So I went all retro and signed up to a DVD rental store (dislike monthly fees, and would have to get a higher internet data package. Whinge whinge first world problems and all that jazz.). This week I got Contagion, Deadheads and Pet Sematary.
This is not a zombie movie. If you are looking for action, you’re gonna have a bad time. However what I loved about this movie was how many scientists, the CDC and New Scientist said how accurate it was about the start of a virus and how the cure was developed. They used REAL science language!
My criticism of the film lays in how many really well known actors they used. Most movies require a suspension of belief, but for a movie that was so real, it made it unreal to have people like Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lawrence Fishburne play normal people with normal lives. We know these people, we know they make a lot of money and have mansions and all that jazz, and I felt they couldn’t perform the roles truly. Not that they are bad actors – who doesn’t like Lawrence Fishburne! Although many critics take aim at Jude Law’s ‘Australian’ accent. I’m Aussie and I had no idea what it was supposed to be – but for this type of movie they just didn’t fit.
So no zombies, but I did enjoy seeing the whole length of the virus and knowing that it wasn’t just writers talking out of their…scripts… with made-up language and scenarios. Not sure if it’s a buy or not.
A bloke wakes up in the middle of a zombie outbreak, we’ve all seen this before, but he doesn’t realise he IS a zombie! This movie was hilarious, a lot of references in it too, like when the car breaks down, Brent admits he has no idea how cars work and asks if maybe it’s the flux capacitor <3!
Some people will be against this movie because it’s about zombie Mike going to find his true love, whom he was about to propose to before he was killed. Zombie romance! It’s a lot more tongue in cheek than my usual zombie romances, but I really enjoyed it. It was what it was – a silly movie with zombies and the immortality of love.
This is one I will buy and watch again, there are many LOL moments (not the writing of LOL when really you aren’t laughing, the literal laughing out loud/lots of laughs/whatever). Not everyone would like it, but it got to me.
Not my favourite of Stephen King’s works, it revolves around a small family moving to a small town with a dark secret, an ancient Indian burial ground that can bring things back to life. The two lessons I take from this are: never lie to kids and don’t repeat the same fkd up thing over and over and expect different results. As well as the cat and undead stuff, there was also a ghost who followed them around and tried to help, but a weird side story about the mother’s sister being severely disabled and ill, I didn’t quite get how that fit into the story. Perhaps as being why they were so scared to tell their kids about the truth of death or something?
You could argue it’s not a zombie movie, but it’s close enough. There is nothing more creepy than kids though – tiny hands and high pitched devil laughs. Don’t even need to be undead for them to be a bit creepy! (*waves to little nephew*) Although the demonic cat was a bit over the top – anyone who has owned a couple of cats before has seen a possessed hungry demon kitty.
I did read on the internet (as trustworthy as it is *cough*) that Stephen King didn’t feel that the story was good enough, but the publisher jumped and took it anyway. We all know King has done some damned awesome things, and this was not one of them (don’t know how close it was to the original book – feel free to let me know I’ve got it wrong!). Not a buy for me, but I might nab the book off a mate.
And I’ve already gotten out more – the Resident Evil set, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, and Zombies of Mass Destruction.
“The next step in evolution of this highly specially subgenre will likely literalise the metaphor, presenting narratives in which the zombies tell their own stories, acting as true protagainsts and even heroes”
~ Kyle William Bishop, American Zombie Gothic
Why can’t we love the undead? So many friends push aside the idea of a zombie lover completely (you guys can’t judge me! You read about vampire sex!)
As discussed before, zombie romance is more romance. Sex never enters the equation. It’s about a relationship of souls (personalities), a coming together of two people.
But still zombies aren’t good enough! The rotting is either done away with completely or can be avoided with medication. The eating of people or brains is the same. So where is the problem? They are undead humans, as are vampires.
With rational thought, being capable of emotions, moral agency and free will, why are the undead any less suitable as mates? They can’t procreate and have different lifespans, and perhaps different nutritional needs, but so can human lovers. (Zombies, Vampires and Philosophy Should Vampires be held Accountable for their Bloodthirsty Behaviour – John Draeger) Some undead choose to vegetarian and will not eat humans, just as some humans choice to not eat meat or meat byproducts. (Z,V & P – The Blood connection between Vampires and Vegetarians by Wayne Yuen)
So, they might have a disease, parasite, genetic mutation or be cursed by magic. Why do we accept a Trill then (a humanoid that is capable of hosting an inner snakey-alien that shares its lives)? Or a Bajoran’s nose? They are different from humans physically too. (Can you tell I just rewatched Deep Space Nine?)
Frankly, people stereotype zombies. And if you think its too far from cultural zombie lore, look at Day of the Dead. Bub could recognise death and exhibited signs of sorrow. Big Daddy in Land of the Dead looked after his zombie community. There was even a cute couple holding hands, strolling about the apocalyptic scene, who were zombies.
As far back as forever there are stories of love between humans and the unknown, gods , fairies, monsters etc. This evolution of the zombie is no lesser than those stories. At a time, werewolves might never have appealed or vampires not been sexy (but Alexander Skarsgard is always sexy!), it is time and literary evolution and imagination that allow us to perceive injustice to these creatures.
Don’t prejudice your daughter’s next boyfriend just because he’s a zombie. He’ll treat her right!
There’s a lot of misunderstanding about zombie romance, particularly with the upcoming movie of the brilliant Warm Bodies. People read the synopsis and think they know all the depths of a zombie romance. But there are elements of classic zombie texts in zombie romance too, and compared to vampires, zombies make way better boyfriends!
Brilliant artist Matt Busch recreated some of the best movie posters into zombie posters with his Hollywood is Dead series. Click on the picture for his website.
Vampires are undead too
If anyone mentions necrophilia with zombies only, remind them that vampires are corpses too. Sex is not an essential part of a romance story, and if you really want to think about it, how do vampires get aroused when they have no blood to … stiffen. These zombie romances are young adult books, not erotica (although I’m sure there is some out there!). They are about first kisses and dates to the movies, not horny and sex-obsessed (which most vampires seem to be – True Blood, I kissed a zombie and I liked it.)
Zombies – the gentle lover
Vampires are dominating creatures in any text, they usually have super human strength, mind reading or controlling abilities and other powers that put them at a distinct advantage over humans. Vampires take advantage of this in many texts, or even use human-like manipulation and psychological warfare, constantly reminding the humans how useless they are, how small, how insignificant, how defenceless against the vampires.
Zombies in romance texts are much more gentle. They are not forceful, never mash their mouths against a woman against her will. They are seen are weak one on one, only powerful in hordes, and it could be this that makes them softer. They are content with basic touches, of hands, hair, hugs.
Humans, best served warm
There’s a few ways that zombie romances get around the whole cannibalism thing. Some zombies just exist as corpses, not requiring any food. Some use medication to control their urges. Some just have self-control. Authors do come up with interesting ways to control their zombies. There are ways of controlling vampires too, but as they are dominating creatures, they usually find ways around the control. In most texts, without food, the vampire will perish or enter a type of coma. Even in zombie-as-enemy texts, zombies don’t need food. They crave to consume, but can last a long time without food.
Conciousness is essential
Zombie romance is not the only texts that include zombies with self awareness. Many zombie-as-enemy texts have self-conciousness as well, even in Romero’s work, so it doesn’t go against the lore of the zombie (if there is really any lore, Romero is the definition). Self-awareness is important in their journey. While vampires can choose to become vampires, zombies are always the victim.