By: Jeff Hornassek
June 18, 2019
Nickelback (who is total dog shit btw) has a song with a lyric that goes “well it’s been awhiiiiiiile” and I think that’s appropriate as we haven’t had a squad blog in quite some time. I’d like to bring it back this week, with an ode to why I love Zombie movies.
You can debate whether or not the Zombie film fits into the horror, sci fi, or even it’s own genre entirely. Throughout the past few decades it’s been done incredibly well as a drama, a comedy, and even something in between. At this point I think there is a large enough sample size to basically make it a type of film that has enough defining characteristics to give it it’s own shelf at a Blockbuster (if those were still a thing) or it’s own category on a streaming service such as Netflix.
All zombie movies essentially have the same few elements, and then offer their unique spin and characters with some sense of world building. The key ingredients you will usually find in a Zombie film are:
- An outbreak or virus of some kind causing a post apocalyptic state
- Survivors either attempting to cure said Zombie outbreak, or find other survivors
- A person bit by a zombie who is able to stave off turning full undead for an impressive amount of time
- Some plan formulated by our protagonists wherein they combat the zombies and usually fuck a ton of them up in a cool set piece
The two big points of differentiation for the first component of a zombie film listed above is where the story starts. We often get a world that we first meet that is already in a post apocalyptic state (my personal preference) and are experiencing it as the audience while trying to figure out how things got to this point and understand the characters journey. The other way the narrative often begins is with us following a character as the world starts to go to shit and spin out of control with said outbreak.
My personal favorite part of zombie movies is how the outbreak started, and spread. In ’28 Days Later’ we don’t learn all the details until the near end of the film, and it leaves for some awesome twists and turns. In a movie like ‘Zombieland’ it’s hardly mentioned at all, but shown in a comedic way early in the first act. A Horror/Comedy like ‘Shaun of the Dead’ takes us through the not so methodical changing of London from a normal place, into a zombie infested wasteland in a matter of days in some hilarious transformations.
Do you personally like zombie films, or do they tend to be too paint by numbers for you? Let us know your thoughts, and as always, see you at the movies.