What makes the topic of Zombies so popular nowadays?

By Ernesta Baniulyte

• „‟Zombie is a person neither dead nor alive – the undead. In folklore zombies are walking corpses. They have died, but had been awakened through supernatural means‟‟ [Hamilton, 2007]. „‟Zombies‟‟ is one of the most popular topics used in film and game industry nowadays. Zombies are dead, smelly creatures that worship a human flesh, and have an instinct to kill. It seems there is nothing fascinating and attractive about zombies, however movies such as „‟28 days Later‟‟ (2003) directed by Danny Boyle, or the American version of the movie „‟28 weeks later‟‟ (2007), were absolute success in the film industry. „‟The Walking Dead‟‟ is in the top 10 most watchable tv series in the world at the moment, the games such as Resident Evil or Paranoia are played by huge number of people. So what is the reason people are so attracted to these disgusting creatures and what makes these movies or games so popular? This investigation will analyse this question. We will use several supporting sources, which will help to understand and answer the investigation question. The sources are movies and games, mentioned before, as well books as „‟Zombies. World of Horror‟‟ by Sue L. Hamilton, „‟ Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders‟‟ by American psychiatric association, „‟Zombies: Monster Chronicles‟‟ by Stephen Krensky and „‟Zombies‟‟ by Marie Schuh.

• Kinemortophobia or The fear of living dead

Becoming a hero and romance in the zombie stories
• ‘’That cute girl or guy you’ve always wanted a chance to kiss is now a possibility, because everyone else is a zombie and suddenly that makes you a whole lot more attractive. Plus you might get an opportunity to rescue them from being eaten, makin g you a real hero. Then you’re certain to get a kiss.’’ [Birlew, 2010]

The wish of killing and release of ID
• ‘’The ugly truth no one wants to admit. The fascination is not because of the zombies themselves, they are merely the catalyst; the real fascination is with surviving a zombie apocalypse. Being a survivor, playing the odds, making your own rules.’’ [Birlew, 2010]

The fear of apocalypses
• ‘’For many people, a zombie apocalypse is recognized as a metaphor for the social and economic breakdown of society. Zombie popularity seems to increase during times of economic or social strife. But for some people, the concept of zombies is litera lly terrifying.’’ [American Psychiatric Association,1994] “Everyone is obsessed with the apocalypse, everyone‟s talking about financial collapses and wars and has a fear that we‟re all about to die. The zombie craze is taking off now just like after WWI and WWII, all those films that were so nihilistic; there was no hope, people were so zombified from the wars. We‟ve had huge movements in horror because of our culture. Books like The Walking Dead and World War Z are a reflection of how people are feeling right now.” [Morton, unknown] •

• African and Haitian voodoo legends
• • Dead people turned into mindless slaves Drugs/narcotics

• Arabian legends of ghouls
• Shape shifting demons • One Thousand and one night

• Vampirism


Figure2: Cesare „‟The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari‟‟ (1920)

Figure 3: Frankenstein „‟Frankenstein‟‟ (1931)

Figure 4: Activist (Alex Palmer) „‟28 days later‟‟(2002)

Firgure 5: Robert Kirkman, the author of the book „‟Walking dead‟‟

Figure 6: George A. Romero The director of „‟Night of the living Dead‟‟ (1968)


Figure 7: „‟The night of the living dead‟‟ (1968)

Figure 8: „‟Frankenstein‟‟ (1931)

Figure 9: „‟The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari „‟(1920)


Figure 10: „‟28 days later‟‟ (2003)

Figure 11: „‟I am Legend‟‟ (2007)

Figure 12: „‟The Walking Dead‟‟ (2010- present)

• The thought of a zombie, scares people • The idea of surviving zombies apocalypse, to be a „hero‟. • The only apocalypse that seems humanity can survive:
• People control it • Mayan prophecy

• An opportunity to kill and experience freedom
• Allowance to do what is forbidden

• • • • • • American Psychiatric Association (1994), . Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th addition, Washington, DC: Author ; Birlew, Dan (2010), [online] [accessed 26/03/2012] Hamilton, Sue L. (2007) „‟Zombies. World of Horror‟, ABDO ; Krensky, Stephen (2007), „‟Zombies: Monster Chronicles‟‟, Lerner Publications, USA Morton, Shayne (unknown) [online] [accessed 26/03/2012] Schuh, Marie (2006) „„Zombies‟‟, Capstone press, USA

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Figure 1 (2007) [accessed 27/03/2012] Figure 2 (unknown) [online] [accessed 27/03/2012] Figure 3, (unknown) [online] [accessed 27/03/2012] Figure 4, (unknown) [online] [accessed 27/03/2012] Figure 5, (2012), [online] [accessed 27/03/2012] Figure 6, (2012) [online][accessed 27/03/2012] Figure 7, (2011) [online][accessed 27/03/2012] Figure 8, (unknown) [online][accessed 27/03/2012] Figure 9, (20111) [online][accessed 27/03/2012] Figure 10 (unknown) [online][accessed 27/03/2012] Figure 11 (unknown) [online][accessed 27/03/2012] Figure 12 (2011) [online][accessed 27/03/2012]