Zombies

What’s this fascination our culture has with zombies, anyway? I mean, if you’ve read one zombie story, you’ve read them all – the undead come back to life, looking all gross and scary, with no minds of their own, their only desire to eat _your_ brains. But everyone lately seems utterly enthralled by the topic – movies, books, short stories, artwork, discussion threads about what you would do if zombies took over your town. Personally, I’ve always found zombies to be gross and, well, kind of boring. It’s one of the goriest subject matters in horror fiction, and I’ve yet to see what’s so interesting about them. I think the closest I ever got to enjoying something zombie-related was one episode of _Angel_ where they had to defeat a shaman who was using dead cops to create a zombie army. And even then, as much as I like Joss Whedon’s stuff, I was glad when the episode was over. I was, as stated previously, pretty bored with the topic. Zombies just aren’t that interesting to me.

So, perhaps someone who _does_ find them interesting and fascinating could explain to me _why_, ‘cuz I’m really not seeing it.

5 thoughts on “Zombies”

  1. Zombie stories are a subset of the apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic genre. They appeal to people for many of the same reasons that Mad Max or a disaster movie does.

    But I agree with your… bafflement as to why it’s so cool. I love more general post-apoc stuff, which I think has far more interesting alternatives than zombies.

  2. I think there’s been a new surge of interest in zombies, mostly because of the newest zombie “trend.” Rather than being totally mindless, slow, lumbering brain-eaters, zombies have become these quick, fast-paced monsters interested in consuming all human flesh. It brings a lot more excitement to the genre.

    On a deeper level, I think zombies allow us to explore the darker “survival” side without any of the true fear that comes from examining realistic scenarios. Post-nuclear war, for example, is scary because it COULD happen. Some people don’t want to examine the world–or themselves–that closely. Zombies allow folks to imagine and discuss survival situations without any real emotional investment. They *represent* our worst fears, but they don’t keep us up at night.

  3. I like to watch zombie movies but only because they fall into the horror/gore genre that I enjoy. Otherwise, I don’t follow the books or any other trends.

  4. I like horror, but I dislike gore. I think there’s some psychological fun to be had by being totally creeped out in a King/Koontz/McCammon sort of way. And I think that brand of horror is more compelling than gratuitous gore. Hence, the reason why the zombie craze has never really made sense to me.

    But that’s just me.

Have anything to add to the conversation?