Zombie apocalypse

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The zombie apocalypse is a particular scenario of apocalyptic fiction that customarily has a science fiction/horror rationale. In a zombie apocalypse, a widespread (usually global) rise of zombies hostile to human life engages in a general assault on civilization. Victims of zombies may become zombies themselves. This causes the outbreak to become an exponentially growing crisis: the spreading "zombie plague" swamps normal military and law enforcement organizations, leading to the panicked collapse of civilian society until only isolated pockets of survivors remain, scavenging for food and supplies in a world suddenly reduced to a hostile wilderness.


[edit] Genre tropes

There are several common story elements that create a zombie apocalypse:

  1. Apocalypse is created by the unprecedented generation of zombies; an event that has never happened before and impossible by any reasonable definition.[1]
  2. Zombies begin attacking the living with those killed or infected also becoming zombies. Surviving characters react with initial disbelief to events until hostile encounters precipitate further action.[2]
  3. Authorities are slow to respond to the threat giving the zombies time to grow beyond containment. The zombies cannot be controlled despite the broad choice of countermeasures with available technologies. This outcome then results in the collapse of the given society. Zombies take full control while small groups of the living must fight for their survival.[2]

The stories usually follow a single group of survivors, caught up in the sudden rush of the crisis. The narrative generally progresses from the onset of the zombie plague, then initial attempts to seek the aid of authorities, the failure of those authorities, through to the sudden catastrophic collapse of all large-scale organization and the characters' subsequent attempts to survive on their own. Such stories are often squarely focused on the way their characters react to such an extreme catastrophe, and how their personalities are changed by the stress, often acting on more primal motivations (fear, self-preservation) than they would display in normal life.[2][3]

Generally the zombies in these situations are the slow moving kind first made popular in the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead.[1] Recent films, however, have included zombies that are fast, agile, and stronger than the traditional zombie.[4]

[edit] Subtext

The literary subtext of a zombie apocalypse is usually that civilization is inherently fragile in the face of truly unprecedented threats and that most individuals cannot be relied upon to support the greater good if the personal cost becomes too high.[5] The narrative of a zombie apocalypse carries strong connections to the turbulent social landscape of the United States in the 1960s when the originator of this genre, the film Night of the Living Dead, was first created.[6][7] Many also feel that zombies allow people to deal with their own anxiety about the end of the world.[8] In fact the breakdown of society as a result of zombie infestation has been portrayed in countless zombie-related media since Night of the Living Dead.[9] Kim Paffrenroth notes that "more than any other monster, zombies are fully and literally apocalyptic ... they signal the end of the world as we have known it."[9]

[edit] Fandom

Thanks to large number of films and video games, the idea of a zombie apocalypse has entered the mainstream and there have been efforts by many fans to prepare for the "coming" zombie apocalypse. Efforts include creating weapons[10], selling posters to inform people on how to survive a zombie outbreak[11], and creating websites "documenting" zombie attacks.[12]

At Goucher College students there invented the tag game Humans vs. Zombies where human "survivors" armed with NERF guns face off against "zombies." The game has caused some controversy though in light of the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech and the 2008 shooting at Northern Illinois with some feeling the game belittles how dangerous guns are.[13]

Some notable individuals have discussed what they would do in a zombie apocalypse. Mixed martial artist Nick Denis said "I plan on getting, one, an aluminum bat [and], two, a rope ladder, so if I live in the second level of an apartment, that’d be my exit, in and out the window. And then I’d like to get chainmail. No zombie can bite through that. That’d be a good start for my bag."[14] Adam Cayton-Holland said he tried to practice firing a gun: "in order to prove my worth to the denizens of whatever abandoned hovel I will inevitably hole up in during the zombie attack, I should learn how to fire me a flintlock."[15]

[edit] Examples

[edit] Films

  • The films Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), and Diary of the Dead (2008) by George Romero.[16]
  • The 2002 film 28 Days Later and its sequel 28 Weeks Later where a man-made "rage" virus is unleashed in Britain. [17][18]
  • The 2003 film Undead. Set in Australia, it features a group of survivors in a village infected with zombies, aliens clean up the infection but it gets out of the village and engulfs the world.[19][clarification needed]
  • The 2004 film version of Dawn of the Dead[20]
  • The 2006 film The Zombie Diaries, a British made movie in which a virus creates a plague of zombies.[21]
  • The 2006 film Fido, a zombie comedy set in the 1950s where humanity is saved from a zombie apocalypse by a corporation who turns zombies into personal servants.[22]
  • The 2006 film City of Rott. This animated movie centers around an old man, Fred, and his walker (that he uses to kill legions of zombies). They traverse a metropolis, overtaken by the walking dead, in search of food, water, and new shoes.[23]
  • The 2007 film Resident Evil: Extinction. In this third chapter of the game-based movie, a virus infects most of the Earth's population, turning them into zombies. The few survivors move away in armored groups, or hide underground.[24]
  • The 2007 film Planet Terror, one of the two films in the Grindhouse which was notable for Rose McGowan playing a go-go dancer whose leg is replaced with a machine gun.[25]
  • The 2008 film Dance of the Dead, where a group of students attempt to save their high school prom from the attacking dead.[26]
  • The 2009 film Zombieland where America is ravaged by a zombie plague, but a lone band of survivors attempts to survive in an amusement park.[27].

