The zombie is ubiquitous in popular culture: from comic books to video games, to internet applications and homemade films, zombies are all around us. Investigating the zombie from an interdisciplinary perspective, with an emphasis on deep analytical engagement with diverse kinds of texts, Better Off Dead addresses some of the more unlikely venues where zombies are found while providing the reader with a classic overview of the zombieGÇÖs folkloric and cinematic history. What has the zombie metaphor meant in the past? Why does it continue to be so prevalent in our culture? Where others have looked at the zombie as an allegory for humanityGÇÖs inner machinations or claimed the zombie as capitalist critique, this collection seeks to provide an archaeology of the zombieGÇötracing its lineage from Haiti, mapping its various cultural transformations, and suggesting the post-humanist direction in which the zombie is ultimately heading. Approaching the zombie from many different points of view, the contributors look across history and across media. Though they represent various theoretical perspectives, the whole makes a cohesive argument: The zombie has not just evolved within narratives; it has evolved in a way that transforms narrative. This collection announces a new post-zombie, even before the boundaries of this rich and mysterious myth have been completely charted.
In this comprehensive portrait of horror's definitive director, Tony Williams ties George A. Romero's films to the development of literary naturalism and American culture, expanding the artist's creative footprint beyond his mastery of the "splatter movie" genre. Williams locates Romero's influences in the work of Emile Zola, the Entertainment Comics of the 1950s, and the novels of Stephen King, revealing the interdisciplinary depth of his seminal films Night of the Living Dead (1968), Creepshow (1982), Monkey Shines (1988), and The Dark Half (1992). For this second edition, Williams reads Romero's Bruiser (2000) against his more recent Land of the Dead (2005) and takes a fresh look at Diary of the Dead (2007) and Survival of the Dead (2009), two overlooked films that feature Romero's greatest achievements yet.
Intrigued by some of the most sinister legends of Western civilization, Gregory Reece goes in search of answers to the question: why is our culture so obsessed by the eerie and the macabre? Why have the Twilight and True Blood series skyrocketed in popularity, with millions of readers and primetime television and movie adaptations? Whether tracking night-stalking werewolves, chanting black magic mantras with Satanists, or interviewing a modern-day Count Dracula, Reece is determined to uncover the truth in this bold and startling journey into a world that has so often seemed to lie beyond the limits of rational comprehension.
Devouring Cultures brings together contributors from a wide range of disciplines including media studies, rhetoric, gender studies, philosophy, anthropology, literary criticism, film criticism, race theory, history, and linguistics to examine the ways food signifies both culture and identity. These scholars look for answers to intriguing questions: What does our choice of dining house say about our social class? Can restaurants teach us about a culture? How does food operate in Downton Abbey? How does food consumption in zombie apocalypse films and apocalyptic literature relate to contemporary food-chain crises and food nostalgia? What aspects of racial conflict, assimilation, and empowerment may be represented in restaurant culture and food choice? Restaurants, from their historical development to their modern role as surrogate kitchen, are studied as markers of gender, race, and social class, and also as forums for the exhibition of tensions or spaces where culture is learned through the language of food. Food, as it is portrayed in literature, movies, and television, is illuminated as a platform for cultural assimilation, a way for the oppressed to find agency, or even a marker for the end of a civilization. The essays in Devouring Cultures show how our choices about what we eat, where we eat, and with whom we eat are linked to identity and meaning and how the seemingly simple act of consumption has implications that extend far beyond sustenance.
A fascinating read for anyone from general readers to hardcore fans and scholars, this encyclopedia covers virtually every aspect of the zombie as cultural phenomenon, including film, literature, folklore, music, video games, and events. * Provides comprehensive coverage of topics about or relating to zombies in film, literature, folklore, and popular culture * Features work from contributors who are dedicated scholars, authors, or fans in the zombie genre of work * Supplies dates with all names and works to give readers a sense of the historical context and evolution of zombie lore * Includes concept entries—for example, comedy, free will, and weapons—that place works in a logical, thematic context
Growing from their early roots in Caribbean voodoo to their popularity today, zombies are epidemic. Their presence is pervasive, whether they are found in video games, street signs, hard drives, or even international politics. These eighteen original essays by an interdisciplinary group of scholars examine how the zombie has evolved over time, its continually evolving manifestations in popular culture, and the unpredictable effects the zombie has had on late modernity. Topics covered include representations of zombies in films, the zombie as environmental critique, its role in mass psychology and how issues of race, class and gender are expressed through zombie narratives. Collectively, the work enhances our understanding of the popularity and purposes of horror in the modern era.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to be eaten! There is a secret history to be told of the undead. See how Samurai, Vikings, Spartans and even Teddy Roosevelt dealt with the zombie horde. Witness the last stand in the Zombie War of 1812, discover what really happened to the lost colony of Roanoke Island, and learn the real reason Russia lost the space race.
