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The Gentrification Of The Zombie

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It’s hard not to see zombies everywhere and I do mean everywhere in this day and age.They seem to be at forefront of popular culture.For years they have been depicted on film in many different varieties, set in films with many different themes.In 2015 the zombie craze seems to have entered it’s latest phase; complete gentrification.It’s no longer a cult phenomenon, it’s now a trend, taken over by hipsters,yuppies and people who think the Walking Dead is actually a good television show.You know something is part of mainstream society when it has a popular program being shown on television sets all over middle America.It’s somewhat like the new MTV.Hell, even George Romero despises it.He was quoted as referring to the series as “A soap opera with an occasional zombie.”

The modern depictions in a lot of recent films have also slid down the scale of quality.They simply are no longer scary or intimidating.A lot of this has to do with making them move quicker, as if they all got up one morning and got a pair of Nike’s.Although some might find this more frightening, I feel it takes away from the psychological terror they inflict.I’ve always felt a slow moving horde completely devoid of thought and driven by a predatorily instinct is much more frightening.I honestly feel this has to do with today’s younger generations fixation with fast paced video games.When we have quick motion in one form of media,it’s only logical to adapt it to another.Thanks, Resident Evil.Although, you could give credit to fast zombies to Italian director Umberto Lenzi, and his film Nightmare City which could also be considered one of the earliest zombie flicks with the contamination plot device.Something that would show up in lackluster films like 28 Days Later.As you can guess, I’m not a fan of that franchise.Even the effects of recent efforts seem to have lost touch.CGI has replaced makeup, and left the massive hordes of the undead look even more cartoonish than ever before.The lowest point to me was the dreaded abomination that was World War Z.Horror with a happy ending does not set well with me.Also, if you’re going to have anything to do with that at all, do yourself a favor and read the book.Trust me.

Popular culture I feel has its own sort of manifest destiny.It crawls like a black shadow taking the things the counter culture holds dear and utilizes it for its own good.Case in point; The zombie runs and pub crawls.It seems every year people think it’s good idea to dawn shoddy zombie makeup that Tammy Faye would laugh at, and go bar happing or gather in a public place in broad daylight.It just shows how huge the trend has become in recent years.I’m willing to bet more than half of these people have never heard of Lucio Fulci or even George Romero for that matter.It doesn’t seem to me as an homage to a film sub genre, it seems more like an excuse for hipster shenanigans.

With every year that passes it seems and every new film that gets released.It seems the glory days of the Zombie are far behind us.Much like the exploitation films of the 1970’s and 80’s, they’re a product of their time.While some dumb group of frat boys will gather in their dorm to watch Shaun Of The Dead, I’m going to be doing what any self respecting horror fan would do.Adjust the tracking on my VCR and throw on my VHS copy of Zombie 2.

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