Zombies and Intimacy

Zombies - intimacyThe type of death one can expect from a zombie is nothing if not intimate. They use no secondary object, like a knife or even a rock. They use only their own teeth and hands. Victims are frequently shown having their abdomens violated by a group of zombies who proceed to then put the vitals into their mouths. Like I said—intimate.

In our culture we resist intimacy.  There was a time when servants would bathe and dress their betters, but nowadays we have a hard time carrying on a conversation with someone standing next to us at the urinal. Charles Taylor observes that our culture is characterized by a “withdrawal from certain modes of intimacy, as well as taking a distance from certain bodily functions” (137). These things embarrass us.  Where once people were advised not to blow ones nose in the table cloth, we now insist on leaving the table to perform the same act.

Our discomfort with intimacy is all part of our insulation from other people–we are buffered selves.  In a world where the buffering of the individual from intimate connection to others has resulted in a convention where bodily functions are not even mentioned, how much more offensive is the disembowelment and consumption of entrails witnessed regularly in a zombie film.

Clearly, this is a monstrous affront to our modern sensibilities.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *