“That, my dear, is an offensive portrayal of terrorists.”
The above exchange, in reference to a horror movie I was perusing today, led to an interesting conversation that I am proud to paraphrase here. Basically, my conversing partner was offended the zombie movie even contained any terrorists, given that zombies are in and of themselves political, it was a thin analogue of today’s middle eastern terrorism, and that Japanese film/game makers would know nothing of terrorism. Needless to say, the political science and philosophical student in me rebelled against each of these ideas. However, it did spawn a neat little timeline for zombie movies, specifically to do with the origin of the apocalypse and what it means for our cultural identity. Here’s a rough breakdown:
70s/80s Romero Era: Zombies are weaponized, reflecting the fear of nuclear weapons and arms races. Blah of the Dead series.
90s/00s: Nobody cares what started it, they’re just looking out for themselves, reflecting a cynicsm of our leadership. Zombieland, Dawn of the Dead remake
00+: The cause is a preventable accident, and we should be taking responsibility for those reasons. Hence, today’s emphasis on green tech and internet connectivity serving as grassroots organization efforts. 28 Days Later, Resident Evil.
The two of us agreed, it did seem as if the zombie film, unique amongst monster movies, reflected our collective unconcious to a tee. Opinions welcome!