Thursday, August 13, 2009

Modern Zombie Rampage

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?

6 comments:

  1. Hi :)
    If the book is well-written I will read it.
    After I read the reviews regarding the book though - and for the slew of upcoming "zombie" books I'm DEFINITELY reading the reviews first, by those book bloggers whose opinions I have come to trust.
    Did you know that the zombie medium as we know it was George A. Romero's invention from his 1968 film Night of the Living Dead? Without him we'd have no zombie movies or books.
    :)
    Thanks for sharing,
    Love and best wishes,
    twitter: @RKCharron
    xoxo

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  2. RK, I did not know that about George A Romero. I know my husband loves those films and Resident Evil and pretty much my only opinion is just: ewwww. But they are everywhere and invading classical romance novels now too!

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  3. Although it does sound ridiculous, I would like to read Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. In fact, I am waiting for my review copy of Mr. Darcy, Vampyre to arrive.

    I understand of course that the original works are good, serious reads, and I enjoy them a lot. But I also think a good laugh is never out of place. :)

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  4. Hey Nikola, thanks for coming by. I can appreciate the idea of the humor. It's just out there for me. Who knows, maybe I'll pick up a copy to read so I can honestly say whether I'd like it or not (I still don't get the appeal of zombies though)

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  5. I don't get the appeal of zombies either. I have a 15 year old daughter and a 22 year old son that have graphic novels, books, movies and t-shirts with zombie themes. Assumed it was a generational thing. With that said, I have read "Zombie Survival Guide" by Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks, and it is a fun read.

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  6. I don't like zombies! They freak me out. *shivers*

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