Leave it to Generation-Y2K to take something that was once cool, convert it into a stupid Internet meme, and ruin it for everyone. They are doing it to zombies just like they did it to Rick Astley, bacon and pirates. Well, pirates were never cool, and that whole “talk like a pirate day” crap was never even mildly funny, but you get where I am coming from. It’s been thirty-plus years since George Romero defined the zombie genre in film with Night of the Living Dead and what do we have? People dressing up in rags and pancake makeup and running 4K zombie fun runs, zombie themed weddings, zombie themed cakes, zombie themed wedding cakes, zombies in cereal commercials, Hello Kitty zombies, hip blocky “designer” zombie toy figurines, and don’t get me started on the reams of spiral notebook paper dedicated to inane ‘tude rife b-boy style art:
Without even having to resort to a Google search, you can bet some jackasses are busy making preparations for a rival “Talk like a zombie day.”
Okay, I guess I’m glad that there are people out there being creative in showing their love for the zombie, but, as a result of all this pop culture saturation, people are losing sight of what was so great about zombies of the past. Compare the crappy illustrations above with this awesome clip from the third-rate Italian zombie movie, Burial Ground:
The makeup is cheap but effective. No CGI. Just a couple of lumps of clay, some maggots and old burlap convey a sense of stinking death, decay and supernatural dread that is mostly absent in modern takes on the genre. Modern filmmakers are always trying to give us a rational explaination behind the existence of the zombies’it’s a highly contagious virus that makes everyone super aggressive (Zombieland and 28 Days Later). I’m sorry, but if that monster isn’t a reanimated corpse and just some dude with a really bad 24-hour flu, it’s not a zombie. Personally, I have always thought that Fulci’s notion that the zombies are the result of a more biblical apocalypse worked best. Woe be on to him who opens one of the seven doorways to Hell! I miss those iconic images of a rotted corpse digging itself out of the ground for no good reason at all. I gather that the real purpose for all these contemporary “zombies” being extreme cold-sufferers is that the producers need to have fast-moving zombies. Zombies lurch, stagger, scratch and crawl. They don’t run! Their power comes from their numbers and not their totally rad parkour skillz. And since when were zombies all about brain-eating? It was a cute joke in Return of the Living Dead, but I thought zombies weren’t that particular about what cut of meat they ate. Okay, now I’m just making myself so upset that I am forgetting to add paragraph breaks…
Ah, that’s better. I should just chill and watch a little Burial Ground: Nights of Terror. It’ll relax me.