Why Have Zombies Taken Over?
Posted by Kevin Winge on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 12:00 AM By Kevin Winge / April 7, 2014 Comment
Zombies have always dominated the bottom of my list as credible monsters. They're slow, stupid, and only threatening in large groups. But the past few years have helped me to reconsider their horrific effectiveness, especially with the zombie boom of a few years back, that still continues today (the highly watched finale of The Walking Dead's fourth season was just the other weekend). While zombies still have their problems, they have been an ever-looming presence in the horror drama for decades now. So that's the thing, zombies themselves are terrible, but why are they so popular? In the recent years, zombies have made great targets for action movies and games. Resident Evil (the movies and the games) have had mixed reviews, opinions, and are very different from each other -- but they share two sure things: they are highly focused on zombie-slaying, and they've been popular enough to warrant many sequels. Zombieland made the guilt-free killing of zombies into a carnival game -- featuring takeouts via piano, banjo and actual carnival rides. The Call of Duty series has made multiple iterations of its zombie mode side game, all featuring many different zombies to fight, and many different ways to destroy them (my personal favorite being the Thundergun). Spice it up with zombies! That's why I think zombies have taken over many facets of our culture: they can fit into any setting. A zombie is a simple enough concept to work anywhere, unlike other high-concept monsters. Vampires come in at a close second to zombies for working across many platforms, but look at the criticism people have given Twilight. Ghosts might be third, but they bring in complicated questions because they are intangible and require some form of afterlife to exist. And then it is very easy to take things the other way and say, "Who would make a good zombie survival team?" So not only can zombies fit into any setting, but anyone can fight zombies. Zombies fit into any setting so well, they've even come up in today's political commentary. I used to regard zombies as annoying and pointless, but after years of seeing all the places they've been taken, I've changed my mind quite a bit. I've come to realize they do hold a place in the world of entertainment. In fact, they hold many places, since they are so easy to drag and drop into any situation. Granted, stories are something we as humans make, thus it is never guaranteed to be good, but zombies can be fit into anything. One of my favorite story arcs in the manga Black Butler involves the main characters fighting zombies on the Titanic. Oh God... we are facing a zombie apocalypse! Every genre has been infected -- they have taken over the world! Photos via: Google