Undead and Loving It!
By Chris Kavan - 02/19/10 at 03:02 PM CT
Two icons of horror are enjoying a bit of a resurgence lately - in two different ways.
On one hand you have vampires. Unlike blood-suckers of old, today's vampires are shinier, younger and to be swooned over. Thank Stephenie Meyer and her successful Twilight Series. I'm not a fan but millions of other people are. Hey, if you don't bother me about Harry Potter, I won't bother you about Twilight, OK?
Jumping on the vampire bandwagon is HBO with their True Blood and the CW with Vampire Diaries. Needless to say, the HBO series is a bit more serious and dark. And just so you don't think emo vampires are going to rule the roost, recent entries like 30 Days of Night and Daybreakers - while not box office kings - prove that traditional vampires (re: hungry and bloody) will be around.
Now, onto a genre that adore that also happens to be undead - yes, those lovable scamps known as Zombies. Why do I have such fascination with these voracious undead? Blame it on George A. Romero and Max Brooks. Romero is known for bringing zombies into the forefront with his Night, Dawn and Day of the Dead films. Max Brooks, bless his heart, introduced me the Zombie Survival Guide and the absolutely brilliant World War Z.
Zombies are much more prevalent than vampires in films, but, sadly most of said films are pretty bad. It's pretty easy to make someone up to look dead, have them lurch (or, in more recent times run really fast) and throw in some Z-list actors and hey - zombie film! Then you have films like 28 Days Later and upcoming The Crazies which aren't true zombie films, but are a kind of offshoot.
I'm also really excited to see what AMC does with their Walking Dead series. The graphic novel is really gritty and can get downright depressing at times - plus it doesn't skimp on the blood. I'm anxious to see if AMC can strike a good balance while remaining true to the series. Aside from World War Z, Walking Dead is a fine example of what would happen to normal people in a zombie apocalypse.
I guess we're living in a time when it's just hipper to be undead. Stay tuned, we'll see how fickle audiences get. There's always a backlash - zombie films have already suffered, vampires won't be far behind, but I think we're always going to have something undead to look forward to.