Zombies are a common movie and entertainment theme, from the TV series Walking Dead to regular movies like Shaun of the Dead. Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger will make his zombie movie debut in Maggie, I am wondering if the zombie apocalypse will ever end.
You know Hollywood has jumped the shark when 65 year old Arnold Schwarzenegger is the hero of the next big zombie movie.
It’s not that I dislike zombie stories. The Walking Dead is one of my favorite TV shows ever. Warm Bodies has a new take on zombies (and Romeo and Juliet), people could be revived by love. Zombieland was fricking hilarious! I even liked World War Z. Not as much as Max Brooks’ original story, but it was much better than anticipated.
Yet the zombie apocalypse is a tired card when it comes to storytelling. It’s popularity is joined by the vampire craze, both of which highlight human concerns played out in the extreme; eating our own, seduction, sexual tension, environmental abuses, etc.
The apocalypse as a storytelling method provides clean drastic canvases for authors. I know, because Exodus takes place in a post apocalyptic United States. When you have a clean slate, you can world build and wrestle with ideas, concepts, character development and other critical story arcs.
The zombie version of the apocalypse is pretty limiting, though. It’s always about survival in the face of impossible odds, and watching your friends turn into cannibalistic undead freaks from hell. Sounds like Facebook!
All jokes aside, as cool as it is to watch/read a good zombie story, in the literary sense, the zombie apocalypse story has been told. Now we’re just dealing with new wrinkles. I may pass on Maggie and other new zombie stories, but eagerly await the next season of The Walking Dead.
What do you think about the zombie trend?