The zombie movie has become extremely popular over recent years and this is fuelled by the popularity of zombies in other media and due to the low costs of creating a zombie film. To understand this phenomenon fully and to understand the post 9/11 social relevance of the zombie the characteristics of such films must be analysed and explained. There is a specific criteria that governs the plot of zombie films, these being the zombies and the imminent threat of violent deaths, but also a post-apocalyptic backdrop which highlights the collapse of societal infrastructures, the indulgence of survivalist fantasies, and the fear of other surviving humans. All of these plot elements are present in pre-9/11 zombie films, but they have become more relevant to a modern, contemporary audience.Audiences fear these ghouls for a number of obvious reasons: they are corpses raised from the dead, and, more significantly, they are the corpses of the known dead, and the zombies pursue living humans with relentless dedication and kill people mercilessly by eating them alive.
In Night of the Living Dead, the ghouls are basically just pasty-faced actors; even the scenes of cannibalistic acts are less shocking because the film is in black and white rather than colour. By Dawn of the Dead, the zombies have become more realistic, and scenes of death and dismemberment are shockingly graphic and naturalistic. The scenes of death have become even more intense and graphic over the years, for example in the tv series ‘The Walking Dead’ with the recent death of Dale being ripped open visibly on screen. This increase in on screen violence is down to audiences being desensitised to on screen violence and this is down to graphically violent video games andother media, so now audiences are demanding more and more.
In most zombie films the survivors group together and hide out in some form of ‘fortress’ be it a shopping mall (which seems to be the most popular choice), a bunker, an ordinary house, or the neighbourhood pub. In a lot of films survivors end up looting due to the breakdown of society and the fact that there is now no law to enforce any sort of punishment. In addition to this however other survivors become a threat because there is no law and the only sport’s are looting, slavery, torture, rape and murder.
Since 9/11 society has becomemore culturally aware of threats, it was an almost wake up call that “zombie movies represent the inescapable we’re not as safe as we thought realities of unnatural death while presenting a grim view of the modern Horror films work as a reflection of apocalypse through scenes of deserted societies anxieties streets, piles of corpses, and gangs of vigilantes—images that have become increasingly common and can shock and terrify a population that has become numb to other horror subgenres .”
The after-effects of...closely resemble the scenarios of zombie cinema images of death and destruction have the power to shock and terrify populations that has become otherwise jaded by more traditional horror films.
Immersing ourselves into a Zombie world!Film Video Games Survival Guide Literature “In films, books and video games, the undead are once again on the march, elbowing past werewolves, vampires, swamp things and mummies to become the postmillennial ghoul of the moment ”
Zombie Genre Specific criteria that governs its plot: • Zombies and the threat of a violent death • A post - apocalyptic backdrop where there is a collapse of societal infrastructures • Indulgence of survivalist fantasies, and the fear of other surviving humans These characteristics are all pre 9/11 but they have become more relevant to a modern, contemporary audienceAudiences fear these creaturesbecause:• They are corpses• They are corpses of known dead• They pursue humans with intent to eat alive
Changes in time• CGI and special effects have made the genre more real• Graphic and naturalistic scenes of death• Increase in on screen violence• Desensitisation