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20 June 2005 @ 01:19 am
We aren't using the zed word!  
lyra_sena, look away.

I have watched another zombie movie. I have spent all day thinking about zombies. I have come to several conclusions about zombies, myself, America's relationship to history and also Europe (by way of Nabokov's Lolita), and alsy why 28 Days Later is the most meta-terrifying movie in the world (barring only The Excorcist and Eye for an Eye). Now is the time on sprockets when I share those conclusions.



No. Not even if I was in the small band of survivors shacked up inside some fortress like building. I would be useless with the guns, because my hand eye coordination is not for the best. I don't run very fast, and I have this propensity to fall down. In a stampede, I'd get trampled and simultaneously eaten.

In the down time, it's entirely possible that I'd be the survivor that gets shot by another survivor, and I'll tell you why: I would not be able to stop theorizing the zombies. I would spend the whole time in an obsessive state trying to figure out, But why? Why the head? What has happened? Why is this person not dead, but also dead at the same time? Is there a zombie master? Are we in the End Times? Should I begin praying or am I having a psychotic break? Is this a metaphor?" This would probably get me shot. Or left behind. Most likely shot, though.

Sure, I have good ideas sometimes, and I can be comic relief, so maybe some of them would want to keep me around. Honestly, though, I think my tendency toward the witty quip would make me perfect fodder for the touching death. The one thing I can say is that I would not be the girl in hysterics. I'd probably be the one sitting there saying, "But, I...I just shot a guy. In the head. Because he was trying to bite me and tear off chunks of my flesh. These aren't the Alps. We're not rugby players. I don't get it."

Then I would wonder about the propensity of people with certain blood types to...see, you all want to shoot me right now, don't you?




They're funny. They're scary. They're gruesome. They're cuddly.

Okay, they're not really cuddly at all. They're completely mundane people turned into flesh eating monsters. I mean, vampires are scary because you figure "Okay, you are very much so not a human being," but imagine the lady who lives down the street from you who always has a bra strap showing and wears flip flops worn so thin that when she walks in front of you you can see they're basically worn through, and has a propensity to sing White Snake really loudly when she walks down the street, and then imagine her turned into a nearly invincible flesh eating monster.

It's funny to me. And when I say funny, I mean that I laugh, to dispell how uncomfortable that makes me. Which is what comedy is, in a lot of cases. But it has to be funny, or otherwise you're sitting around waiting for the ottoman to turn on you because clearly nothing is safe. That's why zombie movies when done right -- OMG 28 DAYS LATER HI BUT MORE ON THAT LATER -- can be totally chillingly frightening.

And the thing about zombies I think that makes them funny also is they are just completely single minded. "Blow torch to the arm? Fire poker through the gut? I don't care, just give me those damned brains!"

Plus, there's the "they run and fall down and aren't me and don't react to having fallen down at all but it's funny and I can laugh because who cares if it hurts them" component of why they're funny. Slapstick always works with me, largely because you know. Hi. Have we met?




An article here theorizes that zombies are entirely fascinating to America in general because for anyone to survive a zombie movie they have to "murder their memory" which is a really kind of frightening phrase, but it basically goes on to be like "a zombie movie allows a chance for reinvention of self, which is central to the American identity."

Then, and this is awesome the author talks about Scarlett O'Hara rocking a zombie movie type situation and Ashley Wilkes being lunch, and can I just say that if that movie was somehow manipped into being? I would very, very happily watch it. Because -- Zombie!Ashley! Yes! I've always wanted for somebody to smack that man in the head with something heavy, now they'll have to decapitate him!

Actually, that would be upsetting. But still -- zombies and Scarlett. There is no better combination, unless of course all of this was somehow happening in the *shaky voice* Dark Zone */shaky voice* and Rasputin was there.

Uhm. Anyway. Yes. People who survive zombie situations are oppurtunistic go-getters, assertive and goal oriented and capable of leaving the past behind them. Is this the American identity, when you get right down to it?

I don't know, but the way the author referenced Scarlett there got me thinking of Lolita and the whole Lolita as America/Humbert as Europe love affair of Europe with the young, grasping and yet beautiful America, and and then I started thinking about how by the end of the book Lolita has "murdered her memory" to live as Dolly Schiller (but then again, she was also in a traumatic quasi-incestuous and definitely pedophiliac relationship with her stepdad, so it could just be, like, a defense mechanism).

Uhm. I was going a place with all of this. I can't remember that place. It might, very possibly, be here: BRAAAAAIIIIINS.




This is a zombie movie not because of the monsters, but because of the society that's left behind after all of the Infected die, and what's left of the soceital mores when Hannah, Jim and Celene (Seline?) find the military people.

28 Days Later bothers me so much, because the good guys, by the end have all killed living human
beigns (killed/been responsible for their death) in some way. And they've murdered more than just their memories, they've murdered their moral code, or any idea of what it is to be a human being, what basic
fundamental higher level beliefs that one must carry to live in a soceity.

