A blood-curdling scream in the distance can awaken the most horrifying visions a person could ever experience. It always seems like a good idea to run into a forested area, or somewhere abandoned in hopes of escaping the monsters behind you. Hiding works until the stench of rotting flesh catches up with your sensitive nose. As you peek around a bush, here you are faced with what used to be your childhood friend. This time, they aren't looking to hang out or watch a movie; this time they're here for your brains.
The idea of a zombie apocalypse used to frighten most individuals and became a main source of nightmares throughout the years. Now, zombies rule the media world and people are fascinated by the epidemic. Just as humans evolved over time, the concept of a zombie has also been keeping up with the times.
The premiere of what is now a zombie phenomenon began in 1932 when the first zombie movie rose from the dead. "White Zombie"depicted the inflicted people as looking fairly normal, however, they seemed to be in a trance. No visible signs of eating brains or tearing people limb-by-limb, just mindless puppets.
The 1962 film, "Night of the Living Dead," sets the standard for zombies everywhere. This is the first time people were introduced to dead bodies coming back to life in search of brains to eat and other human beings to infect. We see people with darkened eyes that sink deep into their faces and slow motor movement. This film shows zombies as functional killers, despite their being dead. Some are even advanced enough to hold and use weapons, besides their hands and mouths, to kill their prey.
Later films introduced the idea of viral zombies or monsters created due to a virus or infection. Most people feared this concept the most because it seemed more likely to occur. If a specific parasite took over, it could control the host and turn it into a mindless being. The infection would spread rapidly through towns and cities because a zombie just had to bite a live person to transfer the infection. The viral zombies were stronger, faster and more violent than what most people expected of a typical zombie. These creatures had no sense of pain and could withstand almost any attack.
With the evolution of zombie characteristics, there has also been a change in how people must kill these monsters. Some variations include decapitation or brain trauma because that is the main source of a zombie’s undead life. However, this idea doesn’t make too much sense to people because zombies are supposed to be mindless. If you take the viral zombie, for example, it would make sense to damage the brain because hypothetically speaking the zombie still has a brain; it’s just being controlled by the virus or parasite.
Other people looked for cures when it came to viral zombies and tried keeping them alive as best as they can. Some zombies could still live even if their bodies were split in half. Another common method for destroying the undead was to burn the bodies. Let’s think about this logically; when thrown into a fire, things will burn and die. So it makes sense to kill a zombie by burning it, however, that process could be difficult to accomplish. Nonetheless, zombies can die.
In today’s age, we see people obsessing over a possible zombie apocalypse thanks to shows like "The Walking Dead," and movies like "Warm Bodies." People are eager to fight for survival in a dystopian era because that’s how "The Walking Dead" portrays life after an outbreak. Viewers feel a deep connection between each character and their own personalities, which cause these people to idolize shows like this. They put themselves in the situation at hand and take these episodes seriously.
Even classic novels and movies are now being taken over and redone, like "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." An old love story with some modern day violence is just what people are craving nowadays. Elizabeth Bennett, her sisters, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley all take up arms against a zombie invasion. Life as we know it has changed and people are catching zombie fever because this isn’t the only bit of history with a twist out there.
In the film, "Warm Bodies"we are faced with a strange love triangle between a zombie guy, a human girl and her human ex-boyfriend. Despite the fact this zombie eats her ex-boyfriend’s brains, the girl still falls in love with this zombie and together they find a way to overcome the outbreak. This is what our society views as normal modern day entertainment now.
With the evolution of zombies, our media has also adapted. We crave for a zombie apocalypse so we can live like the heroes in "The Walking Dead" and "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." Considering the growth of this industry, I don’t foresee any resolution yet. I can only wait and see how zombies will transform and adapt to a different era; one where people yearn for a taste of zombie decapitation. It’s time to face it; we have been zombified.