[edit] Comics

[edit] Novels

[edit] Television

[edit] Video games

[edit] Music

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Brian Cronin (December 3rd, 2008). "John Seavey’s Storytelling Engines: George Romero’s “Dead” Films". Comic Book Resources. http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/12/03/john-seaveys-storytelling-engines-george-romeros-dead-films/. Retrieved on 4 December 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c Todd Kenreck (November 17, 2008). "Surviving a zombie apocalypse: 'Left 4 Dead' writer talks about breathing life into zombie genre". Video game review. msnbc. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27770863/. Retrieved on 3 December 2008. 
  3. ^ Daily, Patrick. "Max Brooks". Chicago Reader. http://events.chicagoreader.com/events/Event?oid=852597. Retrieved on October 28, 2008. 
  4. ^ Josh Levin (March 24, 2004). "Dead Run". Slate. http://www.slate.com/id/2097751/. Retrieved on 4 December 2008. 
  5. ^ a b Christopher T. Fong (December 2, 2008). "Playing Games: Left 4 Dead". Video game review. San Francisco Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/12/01/DD4R14F77J.DTL. Retrieved on 3 December 2008. 
  6. ^ Adam Rockoff, Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film, 1978–1986 (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2002), p.35, ISBN 0-7864-1227-5.
  7. ^ "Zombie Movies" in The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, ed. John Clute and John Grant (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999), p.1048, ISBN 0-312-19869-8
  8. ^ Cripps, Charlotte (November 1, 2006). "Preview: Max Brooks' Festival Of The (Living) Dead! Barbican, London". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/film-and-tv/features/preview-max-brooks-festival-of-the-living-dead-barbican-london-422481.html. Retrieved on September 19, 2008. 
  9. ^ a b Kim Paffenroth, Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero's Visions of Hell on Earth. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2006.
  10. ^ Andy Fliege (December 5, 2008). "Daily Distraction: UItimate Zombie Weapon". Windy Citizen. http://techloop.windycitizen.com/2008/12/05/daily-distraction-uitimate-zombie-weapon. Retrieved on 6 December 2008. 
  11. ^ Michael Harrison (December 05, 2008). "10 Geeky Gifts for Under $10". Wired. http://blog.wired.com/geekdad/2008/12/10-geeky-gifts.html. Retrieved on 6 December 2008. 
  12. ^ Jim Harrington (March 03, 2009). "Zombie fever spreads on undead site". Oakland Tribune. http://www.insidebayarea.com/entertainment/ci_11819459. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  13. ^ "At Goucher, zombies attack — and unnerve". The Baltimore Sun. December 7, 2008. http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.zombie07dec07,0,1872960.story. Retrieved on 8 December 2008. 
  14. ^ Tony Loiseleur (March 21, 2009). "Sengoku Notebook: ‘King Mo’ Breaks Hand". Sengoku. http://sherdog.com/news/articles/sengoku-notebook-king-mo-breaks-hand-16670. Retrieved on 2009-04-02. 
  15. ^ Adam Cayton-Holland (March 18, 2009). "What's So Funny?: Surviving the zombie apocalypse". Denver/Boulder Decider. http://denver.decider.com/articles/whats-so-funny-surviving-the-zombie-apocalypse,25182/. Retrieved on 2009-04-02. 
  16. ^ Dawn of the Dead at the Internet Movie Database
  17. ^ Mark Kermode (2007). "A capital place for panic attacks" (html). Guardian News and Media Limited. http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,,2073292,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-05-12. 
  18. ^ "Stylus Magazine’s Top 10 Zombie Films of All Time". http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/movie_review/stylus-magazines-top-10-zombie-films-of-all-time.htm. 
  19. ^ Undead - International movie database
  20. ^ TheMovieBoy Review - Dawn of the Dead (2004)
