Why “Zombies” Might Mean “I Love You”+comment
I love horror because it, like science fiction, is a handy way to examine the world around us safely. Employ a ridiculous or fantastic metaphor for one of society’s ills, and it’s like taking a spoonful of sugar with your medicine.
Of course Horror is popular because it’s scary and visceral and it gets the heart rate up. It’s a physical response that can often lead to other… Um… Activities… And guys wouldn’t take their dates to see scary films if there wasn’t a somewhat solid track record of this tactic… Uh… Delivering…
Disaster and horror flicks hit me especially hard because the more successful the movie is in its message, the more I’m into that film, the more I’m asking myself if I would be able to survive. The REALLY good flicks can prompt me to question not only whether I would survive, but could I protect the people I care about.
And truth be told, that kind of forward thinking is never a bad thing. Being prepared for a zombie apocalypse wouldn’t be radically different than preparing for an earthquake, disease outbreak, riot, etc, etc.
For any guys who might be reading this, here are some suggestion that might make the zombie sharing experience easier. How about we avoid the carnage gore-fest films as introductions to this sub-genre. You’re probably not going to impress a zombie newbie with the Nazi-Zombie killing exploits of ‘Dead Snow’…
Let’s stick to films which focus on tone, message and survival. You want to be able to have that “what would we do” conversation at the end of the movie.
At its core, a movie like ‘28 Days Later’ features fantastic commentary on re-building a family after a catastrophic event with characters under incredible duress. There’s a surprising amount of heart in that film. While not “true zombies” by some people’s measure, the same general themes apply, and the film is capable of building tremendous amounts of tension. Though be forewarned that it might be too intense for some. Gauge whether she will enjoy something that visceral before subjecting it on her.
If your gal is into classics, you can’t really go wrong with the original ‘Night of the Living Dead’, which features an almost Hitchcock-like claustrophobia, and is notable for its forward-thinking portrayal of a strong, heroic, African American lead. Not too shabby for a film from the 1960’s. This film is in the public domain, and you can easily (and legally) acquire a blu-ray quality transfer for your own personal viewing.
If you get no traction on either of those, you might consider a Canadian oddity titled ‘Pontypool’ which features a really fresh spin on zombie-ism, and takes place almost exclusively in a radio station reporting on the outbreak. It does a glorious job of creating tension by NOT showing you a lot of gore. It’s a great thriller for those with a powerful imagination, and you might impress your date with your knowledge of obscure cinema.
Lastly, you can always turn to ‘Shaun of the Dead’. It’s perhaps the greatest zombie trojan horse ever produced. What starts as an affable satire evolves into an extremely competent zombie outbreak film. It’s a sneaky trick, getting your date laughing, then scaring the pee out of her, but it’s been my go to film for sneaking zombies under nay-sayer’s noses since it was released. If they enjoy it, then you can casually mention that almost every scene in the film is an homage to various other zombie flicks, and that might build a little interest in watching more survival gore.