Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May Monster Madness Day 5



Thanks to our lovely hosts Annie Walls, Little Gothic Horrors and Wicked Ways Productions
Everyday I'm featuring one of my favorite monsters and today is zombiesThere are a lot of similarities between vampires and zombies. They both originate from the same oral traditions in ancient folklore: undead creatures who eat flesh/drink blood (they didn’t distinguish between the two back then). References to them can be found in most cultures. They’re both considered infectious: zombies can make another zombie by biting them, vampires can make another vampire by biting them. And now, after years of literature, movies, and other forms of entertainment they’re both insanely popular in fiction.

And yet the differences between the two are striking. Vampires are suave, sophisticated, often handsome, hypersexual creatures with powers to seduce, bespell and enthrall. Zombies are shambling, decaying, mindless creatures that cause nothing but fear in the eye of the beholder. (Although it seems that’s changing, too.)  Vampires might be pursued by some for the purposes of romance, sex or just a wild time.  Zombies are something you flee from and if you come into contact with one your only choice is to kill it or run away from it.

But there certainly some up-sides to being a zombie.  Vampires are (usually) limited to moving about freely only at night whereas zombies are not. Vampires tend to be solitary creatures and can often be found independent of other vampires (thus making it potentially easier to kill one). Zombies tend to travel in packs making them more difficult to kill and attacks more deadly. Vampires are rarely (nowadays) depicted as causing apocalypses where the entire population becomes infected and survivors are few and far between whereas zombies are usually solely depicted in this format.

I’ve already spoken at length about my fear of zombies and why they’re frightening while vampires are exciting so I won’t rehash that now. But I will say this: in terms of fear I would venture a guess that a lot of people agree with me. And possibly because of this zombies are an extremely popular staple of Halloween.

Obviously, there’s entirely too much for me to name all my favorites- but there are a few that stick out which I must mention.  Firstly is Max Brooks (son of genius funnyman Mel Brooks) who wrote the all-time greatest book on the subject in World War Z.  It is the scariest thing I’ve ever read and covers every angle you could possibly think of to describe the apocalypse.  From what I can tell, the upcoming movie has virtually nothing to do with the book so I wouldn’t get your hopes up there, but if you are a reader, read the book.  It’s effing amazing!

Next up is The Walking Dead.  I admit, I only got on board when the tv show came out but I loved it and that lead me back to the source: the graphic novels by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, currently up to issue 110.  The thing that makes the walking dead so compelling is the premise: whereas movies end this comic doesn't (or at least won't till the characters have been going on for years and years and years.)  It shows you what happens after the credits roll, after the main climax ends, after the fear and horror fades.  It shows you life after death and how it continues on in spite of constant, unending struggle.  The real monsters in the walking dead aren't the bulk of humanity that is now in zombie form, it's the other survivors who lose their humanity despite still being human.  I'm a fan of the show as well (though it is VERY DIFFERENT from the comics in terms of plot timline) but my heart really belongs to the graphic novels.

Last but certainly not least is 28 Days and then 28 Weeks Later.  While not technically zombie movies due to the infected people still being technically alive they are categorized as such and therfore earn mention in this list.  I can't entirely explain why, but these movies- particularly the second one- scared the hell out of me.  Even now, years and years after seeing them, I have nightmares.  Seriously.  Whenever I think of zombies I think of the ones from these movies.  They're fast, bloody and damned aggresive.  And because the virus that made them also caused an apocolpyse, they're everywhere.  While they don't have the staying power of real zombies (as at the end of the first movie you see them starved, emaciated and too weak to move), they're still damned frightening.  And in my imagination they live on as unstopable destructive forces that will break into my bedroom and kill me when I sleep.  I am forever frightened by these movies.

At any rate, in the end zombies were, are and will remain one of the best sources for horror entertainment around and with zombie walks becoming an annual evnt in more and more cities their popularity is destined to grow for some time to come.

And now, as always, I invite you to hop along and keep the monster lovin' goin'.
1. Annie Walls  16. GingerRead Review  31. Stuff! Also, Things.  
2. Magaly Guerrero  17. Carmen Jenner Author  32. Lexa Cain  
3. Stephen Tremp  18. Book Me!  33. Roland Yeomans  
4. Toni @ My Book Addiction  19. Design du Jour  34. Real Queen of Horror  
5. QueenCicada  20. Not This Time, Nayland Smith  35. Procrastonaut  
6. Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh  21. Shah Wharton  36. Ms Misantropia  
7. Something WicKED this way comes...  22. Tim Brannan, The Other Side  37. Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles  
8. Little Gothic Horrors  23. Holly's Horrorland  38. Dr. Theda  
9. Maynard Morrissey's HORROR MOVIE DIARY  24. Professor Z  39. Jenny's House of Horrors  
10. Kweeny Todd  25. The Beveled Edge  40. TF Walsh  
11. L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge  26. Candilynn Fite  41. It Came From The Man Cave!  
12. The Dark World of MJ Preston  27. Diane Riggins  42. Voodoo Ghoul  
13. Entertaining Interests  28. Lori Parker  43. The Moon is a Dead World  
14. Emily Unraveled  29. Coffintree Hill  44. KristenHead  
15. Unnatural Selections  30. Tasha's Thinkings  45. Memoirs Of A Scream Queen 

7 comments:

  1. I love zombies, and my husband is absolutely obsessed with them. After each season finale of The Walking Dead, we start counting down the weeks until the next new episode.

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  2. 28 Days Later was so effective because the zombies moved - fast. It's one thing to avoid a bunch of shamblers, but when a pack of zombies is running as fast as you, then you might not escape.

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  3. Thanks again for the Leibster, Beverley. I've just finished it and one of the random answers I gave is that horror movies scare me a lot! It sounds as if some of them have scared you too, and that they are even more horrible now than they used to be. A zombie walk sounds fun!

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  4. I'm quite a new convert to the zombie fandom, but what I love most about the genre is the huge variations in the way the creatures are portrayed. I think there's still a lot of scope left in the genre, and I think we'll be seeing a lot of zombies for some time to come.
    coffintreehill.tumblr.com

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  5. So LOVE The Walking Dead. Huge fan! Listened to World War Z on audio book. Aaaamazing! I'm actually working on something super fun at the moment that's zombish. Loved today's MMM post. :)

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  6. I'm not a huge zombie fan, I think for the exact reasons you love them, they're mindless and en masse and a lot of the time apocalyptic, and I prefer my monsters individual and personal and with a hope of recovering the way things were. I did like 28 Days Later, although it's not a huge favourite of mine, but I hated the sequel. Each to their own, though, each to their own. :)

    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles

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  7. 28 Days Later is definitely a favorite, and I'm really looking forward to World War Z! Zombies seem to be the most popular monster at the moment.

    MMM on Kristen's blog, Day 5: My Day Involved Monsters!

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Thank you for your comment! I will love it and hug it and pet it and call it George. Or, you know, just read and reply to it. But still- you rock!