28 Days Later

shaun of the dead

Games developers, movie producers, and the general public need to get a grip…NOW. Zombies have been overdone in the last 10 years to the point where future historians are going to think there was a real crisis.

I’m not going to indulge you in the reasons why a zombie apocalypse could never happen, and then running through the usual myriad of survival tactics, in the 1 in x billion chance of them occurring (where x stands for about 12 times the number used in abiogenesis). No. I’m telling you now to grow the fuck up and get a life.

I’m not a hater of zombies, far from it, as an entity they are quite scary. In the movies they scare us because of the horrifying acts they commit whilst still appearing to be human. In games they scare us because they are an unrelenting force that will not stop (and because the computer has an infinite supply). But we don’t need this many movies and this many games about the subject. Why? Well because unless you have the memory of an amoeba you should have hopefully noticed by now that the EVERY SINGLE GAME, MOVIE & SONG you’ve ever played, seen or heard is exactly the same. Don’t believe me? Go ahead, watch all your downloaded zombie flicks and play all your zombie games right now, in one sitting preferably so you don’t forget again. Don’t worry I’ll wait.


Done? Right let’s recap the major plot points of what you just did:
The protagonist has arrived into a scene of untold horror, but is confused about what is going on.
Through a series of conveniently arranged plot devices, the protagonist has somehow managed to find other non-zombies who could help him.
Someone other than the protagonist does something (intentionally or unintentionally) to fuck up the new status quo.
The protagonist either escapes (with or without his new friends, aka bait) or dies saving another character.

Notice how I didn’t need to quote a title for the above series of events? Yeah I think I’ve made my point here. (Note: If the human race survives and defeats the zombie menace, then it doesn’t count, because we all know those movies and games suck).

Have you also noticed how, despite how prevalent zombies are in the mainstream media now, every time you watch a zombie movie or play a zombie game, how NO-ONE ever says “Fuck, these are zombies! I spent 5 minutes on the internet once and learned everything about them because it was unavoidable, but I know what to do!”. No every single idiot is there saying “What’s happening?” and “What are these things?” as if they’ve been living in a box their entire lives. This may have been forgivable in early movies and games, but you can’t set a zombie event in the modern world and have no-one know what they are. That’s just retarded.

So why is it that the world has become zombie crazy in the last decade? Well you need look no further than the hit British film “28 Days Later”.

days laterIt pains me to know it’s my own nationality that caused this, and before everyone jumps in to chime “But George A. Romero’s the original source of the modern zombie story arc” and while that is true, I’m going to tell you to stop being such a dumb tit, because I’m talking about the last 10 years here, learn to read properly…

Why was 28 days later so popular? Well several reasons, first and foremost was the fact that it was the first Zombie film since George’s Dawn of the Dead back from 1979 that was actually good. Not good for a zombie movie, I mean good in general. The characters were extremely believable, and because it’s set in England which apparently has no guns whatsoever, it made for a more interesting story. Without the option for unbridled gun-toting masochism, this movie had to deal with the situation in an entirely different way.

As a result 28 days later managed to bring fear back to the genre. For decades up until the turn of the millennium, the zombie flick had been reduced to cheesy B-Movies, something a director could use as a vehicle to get his career kick-started, and for a make-up artist to prove how much she kicks ass. 28 days later added a bigger budget, removed the word zombie and replaced it with infected (in a half-arsed attempt to distance itself from the B-Movies that preceded it), but most importantly, the infected could keep up with your fat arse no matter how fast you tried to run.

dayzWith the fear well and truly returned to the genre, Zombies suddenly became popular amongst the entertainment industry. And while that was good for about 5 years, it’s gotten pretty old pretty quickly. Here’s a list of zombie games. Just quickly scroll through that list, notice something? In particular the dates… and how a LOT of them are after 2002 (I.E. the release of 28 days later).

So, thanks to 28 days later, we have over-indulged in a sub-genre of horror to the cost of all others. It seems that Zombies are everywhere, and at the same time, nowhere. You could replace Left 4 Dead 2 with land walking, zombie sharks, and it wouldn’t change a damn thing.

You know something that needs more games and movies? Cannibals. Now that’s something that’s scary. I saw The Road, and while the story wasn’t amazing, the fact that humans (like your neighbour) had made the active decision to hunt down, kill and eat other humans (like your family) as a rational decision makes them far scarier than zombies ever will be. And unlike zombies, cannibals actually exist.

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