I have never been a fan of the modern zombie rampage or even the neo-goth zombie fetish of the 60s, 70s and 80s. It seems, however, like their upper-crust undead cousins the Vampires, that zombies are also here to stay. In an article I read on zombies and vampires in pop culture by John Timpane for The Philadelphia Inquirer, I was amazed by just how prevalent zombies are in our pop culture.
Fallout of the Modern Zombie Rampage
Most of the projects mentioned by Timpane are not ones I’m familiar with. I do know that as a necromancer, Anita Blake messes around with zombies. In Broken, by Kelley Armstrong, zombies play a prevalent role including infecting Clay’s injury so badly that he nearly died. Necromancers and zombies go hand in hand.
So what’s the deal with zombies? I mean really. They’re gross. They smell. They drop body parts. They are rotting, decaying corpses that walk. Most of the time they are depicted as mindless, body part dropping cannon fodder. In fact, when I think zombies I think of “BRAAAIIIIINNSSS” and those Evil Dead films with Sam from Burn Notice.
My husband loves to blow up zombies in his various video games from Halo to Fall Out to Mass Effect. Yes, I know they are not all zombies (but seriously, sometimes? They all look alike to me).
So what is the appeal of the zombies? Why would people gobble up this kind of fiction?
Slow Rot of Our Society
Timpane offers the idea that zombies represent the slow, rotting moral and emotional decay of our society. That zombies are particularly popular during times of economic downturn because they represent the sluggish, decomposing American dream.
Ooookay. I can buy that on a pop psychology level.
So what’s the deal with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Have you heard of this book? It’s a mash-up of classical literature and modern pop culture. Pride and Prejudice is a public domain title, which means basically it’s an open copyright. In Timpane’s article, the guy behind the idea said:
“As soon as I drew the line between ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and zombies,” Rekulak says, “I knew we had a great title and a great idea.” Grahame-Smith signed on as writer, and the rest has been crazy.
“We started with a literary joke we thought might work, and we ended up taking advantage of a boom right now in supernatural romance. After ‘Twilight,’ we have the best-branded romance there is — everyone knows ‘Pride and Prejudice’!”
Apparently, the unprecendented success of this has led to future works including Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters as well as Abraham Lincoln: Zombie Hunter.
I really hope that last title is a joke. But no matter how popular these ideas are, I still am not seeing the appeal.
What do you think of the modern zombie rampage?