With it being Halloween tomorrow I thought I’d write something on a semi-spooky theme. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the zombie apocalypse is big, I mean really big, right now. You’ve got it everywhere. On TV you have The Walking Dead. Next year the movie World War Z is supposed to come out starring Brad Pitt. If you go to Amazon there are too many titles to list from survival guides to fiction. There are websites devoted to it. Even Marvel comics introduced a zombie themed crossover.
So, why is the zombie apocalypse so popular right now? I think there are a few reasons.
- Most people I know, well specifically most guys, are attracted to the apocalyptic. I think this stems from a desire to survive on your own terms. In the event of any type of apocalypse you really won’t have much to count on (I’m intentionally leaving God out of this equation as a great many people do). It’s the same thing that makes people like to backpack or camp. It’s that sense of rugged individualism that is very appealing.
- It also combines action as a genre. There is always a lot of shooting, slicing, chomping, biting, chopping, running, chasing action that we seem to be geared to like.
- Related to #2 is the fact that zombies are a safe enemy. You don’t have to worry if someone might be offended. There is no anti-zombie-defamation society out there that will complain if they are treated as complete and total villains. There is nothing redeemable about a zombie. It’s not just safe to kill them, it’s imperative to do so.
- People like gore. If Saw or Hostel and movies of that ilk have taught us anything is that people like gore. And zombies certainly provide that.
- Zombies also tap into the fear of monsters and what lies in the dark. Sure they can come out in the day time but they’re more terrifying when they come out after dark. Something that wants to eat you should be just as scary all the time but as anyone will tell you they are scarier after dark.
- It also plays on our fears/questions about life after death. What happens when we die? How will death come for me? These are questions we all eventually ask and nothing says death like a horde of zombies on your trail.
So basically I think it’s the convergence of all of those things that make the zombie apocalypse so appealing to so many. There may be others but I think that it’s the combination of all of those elements that give it such wide appeal and make it such a lucrative topic.