Month: September 2013


Where do zombies come from?


Zombies are our monsters. We are modern and we are secular, so our monsters will be just the sort of creature that would terrorize a modern, secular audience. Because we believe in a strictly material reality, zombies can't suggest any transcendent meaning; we really don't go for that sort of thing. Another...

The World of the Zombie


The zombie is thoroughly physical; one of its primary qualities is that it has been emptied of transcendence. The same can be said about the world through which it shambles. In Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, the ordinariness of the setting reflects a thoroughly immanent world. The “dully commonplace settings”...

Zombies Ain’t Got No Soul


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many in the west were coming to terms with the death of God, as declared by Nietzsche, by transferring their faith to a new master and savior: technology and science. But with the events of the Second World War, most particularly the Holocaust and...

The Modern Identity and the Monster


The horror story in general, turns fear, “whether personal or social, into a specific type of monster; and seeks to contain and destroy it” (Worland 17). The zombie is the most popular monster in our modern horror stories.  So the walking dead must be a product of some collective anxiety...

A Brief History of the Zombie


Before it was our monster, the zombie was an African and a Caribbean monster. As it moved from place to place it changes because the identity it challenged was a different identity. (Read "A New Kind of Monster"). The zombie has two basic characteristics: it is a reanimated corpse of one...

Zombie Apocalypse


The word apocalypse is often equated with downed power lines, collapsed buildings and the looting of electronics stores (which doesn't make much sense given the downed power lines). Add a huge herd of zombies to the mayhem and you have the zombie apocalypse. "Apocalypse" (Ἀποκάλυψις) is a Greek word meaning...

Zombies—A New Kind of Monster


The idea of the dead walking among the living has been around for a long time. In Inferno, Dante meets Fra Albergio who tells him of traitors like himself who are dead before their bodies die. Dante is horrified; he has seen one of these men the friar describes, one...