The military complex also does that to an extent - it murders what
could be read as imposed cultural restraints on male agression.
However, it also tries to recreate society in a fucked up way. It
tries to recreate a society which has died, and therefore the little
world they create is a reanimation just like the zombies are
reanimations, but it lacks a soul, just like the zombies, which is why
it's so predatory and frightening.

I think the most frightening part of the whole movie though is that
the people who survive the Infected are people who have completely
destroyed whatever part of them was a creation of their culture and
all of the Judeo-Christian morals that were imposed upon them. These
people will never be able to reconform into a society -- they've
learned that soceity is nothing more than a shell.

In the end, the zombie in this movie is Britain. Which -- meta weird. Meta-terrifying. God I love that movie.


I want a t-shirt that says "I Theorize The Zombie".

Alack and alas, I must to bed sometime soon, and I'll tell you why: it's because I work again tomorrow. I work 6 days a week! It's insane! Plus, I work full days! And do things like a real grown up person would do! It's freaking me out.

Thankfully, all I have to do is come home, and read my own LJ entries before I get too carried away with being a real person.

Also, I would just like to share the fact that yesterday at work I fell down onto my face and nearly broke my nose, and then ruined all of the coffee rags by bleeding all over them. Today my nose sort of looks like a little bruised and swollen but nothing like what you would have expected given the torrents of noseblood I endured yesterday. I swear at least two people who asked me what happened to my nose today didn't believe me when I told them what had happened. It was very, very odd.

And! Please! Hook me up with your favorite driving songs!
 
 
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Adoable Frunklyra_sena on June 25th, 2005 04:05 am (UTC)
I did not look away! Then, I was subjected to this all day, therefore I bow before you numb and immobile. Just -- as I suspect -- the zombies would want.

ps, WAHHH I missed you. SGA & BSG however rocked.

*smooches* I'll email you in the morning.
Seperisseperis on June 25th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
You have both convinced me to watch 28 Days Later and forced me to swear I will never, ever, ever watch it, ever, and now I'm wondering which part will win next time I log into Amazon.

Also, I love your brain. But in a completely non-hunger-related way.
fanaddictfanaddict on June 25th, 2005 04:50 pm (UTC)
They're completely mundane people turned into flesh eating monsters.

See, I think in some ways this can apply to vampires as well, or werewolves or really any case where normal people are suddenly transformed into raving monsters.

The thing that scares me specifically about zombies is, as you mention, their single-minded devotion to survival by eating brains with no higher reasoning going on at all. Zombies are, to me, the expression of societal fears about communism (and these days the religious right) where normal people expressing free thought are repressed. It's the idea that it's only about survival for the zombies. And that the only way to survive is to also go about in survival only mode, without any possibility of society evolving further. Zombie movies are always apocalyptic because no matter what happens at the end of the movie, the survivors' future has disappeared/changed so radically it really is the end of their world. To me, this is what makes zombie the scariest horror monsters of all.

And they've murdered more than just their memories, they've murdered their moral code, or any idea of what it is to be a human being, what basic
fundamental higher level beliefs that one must carry to live in a soceity.

The military complex also does that to an extent - it murders what
could be read as imposed cultural restraints on male agression.
However, it also tries to recreate society in a fucked up way.


This is so interesting to me because I came away with the same feeling (what a great movie and really it's more about how the survivors change/end of the world social groups than the zombies themselves) and yet I have a completely different viewpoint on the 3 main characters vs military responses.

I felt that the 3 main characters formed a new society - one of family without blood ties and intense loyalty between them. That the reason they were able to survive was because they had rebuilt a society that worked for them, and could work for future good.

Whereas I thought that the military-created society was intensely messed up and incapable of reforming society in the long run. I understood their need for nubile young women for procreation/continuation of the species, but I felt it was their lack of empathy that led to their ultimate downfall because in the end they were out only for their individual survival rather than having the relationship that the 3 main character had. That ultimately, the society they were creating could never have survived because once the threat that kept them aligned was over, they would never have been able to get along and would have killed each other.

See, for me, that movie was all about the virus of violence that effects humanity over and over again throughout our history. And how all the characters had to resort to violence, whether infected with RAGE or not - but that the 3 main characters could temper that violence with love for each other, and that's why they could re-form society better than the military in the end. [Although I must admit to preferring one of the alternate endings on the DVD rather than the ending shown in US movie theaters, and in the ending I prefer, there is no sense of safety for the women remaining alive and no sense that any society will be able to be rebuilt - it's purely apocalyptic, which is something I felt furthered the message that mankind will destroy itself because of our inherent violet tendencies...]

Er... Yeah, sorry this was so long! I love 28 Days Later...
Kit: sweatdropcoloredink on June 25th, 2005 09:22 pm (UTC)
Give me three days. All my road trip/open road music is on my home computer, which is currently in a box.