Archives For zombies

'Zombie Portrait' photo (c) 2012, Randy Salgado - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ The Gospel? From decaying zombie flesh? Bear with me. The zombie craze began, arguably, with George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in 1968. That movie almost singlehandedly gave birth to the zombie genre as we know it today.

All along, the films have been full of sly social commentary, or crackling with stinging satire. At its (undead) heart, the genre is essentially a polemic against rampant consumerism. It’s a critique on the quintessentially American way of life. By confronting us with the brutality of (un)death, it shows us a number of uncomfortable things about how we live now.

Zombies are flesh and blood(less) metaphors for:

Us.

They are shambling mirrors of our souls, for as they are we could be. And each one of them used to be as we are: alive, with hopes, dreams, families. They are the still-walking reminders that death comes for us all. Much as we try, we cannot avoid it. Much like death itself, zombies cannot be bargained with, cannot be bought, cannot be be dissuaded from a single-minded purpose:

The destruction and consumption of all that is living.

The singularly uncomfortable truth is:

I am going to die. You are going to die. We are all going to die. And we have to reckon with that. As Malcolm McDowell (as Dr. Sorrin) said in Star Trek: Generations, “Time is the fire in which we burn.”

Of the horror genre, zombie fiction (film, comics, books, etc.) is especially well-suited to confront us with this grim reality, and in so confronting help us deal with it. But we have to be willing to face our fears.

This often means looking at the dark heart which beats within each of us. Because, though we are alive, we are dead. We are the living dead. And it is into this land of the dead that Jesus burst onto the scene. He, redolent with the smell of life, came to confront us in our decay.

He came, telling the truth:

You are dead.

We didn’t like His message. It made us uncomfortable. Surely, we were just fine? We were upright–walking, talking, observing the Law.

Didn’t matter.

We. Were. The. Zombies.

And the only way out, paradoxically, is death:

We must die to self, putting to death our members, and daily receive with meekness the engrafted Word which is able to save our souls. Even so, our bodies will one day die. Our flesh will see decay. To us, the dead-alive, Jesus says:

“I am the resurrection and the life, he that believeth in Me though he were dead yet shall he live. He that liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?”

Do you?

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Disclaimer: I know zombie movies are not for everybody. Some folks can’t see past the gore to the heart of the story. (See what I did there?) That’s cool.

But they are missing out. The fact is that life is a story–one which is not always pleasant. Some folks respond to one kind of story, and other folks respond to others. I understand why some would deem, on the surface, such fare unedifying.

But in the case of Warm Bodies, they would be making a grave error.

All of that to say that if you are amongst those whose inclination would be give this film a pass, you would be missing a powerful modern parable.
Continue Reading…

[This short post is part four of an ongoing serial. Part one-three can be found here, here, and here, respectively. Thanks for reading!]

Forty-six days later.

I’m alone. Rations running low. Haven’t ventured out since the day I shot Carl. My God! What a mess that was!

What could I do? My son was trying to eat me.

My son…

Gone now. Along with the human race.

Can one man alone fight the future? I guess I’ll find out. This is my mess, and by God I’ll clean it up.

First, I need to find something to eat. And that means going out.

Big Mac? No thanks! I’m strictly vegan now. But it wasn’t so long ago that beef was safe… What I wouldn’t give for a chocolate shake!

And some french fries.

AS IF…

Gotta find canned food.

Here goes nothing…

Zombie Cows, part 3

randomlychad  —  October 9, 2012 — 4 Comments

[Please note: this is part of an ongoing series which represents a creative exercise for me: short fiction. Today’s installment is part three; here are parts one, and two.]

Why did I do it? Why did I sell out humanity for such a paltry sum?

They owed me. I worked hard, got a degree, entered the workforce, got married. We had a son, Mandy and me–Carl. He was the sweetest thing, all wet, pink and balling. But he was ours. Ours got to be too much for Mandy–she left me, took Carl. I gave in to the bottle, lost my job.

It’s how I ended up running a meat packing plant in Nebraska, land of corn-fed beef. Me? Who was earning six figures, reduced to this.

So the $30,000 seemed a princely sum, and I was ripe for the picking. They had targeted me, knew my story. And I was all too easy to take out.

So I took the money, did the job, and lived it up for awhile in prodigality. Then I remembered my son, Carl.

Somehow, I made it home to Chicago.

I’m guessing the assaults on the meat chain were coordinated, because by the time I got to Chicago it was too late.

Carl was waiting for me.

But it wasn’t Carl, not really.

Have you ever had to shoot your child in the face?

———–

Now I’m stuck here, and my supplies are getting low. Forty-six days, and I haven’t seen a single living soul.

They haven’t found me, but I hear them. Oh, how I hear them! The sounds of the rotting roamers fill my waking, and my sleeping. I hear their scraping, shambling steps, their half-choked moans.

And I hear the strangled moos of dead cows roaming free. If I close my eyes, I can pretend–for ahwile–that this is Calcutta. But it isn’t; it’s Nebraska, where eating vegetarian meant chicken instead of beef.

I sometimes forget how this all happened. The plague was easily identifiable, and afflicted cows were summarily destroyed.

But then they came to me. Made me an offer I should have refused.

But I didn’t. Taking advantage of my position at the plant, I mixed in the tainted meat. And all hell slowly broke loose.

My name is Jude S. Mericot.

And I sold out the human race for $30,000.