What are the most important zombie films?


nightlivingdeadgirlAs a film geek and pop culture nerd, I have always enjoyed a good monster story.  When I was young, I was more interested in vampires, but as I got older, zombies gained some ground.  I have to confess, though, I’ve never much cared for werewolves.  Vampires are all about sex and immortality and danger and loss of innocence.  Zombies are a metaphor either for the inevitability of death or pandemics or human meddling in science beyond their ken.  Werewolves are I guess about how people are fundamentally animalistic or something.  Whatever.  Werewolves — ain’t nobody got time for that.

Point being, I have like 3 degrees in film and media and so therefore I am an expert on the evolution of the genre of zombies.  So, if you want to know what the most important zombie films are, you’re going to have to click the link over to Bite Club blog.  They’re in chronological order, not in order of importance.

They’re coming to get you, Barbara.

Comments

  1. Jackie, Ms. Paper if ya nasty says

    I’d say that zombies aren’t just about the inevitability of death, but the indignity as well.

    I like werewolves. They represent the fear of loss of control, fear of the beast within getting out and harming others and even our primal fear of being eaten by something with great big snapping jaws. They have that in common with zombies. For me the scariest imaginable outcome in a zombie apocalypse would be my family being murdered by “me”. It’s gross, disturbing and really scary to contemplate. Both the Zombie and the werewolf were regular ( even good) people who became infected. In both cases their conscience is gone. Their personality is erased by the monster. The difference for the werewolf is that theirs will come back and they will have to live with what they did while it was away. Combine that with the knowledge that the monster will come back and do it again and again and again and I think I’d rather be dead.

  2. lorn says

    As understand it werewolves were the original metaphor for vacant, wealthy young men from well to do families who would come out at night and lay waste to the female population. It wasn’t unknown for the young men to move from extreme partying and rape to murder.

    The vampire story was an attempt at better capturing the less violent behavior set. It was to be more about seduction through charm and oral skills to bring people into the lifestyle of exploitation and nightlife. The metaphor being that they suck the life from people and discard the empty shell but do it in such a way that the people participate in their exploitation and convert more followers to make the situation as perpetual as possible. The story of perpetual life is a reference to everyone dying around them.

    Of course, the modern metro-sexual, effete, glitter-skinned vampires are an outrage.

  3. Daniel Schealler says

    I always thought that zombies were a metaphor for the fear of the dehumanized other.

    To me, anti-abortion religious gun-toting redneck conservatives seem like a wave of mindless idiocy spreading out across the world. They’re completely at odds with me to the point that I struggle to comprehend how anyone can see the world as they do – therefore they must be stupid, uninformed, misinformed, evil and/or maliciously bent on destruction of all that is right and good in the world… Right?

    But to them, I probably look much the same to them: A latte swilling hippie elitist with no common sent hell bent on toppling the institutions and traditions that have made society the shining beacon it recently was two generations ago, and still would be if it wasn’t for book-dumb punks like me undermining everything. My views are so at odds with theirs that what they see as a downward slide of society, I see as an uphill struggle. They struggle to comprehend how anyone can see the world as I do… Therefore, I must be stupid (in terms of ‘common sense’ in my case, given my fancy book-learnin’ – or possibly I’m just a ‘pseudo-intellectual or something similar) , uninformed, misinformed, evil and/or maliciously bent on the destruction of all that is right and good in the world… Right?

    The nice thing about the zombie metaphor is both me and my most diametrically opposed ideological foes can both look at a ravening zombie horde and feel that we are looking at something that is somehow… Familiar, in a visceral and symbolic way, to how we view the world on a day to day basis.

    Which doesn’t make my ideological foes any less wrong (of course). But it’s still interesting to think about. Or at least I think so anyway.

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