In this book, Gregory A. Waller shows why the vampire continues to fascinate us in film and fiction. Waller focuses upon a series of interrelated novels, stories, plays, films, and made-for-television movies: Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897); several film adaptations of Stoker's novel; F. W. Murnau's Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror (1922); Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979); and George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1979). All of these works, Waller argues, speak to our understanding and fear of evil and chaos, of desire and egotism, of slavish dependence and masterful control. This paperback edition of The Living and the Undead features a new preface in which Waller positions his analysis in relation to the explosion of vampire and zombie films, fiction, and criticism in the past twenty-five years.
In 1982, Harvard-trained ethnobotanist Wade Davis traveled into the Haitian countryside to research reports of zombies--the infamous living dead of Haitian folklore. A report by a team of physicians of a verifiable case of zombification led him to try to obtain the poison associated with the process and examine it for potential medical use. Interdisciplinary in nature, this study reveals a network of power relations reaching all levels of Haitian political life. It sheds light on recent Haitian political history, including the meteoric rise under Duvalier of the Tonton Macoute. By explaining zombification as a rational process within the context of traditional Vodoun society, Davis demystifies one of the most exploited of folk beliefs, one that has been used to denigrate an entire people and their religion.
The figure of the zombie is a familiar one in world culture, acting as a metaphor for the other, a participant in narratives of life and death, good and evil, and of a fate worse than death--the state of being undead. This book explores the phenomenon from its roots in Haitian folklore to its evolution on the silver screen and to its radical transformation during the 1960s countercultural revolution. Contributors from a broad range of disciplines here examine the zombie and its relationship to colonialism, orientalism, racism, globalism, capitalism and more--including potential signs that the zombie hordes may have finally achieved oversaturation.
The undead are very much alive in contemporary entertainment and lore. Indeed, vampires and zombies have garnered attention in print media, cinema, and on television. The vampire, with roots in medieval European folklore, and the zombie, with origins in Afro-Caribbean mythology, have both undergone significant transformations in global culture, proliferating as deviant representatives of the zeitgeist. As this volume demonstrates, distribution of vampires and zombies across time and space has revealed these undead figures to carry multiple meanings. Of all monsters, vampires and zombies seem to be the trendiest--the most regularly incarnate of the undead and the monsters most frequently represented in the media and pop culture. Moreover, both figures have experienced radical reinterpretations. If in the past vampires were evil, blood-sucking exploiters and zombies were brainless victims, they now have metamorphosed into kinder and gentler blood-sucking vampires and crueler, more relentless, flesh-eating zombies. Although the portrayals of both vampires and zombies can be traced back to specific regions and predate mass media, the introduction of mass distribution through film and game technologies has significantly modified their depiction over time and in new environments. Among other topics, contributors discuss zombies in Thai films, vampire novels of Mexico, and undead avatars in horror videogames. This volume--with scholars from different national and cultural backgrounds--explores the transformations that the vampire and zombie figures undergo when they travel globally and through various media and cultures.
Not so long ago zombies rarely shuffled out of B-grade horror movies and cult comic books, but today they are everywhere. Zombies are proliferating, demonstrating an extraordinary capacity to transport fluidly from genre to genre, from the apocalyptic future to the already survived past, and in and out of fictional form. Today they can be found in just about any genre or discourse and as they move sinuously across the cultural landscape they keep morphing; taking on ever new and ever more bizarre associations.
On the surface, the zombie seems the polar opposite of the human--they are the living dead; we, in essence, are the dying alive. But the zombie is also us. Although decaying, it looks like us, dresses like us, and sometimes (if rarely) acts like us. In this volume, essays by scholars from a range of disciplines examine the zombie as a thematic presence in literature, film, video games, legal language, and philosophy, exploring topics including zombies and the environment, litigation, the afterlife, capitalism, and the erotic. Through this wide-ranging examination of the zombie phenomenon, the authors seek to discover what the zombie can teach us about being human. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here .
Full details of where to find, and how to kill, all of Britain's most historic zombies—a guide for history lovers to get the most out of the zombie apocalypse Are you worried about the zombie apocalypse? Clasp a copy of this book and make sure to secure yourself a better class of horrible death from one of Britain's best-loved historical legends. Sixty fact files offer full zombie-hunting details, including the locations of tombs, any wounds or weaknesses, and a carefully calculated difficulty rating. High profile targets include Jane Austen, Henry VIII, Richard III, and William Shakespeare. Other exciting targets include those with flesh-eating diseases, people who were buried alive, and some resurrected royal corpses. No apocalyptic history lover should leave home without this guide.