It’s day twelve in my Horror Movie Marathon and that means it is time for a zombie movie! How can you have a marathon or be a self-proclaimed horror fanatic without a good zombie film?
We Heart Zombies
What is it about zombies that separate them from the rest of the common horror creatures? Werewolves, aliens and the creature are all on the lines of repulsive and fester up a mentality of dread. Vampires have often been given a more romanticized demeanor while zombies… well they’re more cute or comical. I think of Cabin In The Woods is a good example of this. At the climax of the film where the elevator doors have been opened and the slew of horrors begin their massacre. The room clears and we’re left with an empty aftermath. Except for a group of zombies sitting there feasting on some dead corpses. It’s a funny moment of the film but one I can’t help feel like we’re looking an endearing moment. Kind of like a cute little puppy. It sounds odd but I think it’s an observation that makes sense.
We appreciate zombies for the simple horror they are. They aren’t convoluted with back story or require much train of thought. Their intent is not to cause damage or chaos. Instead they are driven by an insatiable hunger for human flesh. It’s not really evil, they’re just doing what comes natural. Dracula is evil, he totally controls his lust for blood whenever he wants to manipulate or pull off some scheme. The dude is a home wrecker and seems to enjoy enslaving people. Werewolves will kill their loved ones and Pennywise just wants to see children suffer. But zombies don’t do that. The chaos and violence that happens around them is just a reaction of society. Which is probably another thing we love about them.
The World Surrounding Zombies
You know why women love watching those reality television shows? It is because they love seeing a train wreck that isn’t their own. People love a pathetic person. They bring out the worst in ourselves with gossip and judgement. Sure these people on Dr. Phil are all morons but their morons that aren’t us! We love seeing things like turmoil and total breakdown. So a zombie apocalypse is right up our alley! As much as we love gore, most people love the drama of a collapsed society. Grocery stores being ravaged, neighbors killing for medical supplies, newly established tribes declaring war on each other. I think that’s the pull for many people.
Next Step For Humans?
I have always viewed zombies as a next step of human evolution. If you think of zombies, they’re perfect organisms that don’t age or suffer from disease. Their drive is more in tuned with nature in the sense that they only eat and stay dormant. They obviously don’t kill each other and disregard things like race, religion or political position. They aren’t using up resources like oxygen, water or causing traffic that makes me late for work! Zombies are the ultimate progression in mankind.
But then we have a situation where the zombies aren’t really zombies in the sense of reanimated dead. What if we had zombies that were something worse. Infected with a virus that made of angry and violent. Instead of hunger and nourishment, our drive is pain, blood and death. Like normal humans, injected with a steroid that strengthens our inner hatred and rage. There is no progression or flickering of a beautiful thought with these kinds.
28 Days Later is a 2002 film directed by Danny Boyle and starring Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson and Christopher Eccleston. It received high praise for re-establishing the zombie genre and spawned a successful sequel.
After a group of animal rights wackos do what they do best and let loose a terrible virus on society called “Rage.” All of England is disrupted and the majority of the population is killed off. A month later Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakens from a coma to an apocalyptic world and rage filled humans… Wait doesn’t this sound vaguely familiar to anyone else? Anyways, Jim meets up with a group of survivors and must make their way across the countryside to seek refuge from the rage filled humans.
I know it’s debatable if 28 Days Later is a true zombie film. I personally stand on the “yes” side of the argument. The film is a perfect post-apocalyptic situation and regardless of the drive of the dead, they’re still a mass threat to all none infected. I actually think the 28 Days Later zombies are the worst kinds and presents itself of a more “hell on earth” scenario than any of the Romero films. Let’s be honest, when it comes to which one you would rather die by; both choices suck balls. I don’t know if being eaten is as bad as being torn, pummeled and getting your eyes gouged out. I guess everyone has their preference. Personally, I’d rather be a quick buffet than a punching bag. But this is one reason that 28 Days Later is such an insanely good film. The threat of these hordes of zombies is much more concrete and non-negotiable.
Also, the transition from normal to a being infected with “Rage” is a matter of seconds. Where a zombie bite is quick and enduring. Danny Boyle was able to take a common movie trope and give it a massive dose of adrenaline that the genre desperately needed. 28 Days Later is an intense movie that never gets boring or loses that horror drive that many zombie movies do after the first hour. This movie is pure chaos from beginning to end and does so with a brilliantly acted cast full of deep dramatic emotion. I want to meet the ass hole that didn’t tear up a little when Frank got that blood drop in his eye? Seriously, if you didn’t break up inside then you’re a terrible person!
This movie is unforgiving. When our survivors seem to make it to a safe haven things only get worse and proves one thing in this film. Although the infected are violent rage monsters, they’re still predictably simple and less of a threat. When our survivors meet up with a group of military that haven taken refuge in an old mansion, we discover that they want to use the woman for sexual desires. It’s a gross thing to think of, mainly because it basically tells us we’re still piles of shit without the Rage virus.
I love this movie and deem it one of the top zombie films of all time. The cinematography and style gives you a sense of urgency to the already urgent moments. The tone of the film seems more clinical and real than the exaggerated style we normally see in the genre. I enjoy how gentle and out of place our main character Jim is. Him, Selena, Frank and his daughter represent the goodness left in this world and each scene they make it believable. So watch 28 Days Later and I hope you enjoyed day twelves of Horror Movie Marathon 2019!