Tony, formerly “in the ‘Cove” emailed this rebuttal to my belief that Zombies, as a genre, have run their course in cinema. (At least, for a few years). If you’re curious what I mean, download episode 119 of Film Fever Radio. His rebuttal was so well thought out; I wanted to share it with everyone. (He also posted in the GitC Forum if you wish to debate his views) – AD.
As a serious fan of the Zombie Genre, I really dislike what has happened over the last couple of years. George Romero seems to have forgotten that what made the genre so engrossing; it was not the Zs, but the stories of the people who survive, fight, and struggle against the Zs. His latest offering of Diary [of the Dead] was embarrassing to watch. I hated it. It was as if he just said “Aw fuck it. I need a payday”. There was so much opportunity in that film that was ignored – like the elephant in the room, it was ignored. Just consider the possibility of the couple side stories that were kicked off and bypassed to follow the cast of Blair Witch Pro…Um… I mean our intrepid Biographers as they stumbled and fumbled toward their doom. (I really wanted to know how the Amish dealt with the walking dead – AD). I WANTED THEM TO DIE!
I was rooting for the Zs at the end because the little band of whiny ‘oh poor me’ teenage survivors were so stupid it was painful to watch…Years ago, I spent some time in the Military, and one of the trainings I took in our Primary Leadership Development Course (to become an NCO) was simply called “Survival: Escape and Evade”. It was nothing like the E&E training our elite military undergoes, but it was enough of a taste that we immediately knew whom in our group would survive, and who wouldn’t. During that training, you learn about how to make a plan, mentally steel yourself to survive, and push yourself physically to achieve that survival. Included in our training were many of our nations ‘Citizen Soldiers’; Reservists and National Guard. Among that group, it was amazing to watch the absolute failure of the human spirit under adverse conditions to display any will to survive and thrive; with a couple rare exceptions.
The mental toughness needed to survive is completely disconnected from any physical attribute or trait or prior background. I watched a small girl, who was an Office Admin in real life and a Clerk Typist for the guard. She wasn’t much over 4 foot 3, and had the cutest little combat boots. But, when faced with cold, wet, snowy conditions and having to haul her ass 18 miles, set up a shelter, sleep for 4 hours and then march back; she was the toughest little dame on the mountain. A survivor.
Why do I bring this up?
Zombie movies are about survivors. They are about the average guy digging deep and doing what it takes to survive. It is about stories of trial by unassailable odds, and being triumphant. The Zombie genre was never supposed to be about wimpy teenagers who lock up in a safe room and wait for rescue.
George Romero is going the way of George Lucas and it PISSSES ME OFF!
As we look forward to the release of WWZ (World War Z), I know that many of us read the book, heard about the movie, and cocked our head to the side said, “How are they going to pack all that into one movie?” I know I did. In fact, I said to myself, “Self, that is not a movie in there, that’s an epic mini-series”. More and more, I see what gets made into films from the Zombie genre and it is heart wrenching to see what snot gets produced.
I have completely consumed The Walking Dead (from Image Comics by Robert Kirkman) and found that the Zombie universe is still populated by an amazing number of as yet untold stories that could make tremendous films. Will they? Probably not, but as with most genres my fellow geeks love, there is much disappointment for a geek who loves too much.
Again, many thanks to Tony for his thoughts. Never let it be said that fans are not passionate Tune in tomorrow when Geek in the City, after years of research, lists the Top-5 Haunted Locales in Portland…and, a special request of you, the Geek in the City reader! – AD