31 December, 2010

ZombiNation!

“Move over Vampires, there is a new Sheriff in town”, or so would be the tag line of this blog entry were it a movie. Right then, so what's interesting about back from the dead guys and girls who walk slow, smell, look repulsive and pretty much want only one thing from you. No, not for you to understand them and give them love, all they want is a taste of your BRAINS. Kind of like a non thinking Hannibal Lector with less talk and more groaning.

The whole zombie genre is nothing new. There have been numerous zombie movies, Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, etc. in the past and it's one of those things that will continue once this fad grows old...again. What is new though is the sudden interest in all things zombie across different aspects of entertainment.

Before we get deeper into this it's important to know what started this. Till a few years back zombie movies were pure horror. They were categorized as horror, were always part of fright/horror festivals, and had a following that consisted mainly of horror fans. You would have the occasional non-horror fan dress up as a zombie for Halloween, but that was it. Then we had Shaun of the Dead. What it brilliantly did was make people realize that zombies can be a lot of fun. Yes! They are definitely after your brain, but that very fact makes killing them all the more entertaining. I mean they are dead already and you can't technically kill someone who is already dead. So there is that guilty pleasure in there somewhere. It opened up the whole genre to a new group of people. I was one of them. No longer were zombie movies only categorized under horror. This Zom-Com aspect was then further strengthened by the movie Zombieland.

A little before Shaun of the Dead changed everything, there was the much publicized and much stylized Resident Evil, which was based on a computer game. This one had style, action ... in slow motion, and was simply beautiful to look at. Okay the last part is due to Milla Jovovich. Mind you, the serious horror zombie flicks still continued to churn out with Dead Snow, Diary of the Dead, and the like. There were also the occasional Semi-Zoms, like I am Legend, which dealt with a post-apocalyptic world similar other zombie flicks like 28 Days Later and its sequel 28 Weeks Later.

Switching the entertainment medium from movies to TV, The Walking Dead based on a comic book is the latest to add fuel to the zombie craze. The comic has long been a success, but once again limited to a select few. With the start of the TV series a couple of weeks back, once again the genre has been thrown out to a wider audience. If numbers are to be believed the show is a success after just two episodes and has already been rewarded with the full 12 part season go ahead. Let's also not forget that this zombie craze is big enough to have ace director like Frank Darabont take interest as he developed The Walking Dead for TV.

So while Vampires have had their day, or rather night, it's time for the zombies to take over. The good thing about zombies (bad for humans) is that they can move around during day as well whereas Vampires are creatures of the night. Although, it is much easier to get rid of a Zombies 'cause all it takes is a blow to the head. Zombies after all are a simple race. It's simply all about the brains when it comes to zombies. They want yours and you want theirs knocked-out / damaged / blown / shot / badgered / harpooned... In fact maybe we will have an amalgamation of both the genres and soon will have a Vampires Vs Zombies movie (if one has not already been made?).

The one thing that has really triggered off this new trend is that zombies are no longer limited to the movies. There were apparently more people than ever who dressed up in characters from Shaun of the Dead this Halloween. Where Vampires only had maybe one game on Facebook that I came across and none others that I know of, zombies are taking over the gaming world slowly and steadily. Two games that I play on the iPad are so popular that one of them, Plants Vs Zombies, is under talks of being made into a movie. The other, Age of Zombies, has full potential of being made into a movie with a time travelling, zombie killing, badass hero as its central character. Of course the proof that this might happen is there with the recent release of Resident Evil 4: Afterlife. In fact zombies have taken over so much that my 3-year-old daughter wanted to go as a zombie for her school fancy dress party. We went with police officer this year. Figured we might get complaints from the school if a blood (Read: Red Color) dripping zombie walked in between a bunch of easily scared 3 year olds.

So there you have it. Zombies definitely are the flavor of the season. With a bunch of Zombie-esq movies soon to be released (Pride, Prejudice and Zombies – being one of the most sort after ones) we sure are seeing the re-birth of ZombiNation!

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