Posts tagged: zombies
This week, Romance Editor Chris discovers that while she hates zombies, she likes Warm Bodies.
Lately the sheer ubiquity of zombies has added a patina of irritation to my hatred. Ever since Seth Grahame-Smith plunked zombies into Jane Austen, the damn things pop up everywhere. Appearances in works of classic literature turned into cameos in every historical period that could possibly contain the concept of the walking dead. Post-apocalypse. Pre-apocalypse. Both World Wars, along with pretty much every other major armed conflict one could name. Magic zombies. Fast zombies. Zombies in fairy tales, and on every street corner. In fact I’m so overwhelmingly sick of zombies that I’m ceasing to be so afraid of them*. Insult to injury, they’ve become tedious as well as terrifying. There is little that will make me drop a book faster than even a hint of zombieness within.
Strange, then, that I loved Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion so much.
Trailer for The Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated. It’s a response by 150 artists to George A. Romero’s classic film.
And writer Peter Gutiérrez has donated 2 dvd copies as perks for our Indiegogo fundraiser! Gutiérrez wrote the liner notes, and Gutter fans might recognize him from his articles at Twitch, Rue Morgue and The School Library Journal blog, Connect The Pop.
There are only 2 copies, so get them while you can!
James Schellenberg takes a look at two authors getting a lot of attention for very different books— covering boarding school magic and zombies—and discovers what they have in common:
Among Others by Jo Walton just won the Nebula Award for best novel, and Seanan McGuire (in combination with her pseudonym Mira Grant) was just nominated for four Hugo awards in one year, a new record. I figured I should take a look at Walton’s book, along with something by Grant (I ended up reading Feed), to find out what the excitement is about.
What do the two books have in common?
Screen Editor alex shares his list of absurd horror comedies, including Miike, Bergman, Tucker & Dale.
Sometimes life is uncooperative. The consequences extend from our highest functions to the lowest corners of the cultural gutter. Here, friends, is the result of my non-compliant life situation: a list of things that make me think of other things, loosely organized around the theme of absurd horror-comedies!
Screen Editor alex examines the power of his brain:
My wife spends a lot of time thinking about zombies. Recently she posed me a question: which is the more powerful image, a zombie baby or an empty infant car seat during a zombie epidemic? The zombie baby is creepy, sure, and if it’s well done it’s horrifying, but I think for me the empty car seat wins because it leaves so much horror to the imagination. And my brain knows exactly how to creep me out.
(image via the NIH)
This week at the Gutter, Carol writes about some Summer Fun Time Reading:
It’s summer time and instead of beer bottles exploding out of coolers in a shower of refreshing ice, bikini-clad hotties and fireworks as we know it should be, everything is wilting and perhaps even melting. As far as I can tell there are only two possible explanations—Hot Lava Monsters have readjusted the earth’s thermostat to facilitate their impending conquest or Heat Miser has finally won his eternal struggle with Cold Miser.
Either way, huddle close to your window air conditioner or three-speed fan, don your coolest slip like Maggie the Cat and enjoy these seven summer reads.
At the Gutter: Chris is “grumpy as a grated badger” and has some complaints about Romance novels (and zombies) to get off her chest in, “Whine. And Cheese.”
Over at the Vault of Horror, B-Sol has a nice piece up about General Mills’ Monster cereals.
When we break it down, every single one of the General Mills cereal monsters is technically a dead person. Quite jarring to analyze it that way, but also quite true. They are based on beings which do nothing if not remind us of our own mortality. This is the basic source of the horror they all inspire; whether ghost, mummy, vampire, or flesh golem.
And so we do what we always do—we protect ourselves from what we fear, in this case using one of the most tried-and-true methods. We take away its power by turning it into something which is a parody of itself, a harmless representation suitable for small children—so far removed from its origins that one really has to do some mental gymnastics to make the connection.
Making figures of horror and representations of death cute and edible is a way of transforming the fear of death and the knowledge of its inevitability. But personally, I am always more aware of my sympathy for the monsters. The monsters represented in the Monster cereals—Frankenstein, a werewolf, a vampire, a ghost and a mummy—have become more sympathetic throughout the 20th Century and into the 21st. And I think that part of it is that those monsters, while capable of great evil, just can’t compete with human-created, industrially efficient horrors that marked the 20th Century in so many ways. And while a lot of people may not deal with the day to day reality of death all that often, we do have a great deal of immediate intimacy with human atrocity.
It’s not that I think that monsters have lost their power. It’s that maybe we—at least being horror creators and audiences—feel worse about humanity and see ourselves as more horrible than vampires, werewolves, ghosts and mummies. And I see this in the rise of the zombie as the monster of our time, and in “torture porn,” which explores the suffering of the innocent at the hands of other humans, not only reflecting death and decay, but also other horrors that we see around us and fear in ourselves.
Just some thoughts in response.