The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”
The epidemic of both vampires and zombies in our culture has been widely noted, of course. But with “True Blood,” HBO’s vampire dramedy (and who could have guessed, even five years ago, that you’d ever see those three words together?) having just wrapped its fourth season and AMC’s zombie hit, “The Walking Dead,” staggering into its second season, it’s tough not to ponder the two different types of dead people.
Program Assistant of the Humanities Institute Liz Kicak says the event will look at the recent cultural phenomenon of zombies.
"We've really seen a new resurgence of the popularity of zombies in the past 5 years," said Kicak. "There's lots of new films like AMC's Walking Dead and the Humans versus Zombies game- it's really kind of everywhere."
Then there are the books that continue to churn out the zombieness from the Anita Blake series which used the old school way of zombie raising (voodoo) to Cherie Priest’s steampunk zombie book series Clockwork Century (which I admit, I did not like the first book) to even zombie erotica and zombie romance. Seriously. Even an inventive writer took a classic book and rewrote it with zombies (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), though from the reviews it is 50/50 on the love/hate deal.
World War Z is an adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel of the same name written by "zombie expert" Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide). Director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace) is helming the project from a script by Matthew Michael Carnahan. Brad Pitt stars as the film's lead, named after the book's author, portraying a reporter who is documenting the outbreak and interviewing various people from around the world that tell of their encounters with the walking dead.
So maybe you've seen "Night of the Living Dead," read "World War Z," or can't wait for the return of the AMC show "The Walking Dead," but you probably don't know what differentiates the brains of humans and zombies.
First things first: How does the zombie disease infect its victims? Many stories in the genre talk about biting, but Schlozman's novel imagines a deliberately engineered virus whose particles can travel in the air and remain potent enough to jump from one person to another in a single sneeze.
"The Godfather of all Zombies" is surprised by all the zombie-themed fare these days. “This whole zombie revolution, it's unbelievable,” he says of the current pop culture phenomena. “They're popular enough that I half expect a zombie to show up on 'Sesame Street' and hang out with The Count. Vampires became The Count on 'Sesame Street,' a zombie might be the next guy.” Why not?
Beginning with 2002’s 28 Days Later and Resident Evil, zombie movies began displaying higher production values, more investment in story and getting bigger budgets. High calibre directors and movie stars also began lending their names to productions, such as Will Smith in I Am Legend or the Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino produced Planet Terror.
The instant popularity of AMC's "The Walking Dead" this year has brought new attention to a growing trend on television: Scenes that would usually be reserved for some of the most violent horror movies are popping up more and more in prime time.
First, do not negotiate. It will fall on deaf ears. Or perhaps, dead ears. According to Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide, "the parts of the brain that control memory are liquefied and used by the [zombie] virus to create more viruses and destroy motor functions. The body exists just to keep the brain alive."