Coming up for 2011, the newest addition in the long long long string of zombie video games, Dead Island. http://www.deadisland.com
So,what’s up with all the freakin’ zombies, eh? There, I said it.
I know, I’m treading on some particularly hallowed, and blood covered territory here, but seriously…have you not noticed all the zombies? I woke up this morning and there were zombies in my house. They’re everywhere! Zombie this, and zombie that. Night of the Living Dead; Land of the Dead; Diary of the Dead; Day of the Dead; Dawn of the Dead; Shaun of the Dead; Dead Alive; Zombieland; 28 Days Later; I Am Legend; Resident Evil; Evil Dead; Left 4 Dead & Left 4 Dead 2; Shell Shock 2; Zombie Apocalypse; Dead Rising 1 & 2;….slow zombies, fast zombies, funny zombies, robot zombies, pirate zombies, stripper zombies, nazi zombies (that’s a pleasant 2-for-1 kill there); and AMC’s mini-series The Walking Dead. Among others, you can even find International zombies in the truly horrendous film Le notti erotiche dei morti viventi (In Der Gewalt Der Zombies, or Sexy Nights of the Living Dead) I could’ve kept going, but I think I’ve made my point.
For as long as there has been a horror genre in film, zombies have existed. It was quiet and unassuming at first, an idea that initially took a back seat to your alpha monsters like Dracula and the Wolfman. Slowly but surely though, zombies have infected mainstream culture much the same way that it would had one of them bit you.
So, why has this happened? Well, my current theory is although we may have carried the idea of the zombie into the last two centuries as a sort of legacy scare, we have somehow begun to identify zombies as a symbol of all the worst elements of our society. Zombies are the perfect metaphor for what some people view as a dying culture, a waning civilization, and the death from a thousand cuts that is the rat race. Pick your flavor. The Democrats feel the Republicans are zombies and vice versa. And the secret fear is that we are card carrying members of whatever that horrible element is and we don’t even know it.
Opening scene: We have nearly been bitten by the undead horde of corruption, and the only thing that brings us solace is the idea that within us all is a hero armed to the teeth, ready to stop at nothing to keep evil at bay. The tragedy (and there’s always a tragedy) is that an outbreak from within collapses our fortress, and we are forced to move on into even more peril. Once we do, all the presumed worst elements of our own psyche are picked off like the slowest gazelle, the wicked one, the fat one, the cocky one, the ignorant one, and usually the accidental death of the innocent one, leaving only the strongest to survive. A classic tale.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing. The zombie cultural outbreak will probably go down in history as a noteworthy era of books, games, and cinema, and let’s face it…I’ll most likely play the game Dead Island. (Remember Dead Island?) But I gotta say this is getting pretty ridiculous. How many times can we possibly watch the same scenario unfold? It’s like I’m in grade-school again and no matter how many times I said to myself I was going to do it, no matter how much I bargained with God, I never gained the courage to talk to my innocent boyhood crush, that little girl in the front row. Well, not this time. No sir. Zombies!?! You and I need to talk.
Zombies, I know you’re on a high right now, but you’ve got to remember the little people, the folks that helped you get where you are today. I’m not asking for much…really. But couldn’t you possibly consider another angle? Mix it up a little. Maybe we could see some zombies in space again, or even…maybe just…maybe…let somebody else have a go at death and destruction. I mean, it’s not that you’re not doing a good job, I mean come on! You’re zombies, man! Right? But you know, I just kinda thought it would be cool if you and I took a break for a while…you know…see other people?