This week: Some Zombie MishmashEdited by: Fangus
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'If you do not open the gate for me to come in,
I shall smash the door and shatter the bolt,
I shall smash the doorpost and overturn the doors,
I shall raise up the dead and they shall eat the living:
And the dead shall outnumber the living!'
~ The Goddess Ishtar ~
The Descent of Ishtar
ZOMBIE SOUP FOR THE SOUL
I have an aversion to zombies. Not zombies themselves (although I think if I came face to face with one, I’d probably turn around and head the other way), but writing about them. It’s nothing personal; I just could never understand the concept of dead folks coming back to life and attacking the living for their brains to satisfy their hunger.* I know what you’re going to say: Hey, Angus! There’s a lot of other crazier ideas for horror monsters! And you’re right. I’m just saying zombies aren’t really my cup of tea.
But that’s just my humble opinion (for what it’s worth), and apparently I’m in the minority since zombies experienced a ‘reawakening’ a few years ago.
When The Walking Dead premiered on AMC in 2013, it had the highest audience ratings in the United States for any show on broadcast or cable with an average of 5.6 million viewers 18 to 49 years old. That same year Max Brooks’ film World War Z (from his 2006 best-selling apocalyptic novel of the same name) became the highest-grossing zombie film, and one of the highest-grossing films of 2013.
But a lot of folks, myself included, think the real reawakening began a few decades earlier with George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in 1968, which was partly inspired by Richard Matheson’s novel I Am Legend in 1954. Over the next several decades Romero followed it up with more related zombie films: Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007), and Survival of the Dead (2009).
Night of the Living Dead even gained a cult following of sorts!
Ironically, the word zombie was not uttered in Night of the Living Dead—the creatures were simply referred to as “ghouls” or “flesh-eaters.”
Author H.P. Lovecraft wrote several works that dealt with the undead in the 1920s and the early 1930s, including his Herbert West—Reanimator (1921), which helped define zombies in popular culture. And Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, while not necessarily a zombie per se, was based on the idea of the dead being reanimated.
The first two decades of this millennium saw a totally different type of zombie emerge in literature. These undead still had some human traits, such as compassion and friendship, and even became romantic partners for the living! This change was thought to have been influenced in part from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series.
The word zombie itself entered the English lexicon in the 18th or 19th century, although the idea of the walking dead had existed in various cultures for centuries.
Some fun facts about zombies:
On May 18th, 2011, the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a graphic novel, Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse, providing tips to survive a zombie invasion as a "fun new way of teaching the importance of emergency preparedness".
On October 17th, 2011, The Weather Channel in the United States published an article, How To Weather the Zombie Apocalypse, which included a fictional interview with a Director of Research at the CDD (Center for Disease Development). Questions answered include "How does the temperature affect zombies' abilities? Do they run faster in warmer temperatures? Do they freeze if it gets too cold?"
In 2011, the US government drafted CONPLAN 8888, a training exercise detailing a strategy to defend against a zombie attack.
Scooby Doo battled zombies in the 1998 film Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island.
Michael Jackson's music video, Thriller, in which he dances with a troop of zombies, has been preserved as a cultural treasure by the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. (Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is also in the NFR!)
So I guess they all died happily ever after?
*Here’s a link for information on the zombie/brain subject with a comment from George Romero himself:
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This month’s question: Do you think horror will become more popular or less popular in the next few years?
Last month’s question was: Have you ever tried to communicate with the other side?
I don't believe "ghosts" are the spirits of dead people, so while I believe in spirits they come in two sides, good and evil. Take your pick, if evil spirits mask themselves at dead people, What is the motive? I think they make fun of Ghost hunters. If you believe they are dead then you can't believe God's word that says, Man dies once and after that the Judgment" So what are these things that masquerade as the dead? MMM now that's the story
Steven is writering
I think the funniest Ouija Board thing ever was when a group of spiritualists agreed to do a Ouija session blindfolded. Unknown to them, the board was turned around, and yet they still reacted and the planchette still moved as if the board was the other way around. "They say, 'Yes,'" said the leader as the planchette sailed across to the corner where the copyright details were. Subconscious desire is all that children's game is.
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