I don’t think I like zombie stories. At least, I didn’t think I liked zombie stories. I just never saw the appeal. Sure, I saw Night of the Living Dead as a teenager and was appropriately awed. But I couldn’t even get into Corpse Bride (perhaps because I don’t like Tim Burton). The other day I took my 3 year old to see Paranorman. Since I don’t know a lot about the zombie genre, I don’t know how different of a take it is on zombies, but I was surprised and really enjoyed it. So I thought back to zombie stories I know and made a list of zombie stories I actually liked.
Zombie stories for people who don’t like zombies
1. Paranorman. I’m glad that I was able to wake up the next morning and say this rather than be woken up in the middle of the night by a terrified child. But my kid’s a tough guy. Scarey stories are in his blood. (Yeah, um, that’s my other blog that I stopped using. Sorry.) Anyway, this movie was about an outcast boy who could see and communicate with ghosts/the dead. Because of this ability, it is his responsibility to stop a curse. 300 years ago, the town had a trial and hung a witch. She threatened to raise the dead in revenge (whence come the zombies), and she must be stopped every year. I don’t know how much my kid understood, but he was pretty captivated.
2. Shaun of the Dead. I’m probably just pointing out the obvious. This movie was hilarious. I can’t even choose a part that was especially funny for fear of leaving out something better. Choosing which records to toss at zombies, clubbing zombies to Queen, or showing how the world learns to cope with zombies, are three that stand out in my mind.
3. Monkey Island. This totally counts. In the second game, LeChuck was a zombie. I grew up on these games. I was so excited when Pirates of the Caribbean came out because I knew that was the closest thing I’d ever get to a Monkey Island movie (the video games were inspired by the ride). The plots are actually pretty similar. Guybrush, the character you control, comes into town and wants to be a pirate. In the course of his pirate quests, he falls in love with the governor (not the governor’s daughter! The World of Monkey Island is way more progressive!), who is then kidnapped by ghost pirates. Guybrush destroys the ghost pirate LeChuck, who comes back in the next game as a zombie.
4. Not sure if this counts, but Game of Thrones. I was totally drawn into the spookiness of the first part of the first book. I was more than a little disappointed to not really ever get that vibe back. George RR Martin, you are a tease. I’m not sure if this counts because I’m not really sure what those blue-eyed walkers are (they seemed like reanimated corpses to me, so close enough, right?) and I was not able to get through the second book…what was it called? A Clash of More of the Same? I think I’m enjoying the HBO show more than the books.
5. Thriller as performed by the inmates of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center.This was popular a few years ago.
(can someone please let me know if my youtube embedded video works? I never can tell.)
Maybe this is me being pretentious, but I think it’s powerful performance art comparing prisoners to zombies or showing us that we have the same reaction.