questionswhy are zombies so "in"?

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Ever since I watched my first Zombie movie I've always liked zombies... Recently I admit more so than normal.

I think Zombies have become mainstream lately because the Mayan Calendar thing has spread. I also think once the end of the world does or doesn't happen the Zombie idea will become less mainstream and spread.

The fungus I do believe has become more well known so that has somewhat boosted the idea that zombies can be around. You can blame it's popularity more so on Halo.

But historically Zombies have happened.. It's just not as cool as you might think. The drug in Romeo and Juliet was actually real and there are drugs out there that fake your death. It was discovered from a type of blowfish, I believe African Blowfish but I could be wrong. The "dead" would come back to life and people back then, decades ago, called them zombies because they were not actually ever really dead.

Zombies became popular as well because of video games which sparked a TV show for the 1st time.

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I feel like Resident Evil the game started a lot of this as well.

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Has to do with a lot of different things in my opinion..

1. Cannibalism is an ultimate fear and taboo.
2. The ability to kill "humans" without remorse.
3. The horror that loved ones would turn to a monster that would eat you, and then you would have to kill them.
4. The parallels with real apocalyptic fears.
5. The inner fantasy many people have of being released from the constraints of modern day society to enter a survival situation.
6. Zombies represent our ultimate fear; death! They are a moving, attacking, eating version of what we fear most.

Personally, I love zombie films, but I love the entire horror genre. George Romero was definitely the director that gave birth to the modern day zombie, although they go back in film to Bela Lugosi in White Zombie. They've been represented culturally across the world over thousands of years, you can find evidence in ancient Egypt of zombies.

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Not sure, but I don't think it was The WAKING Dead. :)

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The science articles about fungus controlling ants after it kills them, or of larvae taking over certain insects lends a bit of truth... but the thrill of post-apocalyptic planning is what appeals to many. I've seen war, and don't care for the gore, but the intellectual pursuit of a SHTF plan has always been stimulating. No matter how unlikely we are to see a complete stop (our society is more likely to end with a whimper, and break down as in Argentina than a complete overnight abrupt halt), it sparks the imagination to go to the extreme in the comfort of one's home.

The scenarios presented are everyday people being the "hero" against overwhelming odds. That sort of thing always sells, and the zombie formula fits that without the complexities and required in many other genres. It's a simple plot device too- a seemingly limitless enemy that doesn't require much back story or character development (allowing more focus on the development of the hero).

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Here a timeline of select movies and a book and their years.
28 Days Later was 2002.
Resident Evil was 2002.
House of the Dead video game and the crappy movie that followed in 2003.
Dawn of the Dead remake in 2004.
Shaun of the Dead was 2004.
Resident Evil: Apocalypse in 2004.
Doom in 2005 if you want to include that.
Zombieland was 2009.
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies was 2009.
etc.

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I am honestly not a big fan of the zombie genre, its a bit of a convoluted premise. But, it combines two genres together into an intellectual exercise that is very appealing. It takes the post apocalyptic viewpoint of mad max, a survive by your wits, ingenuity and found objects approach and adds to it the horror aspects of a non human enemy that appeals to gore hounds and thinkers that like to have a set of parameters to work in.

People that love zombie movies tend to either just love the blood and guts genre or they have spent a good amount of time thinking about survival schemes, discussing with friends and developing fun ideas that revolve around the things and places in their life. All in all its a fun exercise in pretend that appeals to almost everyone... what would you do if you had to survive... but you have all your stuff???! where would you go, where would you stay? what would you bring?

Now discuss with friends... look its a night of social interaction!

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I can't really answer why zombies are so popular now. I've been a fan of zombie movies FOREVER. My Mom was a big fan of all of the old Romero movies, so I grew up watching them.The fact that zombies have entered mainstream popularity is cool to me, but I don't know how it happened. To me there is something creepy about zombies that I don't think that you have in any other horror genre. Good zombie stories also manage to make you think "what would I do in that situation?" and the zombies become the symbol of the stories that we love.

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@moondrake: You have absolutely nailed the difference between the sexes!! Well said!!

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I think it was really Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland that sparked it, with Walking Dead a timely entry to take advantage of the popularity. 28 Days Later may actually have planted the seeds, and I am Legion brought some gravitas back to the idea. This is my personal opinion on the vampires versus zombies popularity contest:

We women like vampires because we get to live forever, beautiful and never aging.

You guys like zombies because you get to shoot your neighbors in the head without remorse.

:)

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@mommyleah: It would be "here" not "hear" but, I agree.

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The Zombies are hear to eat the wussy Vampire's that are contaminating the earth!

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I think it fits into the world is ending-apocalyptic pessimistic theme but has a sense of humor to it. Vampires and werewolves are a bit played out and have lost their fangs thanks to the Twilight movies. Frankenstein is a singular creature.

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because nerds want a reason to own a sword/gun and a reason to use them