The first Sunday of April is a day set aside for Christians to celebrate a man rising from the dead. Despite all the Zombie Jesus jokes one might find, he was not a Zombie. However, it seems fitting at this time of year, we take a look back at the Zombies that have shaped our culture.
These Zombies were not selected for the amount of destruction they caused. Indeed, a few of them hardly destroyed anything. Rather, they are celebrated to show how Zombies are not all mindless, or unfeeling.
Zombie, Bill Heinzman, in the documentary “Night of the Living Dead,” isn’t the first zombie people would have seen by 1968, but he was most influential to the Zombie culture — not for what would become the stereotypes Hollywood would carry to this day: shuffling, slow, non-verbal; but for what he means to Zombies. Namely, he shows we don’t have to be rotting corpses. We could just look like some guy with a really bad hangover.
In 1982’s “Thriller” music video, Michael Jackson gave us all a new perspective on Zombies, most notably the speed of change from living to undead. In fact, Michael didn’t even have to die in the video to be transformed first. But most importantly, he showed Zombies didn’t have to be slow and shuffling. They could be slow and have a lot of rhythm.
Bub the Zombie, from “Day Of The Dead,” would evolve Michael’s vision three years later and show Zombies could learn and could have a deep appreciation for music — even if we couldn’t all move as smoothly.
In 2006, Fido became the perfect example of how Zombies and Humans could co-exist. Zombies could even show glimmers of emotion beyond anger. Indeed, at times he shows a sense of love, and even guilt over things he does. Most importantly, this movie demonstrates how a Zombie can live with humans, without giving up the things that make us Zombies.
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