be born again my friend
won’t you sign in stranger?“
today i’m honored and excited to welcome the first of our guest contributors here on “here for the people”. my old friend Root Rot. Root runs a great blog called The Witch’s Hat, where he and his compatriots specialize in movie reviews… especially exploitation, cult, and horror movie reviews. frankly, Root and the Crew are awesome… but don’t take my word for it…. they have one of the premiere horror flick blogs on the Net and their blogcast gets like a billion downloads per episode… not only will they impress you, they will also piss you off… they have struck a nice balance of controversy and entertainment over there… something i’m trying to do over here….
well anyway, i LOVE zombie movies.. love ’em love ’em love ’em. from the first one i remember seeing (dawn of the dead), to the last (walking dead TV series), i’ve been hooked. hell i even met Max Brooks last year and almost wept .. his “World War Z” is one of my favorite books (AND audiobooks!). so how excited am I that Root decided he wanted to talk about Zombies on my page as a regular feature?!
anyway, i’m gonna turn it over to my old pal now… he’s the man. we don’t always agree on films, but i always respect his opinion… even when he’s totally wrong..
take it Aaron…
I would like to start with an introduction; My name is Aaron. I’ve been been writing and podcasting under the alias of Root Rot since 2006 starting with the Midnight Podcast. I currently host The Witch’s Hat, a blog/podcast covering exploitation, cult and horror film.
Today’s post is part one of an on going segment written for “here for the people” a blog owned and operated by my old friend Eric. The segment is called Zombie 101; it discusses pivotal zombie movies and how they impacted the genera and the fans of these films. This post is based on my opinion, which I imagine not everyone shares. So if you find yourself disagreeing with me, or wanting to hunt me down in my mom’s basement and hog tie me, then please leave a comment. I only request that you come with your fucking A gaming because I’m all about speaking your mind…
Author: Root Rot
Zombie 101: Categories of Zombies in Film
Voodoo zombies are definitively the oldest genre of Zombie film. Voodoo zombie films were taken from the Voodoo rituals of Haiti; though an individual was believed to be deceased, they were actually under the spell of a Voodoo priest. Amongst horror movie fans, the 1932 White Zombie starring Bela Lugosi is generally the most recognizable Voodoo Zombie film. Lugosi plays Murder Legendre, a voodoo witch docotor who tricks a young newlywed groom and turns his bride into a zombie slave.
(Side note: If you haven’t seen this movie I highly recommend that you do. It’s very easy to find for free on the Internet due to the films public domain status)
Director George A. Romero’s, Night of the Living Dead, forever changed how the world viewed zombies. In addition to changing how we view zombies today, Romero added elements to their origins including eating habits and the way in which Zombies can die. The Romero style zombies were nothing like their distant cousin White Zombie; Romero zombies were not under a curse, but were the recently dead that came back to life to feed on the flesh of the living. If a living victim suffers a zombie bite from one of Romero’s living dead, they too would join the masses of mindless soldiers in his shambling zombie army. The only way to kill a Romero zombie is blunt force to the head. The most popular way to deliver a deadly blow to the zombies brain is via a nice clean head shot from your favorite gun.
Since the debut of NotLD, George Romero has directed five sequels, with the second film in the Romero dead series arguably being the best zombie movie ever made… Dawn of the Dead (1978). The other movies in Romero’s dead series include Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2006) and the piece of dog shit Survival of the Dead (2009), you know, the one with the horse back riding Irish zombies.
The Italian style of zombie film is different from Romero; however, it does include some of Romero’s zombies attributes. Italian style zombies have a very unique look and do things that Romero zombies didn’t; they fight sharks under water, use weapons and run. The Italian zombie seems to symbolize a more personal view of the victim, represented by acts such as tearing the flesh from a woman’s breast with their bite and eye gouging. The Italian zombie can also include a supernatural element, yet most could be killed by a shot to the head.
This is a very controversial subject amongst zombie fans Zombie movie purest demand that zombies don’t run, they shamble! In the 2004 re-make of Dawn of the Dead the zombies not only ran; they ran fast. This wasn’t the first time zombies ran in movies, in the 1985 Dan O’Bannon classic Return of the Living Dead not only did these zombies run they have other attributes that put them in a category of their own.
Return of the Living Dead Zombies
Return of the Living Dead zombies are unique for many reasons. For example the zombies from Dan O’Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead (1985) abide by completely different set of rules. Not only are unburied corpse a threat, but the buried dead would rise from their graves. RotLD zombies also have a specific diet of brains, they run, talk, use tools and can only be destroyed by electrical shock.
(Side note: The fact that RotLD zombies could be destroyed by electrical shock was discovered near the end of Return of the Living Dead 2 1988)
ZomCons are zombie movies in which the actual zombies take back seat to the comedic aspect. The 2005 tribute to Romero’s dead series Shawn of the Dead, is a great example of this type of film.
Revenge or Carma Zombies
In contrast to the mindlessness of your average zombie, these zombies are very calculated. They comeback to life to seek revenge on their murderers. After justice has been served the zombie is able to return to the grave and rest in peace.
The best example of revenge zombies can be seen in acts one and three of George Romero’s anthology Creep Show (1981) a tribute to the EC horror comic books of the 1950 (Tales From the Crypt, Vault of Horror, Tales of Terror, and Haunt of Fear).
After a Nazi solders dies he comes back to life as a zombie, when he is then forced to live in an uncomfortable place as part of a curse.
Some Nazi zombies live underwater as seen in Zombie Lake (1981) and Shockwaves (1977). The Nazi zombie in Norway’s Dead Snow (2009) lived in the snow rather than under water.
Knight Templars Zombies
Found in the Spanish Blind Dead series; these zombies are evil knights that protect the holy grail. Blind Dead zombies are very slow, ride horses, and feed on human blood.
That’s going to rap it up for part one of Zombie 101…On my next post I will review the zombie classic Dawn of the Dead (1978). I would like to thanks Eric for letting me share my thoughts on his blog and thank you for reading..
told ya the guy knows his shit….
you all just learned something