  21. ^ "The Zombie Diaries press kit". ZombieDiaries.com. http://www.zombiediaries.com/PressKitZombieDiaries.pdf. Retrieved on 2007-09-17. 
  22. ^ Pascal. "Fido Movie Review". Movie review. Movies Online. http://www.moviesonline.ca/movie_review_detail.php?id=12254. Retrieved on 3 December 2008. 
  23. ^ City of Rott - IMDb
  24. ^ Resident Evil: Extinction review, Helen O'Hara, Empire
  25. ^ "Video In Stores". Winston-Salem Journal. December 19, 2008. http://www2.journalnow.com/content/2008/dec/18/the-third-film-in-the-mummy-series-lacks-spark/. Retrieved on 19 December 2008. 
  26. ^ Steve Anderson (December 11, 2008). "Reel Advice: Dance of the Dead". Monsters and Critics. http://www.monstersandcritics.com/dvd/features/article_1447782.php/Reel_Advice_Dance_of_the_Dead. Retrieved on 12 December 2008. 
  27. ^ Carroll, Larry (2009-03-04). "‘Zombieland’ Monster Maker Has Emma Stone, Mila Kunis Eating Brains". MTV Movies Blog. MTV/Viacom. http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2009/03/04/zombieland-monster-maker-has-emma-stone-mila-kunis-eating-brains/#more-10483. Retrieved on 2009-03-29. 
  28. ^ http://calibercomics.com/DEADWORLD/comictitle.htm
  29. ^ WEEK OF THE DEAD I: Robert Kirkman, Comic Book Resources, May 19, 2008
  30. ^ "The Dead Walk the Earth... in Spandex!" Article/Review from I-Mockery
  31. ^ "AnimeNewNetwork"
  32. ^ JK Parkin (January 8, 2009). "Zito and Trov on The Black Cherry Bombshells going analog". Interview. Comic Book Resources. http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2009/01/zito-and-trov-on-the-black-cherry-bombshells-going-analog/. Retrieved on 8 January 2009. 
  33. ^ Djibril (2004). "Max Brooks, The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete protection from the living dead.". Book review. The Future Fire. http://futurefire.net/2005.02/review/d-brooks.html. Retrieved on 2 December 2008. 
  34. ^ Currie, Ron (September 5, 2008). "The End of the World as We Know it". Untitled Books. http://www.untitledbooks.com/pages/features/index.asp?FeaturesID=74. Retrieved on September 21, 2008. 
  35. ^ "Cell Review from Pickerington Public Library". Publishers Weekly. 2006-01-02. http://www.supportlibrary.com/nl/br.cfm?re=890&url=%40nl_bookview.cfm%3Fx%3D890%26bn%3D%252A%252E%252E%2520%2522P%2524O%2520Z%255D3%255DI0%2520%2520%250A. Retrieved on 2008-08-28. 
  36. ^ Dance of the Dead at the Internet Movie Database
  37. ^ SFX interview with Charlie Brooker
  38. ^ "Zombie Master v1.2.1 Released". Gamers Hell. February 18, 2009. http://www.gamershell.com/news_69654.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  39. ^ http://www.zombiepanic.org/site/index.php
  40. ^ http://www.moddb.com/mods/zombie-panic-source
  41. ^ "The Wednesday 10: 2008 Games You May Have Overlooked". IGN. January 7, 2009. http://ds.ign.com/articles/942/942551p1.html. Retrieved on 8 January 2009. 
  42. ^ Andrei Dumitrescu (January 19, 2009). "Patch Not Coming Soon for PC Version of Call of Duty". Softpedia. http://news.softpedia.com/news/Patch-Not-Coming-Soon-for-PC-Version-of-Call-of-Duty-102282.shtml. Retrieved on 2009-01-21. 
  43. ^ Carl Lyon (February 27, 2009). "Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad - Review". Fear.net. http://www.fearnet.com/news/reviews/b14852_onechanbara_bikini_samurai_squad_review.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  44. ^ "The ZomBeatles: All You Need Is Brains Tastes Funny". Fan Cinema Today. March 24, 2009. http://fancinematoday.com/2009/03/24/the-zombeatles-all-you-need-is-brains-tastes-funny/. Retrieved on 2009-04-09. 
  45. ^ "Brain Drill lyrics". http://brain-drill.lyrics-text.com/. 
  46. ^ Burkart, Gregory S. (December 8, 2008). "Behold Metallica's "Nightmare" Zombie Apocalypse!". FEARnet. http://www.fearnet.com/news/b13980_behold_metallicas_nightmare_zombie.html. Retrieved on 8 December 2008. 

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