Zombies in Popular Culture

By: McKenzie

The subject of zombies is quite common and we continually see them appear in many different pieces of popular culture from movies, to books, comics, videogames and more. In most forms of media, zombies act in a similar fashion and just the mere thought of them frightens people. I think it’s safe to say zombies are a moneymaker in our culture because people enjoy a scare.  In my experience, I play Call of Duty Zombies and find it to be intriguing to play on Xbox live with friends. There are various kinds of zombies in this videogame like the hellhound zombies representing werewolves, the standard zombies running on two legs, and the nova gas zombies that crawl and give out gas when killed and cause blurred vision. In Bishop’s reading, he talks about the traditional zombie film first created by George A. Romero. This name stood out to me because on Call of Duty, there is a level named Call of the Dead and there is a character named George Romero.

An incerpt from Bishop’s article: “Because zombies do not speak, all of their intentions and activities are manifested solely through physical action. In other words, because of this sensual limitation, zombies must be watched. Their primary actions are visceral and violent: They claw, rend, smash, and gnaw.” This situation in zombie cinema is identical with the zombies in the Black Ops videogame. These zombies are violent and attack you until you are knocked down dead. I think it’s important that zombies don’t speak because it makes forms of popular culture more appealing since you don’t know what’s going to happen next. It makes it much more of a thrill when a zombie’s move is unpredicted and it makes more sense that the living dead doesn’t have a living human’s voice.

It’s interesting that producers take different parts out of the original zombie movies and continue to place these parts in newer pieces of popular culture. For instance, we have the movie names: “Shaun of the Dead,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Night of the Living Dead,” and now we have the Black Ops level, “Call of the Dead.” In addition, we often see a videogame made from the ideas of a popular zombie movie, and vice versa where a movie is made from the ideas of a zombie videogame. These resemblances give note that zombies are a popular hit in media and I think we will continue to see use of the “living dead” in popular culture.

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