Romero's Zombies


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A (brief) history of zombie movies and cultural analysis of Romer's critical Dead series.

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Romero's Zombies

  1. 1. George Romero’s Zombies <ul><ul><li>Zombies, Culture and Critique </li></ul></ul>
  2. 4. Monsters and Culture <ul><li>Monstrosity is historically conditioned, not psychologically universal </li></ul>
  3. 5. Monsters and Culture <ul><li>“The monster functions as a monster when it is able to condense as many fear-producing traits into one body” (Judith Halberstam, Skin Shows 21) </li></ul>
  4. 6. Monsters and Culture <ul><li>“ Monsters are meaning machines” (Judith Halberstam, Skin Shows 21) </li></ul>
  5. 7. Monsters and Culture <ul><li>“ The monster always represents the disruption of categories, the destruction of boundaries, and the presence of impurities and so we need monsters...” (Judith Halberstam, Skin Shows 27) </li></ul>
  6. 8. Monsters and Culture <ul><li>Horror mediates between culture and ideology through an indirect mode of representation that formulates the tensions between social order and desire (Russell, 237) </li></ul>
  7. 9. Monsters and Culture <ul><li>The monster as social Other (Robin Wood) </li></ul>
  8. 10. Monsters and Culture <ul><li>&quot;in a world homogenised by the commodity-form, and by money and information as universal equivalents, ‘the Other no longer has a place of refuge’.&quot; (Shaviro, 284) </li></ul>
  9. 11. Monsters and Culture <ul><li>Reactionary horror films figure the monster as social disorder/unwanted desire and reaffirms social order by eliminating the monster. </li></ul>
  10. 12. Monsters and Culture <ul><li>Subversive horror films point to the breakdown and failure of social order’s repression for which the monster acts as a medium. </li></ul>
  11. 13. Monstrology <ul><li>Fusion monsters, e.g. a zombie which is fusion of both living and dead </li></ul>
  12. 14. Monstrology <ul><li>Fission monsters, e.g. a werewolf, which fusion of human and wolf, but separated by time: a wolf by full moon only </li></ul>
  13. 15. Monstrology <ul><li>Magnification monsters: large and many, e.g. giant ants </li></ul>
  14. 16. A History of Zombies <ul><li>Zombies were first drawn from Haitian culture and voodoo. </li></ul><ul><li>I Walked With A Zombie (1943) </li></ul><ul><li>The Plague of the Zombies (1966) </li></ul>
  15. 17. Romero’s Dead series <ul><li>Romero revolutionized the zombie genre by making them American and immanent to American culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Zombies are no longer exotic others, they are us. </li></ul><ul><li>Night of the Living Dead (1968) </li></ul><ul><li>Dawn of the Dead (1978) </li></ul><ul><li>Day of the Dead (1985) </li></ul>
  16. 18. Zombie Cult <ul><li>Zombies gain a cult following and feature in many movies. </li></ul>
  17. 19. Zombies enter pop culture <ul><li>While hardly horror, Michael Jackson’s Thriller video did much to feature the zombie in popular imagination. </li></ul>
  18. 20. Zombies go mainstream
  19. 21. Zombies go mainstream
  20. 22. Zombies go mainstream <ul><li>San Francisco Zombie Walk (2005) </li></ul>
  21. 23. Romero’s return <ul><li>Land of the Dead (2005) </li></ul><ul><li>Diary of the Dead (2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Island of the Dead (post-production) </li></ul>
  22. 24. Romero’s Zombies <ul><li>Zombies resonate with the very processes that produce and enforce social order </li></ul>
  23. 25. Romero’s Zombies <ul><li>&quot;zombies present the ‘human face’ of capitalist monstrosity.&quot; (Shaviro, 288) </li></ul>
  24. 26. Romero’s Zombies <ul><li>&quot;zombie tales dramatize the strangeness of what has become real&quot; (Shaviro, 289) </li></ul>
  25. 27. Romero’s Zombies <ul><li>zombies figure a social process that no longer serves ratinalized ends (Shaviro, Cinematic Body 84 ) </li></ul>
  26. 28. Night of the Living Dead <ul><li>Zombies are overt social process of the disintegration of all communal bonds </li></ul><ul><li>Racism </li></ul>
  27. 29. Dawn of the Dead <ul><li>Zombies and consumerism </li></ul><ul><li>Also humans and consumerism </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalist exploitation </li></ul>
  28. 30. Day of the Dead <ul><li>Containment and boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Cold War </li></ul>
  29. 31. Land of the Dead <ul><li>Terrorism </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of the outsider </li></ul><ul><li>Isolationism </li></ul>
  30. 32. Diary of the Dead <ul><li>Media panic </li></ul><ul><li>Revisiting Night of the Living Dead </li></ul>