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Zombies in Pop Culture


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A look at zombies in pop culture, why they are so popular, and how they have evolved. Includes the origin of zombies.

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Zombies in Pop Culture

  1. 1. Zombie CultureThe impending apocalypse*ideas adapted from Dan Birlew‟s “Why are Zombies so Popular?” (2010)
  2. 2. Zombie Culture
  3. 3. • Dawn of the Dead • Shaun of the Dead • Zombieland • The Walking Dead (tv) • Dead Set (tv)Zombies in Pop Culture
  4. 4. • Castlevania • Doom • Resident Evil • Silent Hill • Left 4 DeadZombies in Pop Culture
  5. 5. • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies • How to Survive a Zombie ApocalypseZombies in Pop Culture
  6. 6. Zombies in Pop Culture
  7. 7. • Founded in 2007 • 60+ thousand membersZombies in Pop Culture
  8. 8. • “Dedicated to raising the level of zombie knowledge and respect in the Arts and Sciences”Zombies in Pop Culture
  9. 9. • Slogan: “What you don‟t know can eat you.”Zombies in Pop Culture
  10. 10. Zombies in Pop Culture
  11. 11. Zombies in Pop Culture
  12. 12. • “Naked man eats face off victim when high on LSD” • “Another „zombie-like‟ attack? Man eats family dog after police say he ingested synthetic drug K- 2” • “Catholic priest bites ear off other priest: Ungodly battle over parking space”Zombies in Pop Culture
  13. 13. Zombies in Pop Culture
  14. 14. The Origin of Zombies
  15. 15. • Nachzehrers: Germanic creatures that consume already-dead bodiesThe Origin of Zombies
  16. 16. • The word “zombie” comes from African and Haitian legends regarding voodoo doctors • People thought these doctors could temporarily resurrect the dead and turn them into slavesThe Origin of Zombies
  17. 17. • A 1929 account of meeting a Haitian zombie: "The eyes were the worst. They were in truth like the eyes of a dead man, not blind, but staring, unfocused, unseeing. The whole face, for that matter, was bad enough. It was vacant, as if there was nothing behind it."The Origin of Zombies
  18. 18. • In reality, the doctors administered a powerful narcotic that induced a coma-like near death state • People only seemed dead • “zombi” = spirit of the deadThe Origin of Zombies
  19. 19. • The walking corpses associated with zombies today is closer to Arabian legends of ghuls (a.k.a. Western “ghouls”)The Origin of Zombies
  20. 20. • Ghouls are shape-shifting demons that typically assume the form of hyenas • They eat people and rotten fleshThe Origin of Zombies
  21. 21. • Because they can take the form of what they eat, they sometimes appear as the recent dead (sound familiar?)The Origin of Zombies
  22. 22. • 1920s: Author H.P. Lovecraft was famous for his short horror stories • He blurred the line between ghouls and zombisThe Origin of Zombies
  23. 23. • In “Re-animator,” a mad doctor revived the dead; the zombies were murderous and violent cannibals (sound familiar???)The Origin of Zombies
  24. 24. • 1954: Richard Matheson published the novel I am Legend • an infection turns people into vampires, who create other vampires during the nightThe Origin of Zombies
  25. 25. • 1968: George Romero‟s movie, Night of the Living Dead • Influenced by the I am Legend concept of “monsters creating other monsters” • Finally, the “classic” zombie they crave flesh and are capable of creating other zombies through bitingThe Origin of Zombies
  26. 26. • 2002: Danny Boyle‟s 28 Days Later • People infected by a virus (like in I am Legend) and experience uncontrollable rage • Gave birth to the idea of the “quick zombie” (no longer laughably clumsy)The Origin of Zombies
  27. 27. Why are they so popular?
  28. 28. Why are they so popular?
  29. 29. Why are they so popular?
  30. 30. Why are they so popular?
  31. 31. Why are they so popular?
  32. 32. Why are they so popular?
  33. 33. Why are they so popular?
  34. 34. • Don‟t like your boss? If he‟s a zombie, you can smash his head in!Why are they so popular?
  35. 35. • Food, liqu or, cigarett es, cars, an d guns are all free for the taking!Why are they so popular?
  36. 36. • The guy or girl you‟ve had a crush on is now a possibility (everyone else is a zombie!)Why are they so popular?
  37. 37. • You might even get to rescue him/her from being eaten! You‟ll for sure get a kiss then…Why are they so popular?
  38. 38. What does this say about society?
  39. 39. • Dan Birlew: “Perhaps swinging on a guy‟s head with a cricket bat is starting to sound like a good way to blow off some steam….What does this say about society?
  40. 40. • Dan Birlew: “…But the only problem is, you‟re talking about a person…”What does this say about society?
  41. 41. • Dan Birlew: “…So you need something that‟s not a person, but a kind of rudimentary semi-person with no intelligence”What does this say about society?
  42. 42. • Dan Birlew: “[Zombies are] former people that you can beat down and tear apart in the most gruesome ways you can think of…”What does this say about society?
  43. 43. • Dan Birlew: “…The more clever and savage, the better” *warning: upcoming image contains some graphic elementsWhat does this say about society?
  44. 44. What does this say about society?
  45. 45. What does this say about society?
  46. 46. What does this say about society?
  47. 47. In the end, just remember this…
  48. 48. How else would they get to your brain?
  49. 49. Zombie Power!