Zombies are in the news again this week, with the recent news of the new AMC spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead. I have to say I'm surprised as heck that the series is generating this much excitement. Having been a zombie movie aficionado for almost 20 years, I've honestly never seen what makes The Walking Dead special; this new series looks like the same series to me, simply set in a new place with new characters. As far as I can tell, the story will be the same: the dead are rising, the survivors are fighting horrible and heart-wrenching situations which probably includes shooting their own friends and loved ones, and the characters we come to know and love will start dying with depressing regularity.
So why do audiences demand more and more of these shambling corpses?
I've seen most big-name zombie films from the George A. Romero series to the modern takes like 28 Days Later to the parodies like Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland. I've seen many, many of the B- and even Z- films like Abraham Lincoln, Zombie Hunter. But it takes an awful lot for a zombie film, TV show, or book to get my attention anymore. So many of them follow such an incredibly predictable formula.
Lately, though, a few more interesting spins are coming about. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is slated for theatrical release very soon. Just a few years ago we had a marketable zombie romance as well: Warm Bodies.
What is the appeal of zombies? How is it possible they continue to appeal to us in the same formulaic stories, and manage to surprise us in some of the most unexpected ways?
Share your thoughts about zombies and their place in fiction, especially as it pertains to romance. Do you like them? Hate them? Have any really good zombie film or book recommendations? Do you think they're getting old, or does it look like we'll be dealing with them for a long, long time to come?