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Stumbling around every corner, lurking into the night, flesh eating creatures, once human, are taking over the world, or at least that’s what pop culture predicts will happen . This zombie culture, like the monsters themselves, somehow lumbered their way into pop culture rather quickly.
Starting with movies like Night of the Living Dead, reanimated corpses that have been turned into creatures capable of movement but not thought are depicted roaming through the night feeding on human and animal flesh.
It wasn’t so popular at first; only a select group of monster-loving fans enjoyed watching these cannibalistic creatures. Comics like The Walking Dead started to grow with popularity and soon were turned into television shows. Now, The Walking Dead is number six on IMDB’s Most Popular TV Series.
It’s hard to imagine why so many people love to watch such a gruesome show, but it’s popularity proves how many people really do feel that way.
Since then, Halloween costumes have begun booming with all different subjects such as, “Football Zombies,” “Schoolgirl Zombies,” or even “Doctor Zombies.” Every October 31, trick-or-treaters are seen wandering through the night with their ripped clothes and fake blood acting as flesh eating corpses. To see such small children dressed like this may come off as frightening, but with today’s culture, it’s just the norm.
Movies and tv shows aren’t the only way in which the media views zombies, ma ny video games are now surrounded around surviving the apocalypse. Games like Dead Rising, Call of Duty, Dead Island, and Resident Evil create a virtual zombie apocalypse for players to survive, find shelter, and build weapons against the end of the world. Who knows, this may give video gamers an advantage for a real apocalypse.
Different types of 5k runs have become extremely popular including obstacle courses, color runs with paint, and now, becoming even more of a success, zombie runs. When people sign up for these exhilarating races, they make a choice between zombie and human. If they choose zombies, they arrive to the race hours earlier, are transformed into zombies by makeup artists, and scatter themselves throughout the course, which is most likely set in a forest location. If the choice is human, then it’s just like any other 5k to run, except there are hundreds of people dressed as zombies trying to chase everyone towards the finish line. This definitely gives more exhilaration to the run, which is probably why more people are signing up for them.
All of these examples of zombies in the media show a theme of exhilaration and the unknown. This seems to be the source of the pop culture phenomenon. Watching tv shows and movies depicting people’s survival against the undead is something that truly does interest many people.
Zombies are something that have become very mysterious to the world for a long time. Will there ever be a zombie apocalypse on Earth? It seems possible. Most stories in pop culture explain the beginning of these apocalypses with a cure to a disease that went wrong or a medication that became contagious.
In the movie, I am Legend, doctors find what they believe to be the cure to cancer. Of course, any cancer patient jumps right on the opportunity to get their hands on this medicine, which is what would likely happen in today’s society. However, a quick discovery shows that the “cure for cancer” actually constructs a new disease, one where humans begin to lose their hair, their skin discolours, and they begin to lose their minds. Like zombies, they start to attack humans, eating their flesh and lurking around in the night. This may seem unrealistic at first, but a cure-gone-wrong is always possible.
That seems to be what draws people into the zombie pop culture, the fact that it could happen. Giving people a sense of curiosity is something that will constantly be popular in media. That’s the reason why movies that find life in outer space or depict the end of the world are so popular in today’s society; it scares people, but in a good way. It leaves them wanting more.
Pop culture has been eaten alive by flesh eating zombies. Every month a new movie premieres, shelves are filled with The Walking Dead figurines, and people are eagerly waiting for more. As humans, we act as zombies, staring at the screens, lifeless in the dark. Metaphorically, we’re turning ourselves into zombies everyday, minus the flesh eating of course! As special effects continue to improve, and more talk about “the end of time” continues, people will draw even closer to the zombie phenomenon, and it will keep growing for a very long time.
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