In his writing, The Movies That Rose From the Grave, Max Brooks, explains how movies, books, video games, and television shows about Zombies have continued to be a leader in the horror industry for the past 40 years. The story of Zombies originated as myths and tall tales. The first Zombie movie, White Zombie, was released in 1932. During this time period, a Zombie was a living person that was made to act as a corpse. With the release of George A. Romero’s movie, Night of the Living Dead, in 1968, the notion of a Zombie changed drastically. In this movie, Zombies were portrayed as people who had risen from the dead and terrorized society. Zombies destroyed the brain of their living victims and lived off of human flesh. Their main purpose was to destroy human society. With the development of computer games such as Resident Evil and House of the Dead, more people were joining the Zombie craze. More zombie movies were created and the following increased. Even today, Zombies have continued to be a dominating force in the movie, television, and video game industry.
This has many people wondering why. Max Brooks discusses how current events over the past six years have influenced the type of entertainment consumers seek. Over the past six years tragic events such as terrorism, war, global illness, and weather related disasters have dominated our lives and the news. To escape from the anxiety created from real life threats, society relies on fictional characters such as Zombies. People can watch movies about flesh eating creatures out to destroy the earth knowing that it will never occur in real life. Horror films cause the viewer to become frightened and nervous.
Much like worrying about whether a terrorist attack is going to happen again at an airport or whether your home is going to be destroyed by a hurricane, horror films cause anxiety. However, this anxiety is relieved as soon as the movie is over. People use fictional events and characters to escape from real life events and stresses, even for just a short time. There have been other fictional horror characters such as vampires and monsters. These characters have not continued to dominate in a way that zombies have. It is unclear how long the zombie trend will continue.