am Legend, 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead is mostly not about zombies. It’s about people dealing with an overwhelming crisis and coping as best they can. By stripping away our modern trappings of civilization, the show gets to ask a lot of insightful questions that would be very hard to ask in a more realistic setting. It also takes aim, very subtly, at the idea that government can rescue us and solve all of our problems. Basically, government has alternately failed Rick’s group or tried to kill them or eat them, leaving them each time to return to their own resources made up on the spot as they need them.
It’s very much about the human condition and not really about the zombies.
Captain Maiel says
Well, actually, The Walking Dead is actually an experiment in what happens when we remove government and go back to the free-for-all we had prior to it, something Libertarianism conveniently forgets, making it an untenable system in actual practice. It would allow for all the sociopaths to rise to the top, as history has taught us in spades, but too many continue to disregard. Capitalism is a practice that follows those same rules and allows for the abuse of many at the hands of the few. The talk against socialism is based on 1950s red scare propaganda and has no basis in reality. It’s actually the practice the of keeping the masses in fair control of the means of production. Will people take advantage? So long as they’re allowed. No religion has been able to stem that, but laws on the books have done a hell of a lot to stem the tide of sociopathic behavior.
Stevie Turner says
Aha! The first one on the hop who actually loves zombies!
P,J, MacLayne says
Most scary movies don’t scare me and I don’t find zombies scary either. What scares me is how we as humans are willing to sacrifice another human being when it suits our purposes.
Captain Maiel says
LOL My mom called me sick for giggling at Hellraiser, but c’mon! That is so out there.
Exactly, the things that scare me more are stories about how people ‘hunt’ each other. For instance, Michael Myers was the only scary film monster to continue to scare me because he could happen. A violent, mentally ill person could escape from max and go on a spree. I’m afraid to go anywhere Patriarchy is solidly in place, because of what could be done to me as a woman, and no one would help. I’m scared walking home at night in the dark because street harassment and violence is prevalent, especially against females walking alone. I’m afraid of drunk men, because I know too well what they are capable of.
Dracula? The Mummy? Zombies? The Werewolf? Not scared a bit. Not scared of ghosts or paranormal entities either. They’re not real palpable threats in the day to day.