A zombie (Haitian French: zombi, Haitian Creole: zonbi) is a fictional undead being created through the reanimation of a human corpse. Zombies are most commonly found in horror and fantasy genre works. The term comes from Haitian folklore, in which a zombie is a dead body reanimated through various methods, most commonly magic. Modern depictions of the reanimation of the dead do not necessarily involve magic but often invoke science fictional methods such as carriers, radiation, mental diseases, vectors, pathogens, scientific accidents, etc.
The English word "zombie" is first recorded in 1819, in a history of Brazil by the poet Robert Southey, in the form of "zombi". The Oxford English Dictionary gives the origin of the word as West African, and compares it to the Kongo words nzambi (god) and zumbi (fetish). A Kimbundu-to-Portuguese dictionary from 1903 defines the related word nzumbi as soul, while a later Kimbundu–Portuguese dictionary defines it as being a "spirit that is supposed to wander the earth to torment the living."
One of the first books to expose Western culture to the concept of the voodoo zombie was The Magic Island by W. B. Seabrook in 1929. This is the sensationalized account of a narrator who encounters voodoo cults in Haiti and their resurrected thralls. Time claimed that the book "introduced 'zombi' into U.S. speech".
Zombies have a complex literary heritage, with antecedents ranging from Richard Matheson and H. P. Lovecraft to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein drawing on European folklore of the undead. In 1932, Victor Halperin directed White Zombie, a horror film starring Bela Lugosi. Here zombies are depicted as mindless, unthinking henchmen under the spell of an evil magician. Zombies, often still using this voodoo-inspired rationale, were initially uncommon in cinema, but their appearances continued sporadically through the 1930s to the 1960s, with notable films including I Walked with a Zombie (1943) and Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959).
A new version of the zombie, distinct from that described in Haitian folklore, has also emerged in popular culture during the latter half of the twentieth century. This "zombie" is taken largely from George A. Romero's seminal film Night of the Living Dead, which was in turn partly inspired by Richard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend. The word zombie is not used in Night of the Living Dead but was applied later by fans. The monsters in the film and its sequels, such as Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, as well as its many inspired works, such as Return of the Living Dead and Zombi 2, are usually hungry for human flesh, although Return of the Living Dead introduced the popular concept of zombies eating brains. The "zombie apocalypse" concept, in which the civilized world is brought low by a global zombie infestation, became a staple of modern popular art.
The English word "zombie" is first recorded in 1819, in a history of Brazil by the poet Robert Southey, in the form of "zombi", actually referring to the Afro-Brazilian rebel leader named Zumbi and the etymology of his name in "nzambi". The Oxford English Dictionary gives the origin of the word as West African and compares it to the Kongo words "nzambi" (god) and "zumbi" (fetish).
The concept has been popularly associated with the religion of voodoo, but it plays no part in that faith's formal practices.
How the creatures in contemporary zombie films came to be called "zombies" is not fully clear. The film Night of the Living Dead made no spoken reference to its undead antagonists as "zombies", describing them instead as "ghouls" (though ghouls, which derive from Arabic folklore, are demons, not undead). Although George Romero used the term "ghoul" in his original scripts, in later interviews he used the term "zombie". The word "zombie" is used exclusively by Romero in his 1978 script for his sequel Dawn of the Dead, including once in dialog. According to George Romero, film critics were influential in associating the term "zombie" to his creatures, and especially the French magazine "Cahiers du Cinéma". He eventually accepted this linkage, even though he remained convinced at the time that "zombies" corresponded to the undead slaves of Haitian voodoo as depicted in Bela Lugosi's White Zombie.
Zombies are featured widely in Haitian rural folklore as dead persons physically revived by the act of necromancy of a bokor, a sorcerer or witch. The bokor is opposed by the houngan or priest and the mambo or priestess of the formal voodoo religion. A zombie remains under the control of the bokor as a personal slave, having no will of its own.
The Haitian tradition also includes an incorporeal type of zombie, the "zombie astral", which is a part of the human soul. A bokor can capture a zombie astral to enhance his spiritual power. A zombie astral can also be sealed inside a specially decorated bottle by a bokor and sold to a client to bring luck, healing, or business success. It is believed that God eventually will reclaim the zombie's soul, so the zombie is a temporary spiritual entity.
It has been suggested that the two types of zombie reflect soul dualism, a belief of Haitian voodoo. Each type of legendary zombie is therefore missing one half of its soul (the flesh or the spirit).
The zombie belief has its roots in traditions brought to Haiti by enslaved Africans, and their subsequent experiences in the New World. It was thought that the voodoo deity Baron Samedi would gather them from their grave to bring them to a heavenly afterlife in Africa ("Guinea"), unless they had offended him in some way, in which case they would be forever a slave after death, as a zombie. A zombie could also be saved by feeding them salt. English professor Amy Wilentz has written that the modern concept of Zombies was strongly influenced by Haitian slavery. Slave drivers on the plantations, who were usually slaves themselves and sometimes Voodoo priests, used the fear of zombification to discourage slaves from committing suicide.
While most scholars have associated the Haitian zombie with African cultures, a connection has also been suggested to the island's indigenous Taíno people, partly based on an early account of native shamanist practices written by the Hieronymite monk Ramón Pané, a companion of Christopher Columbus.
The Haitian zombie phenomenon first attracted widespread international attention during the United States occupation of Haiti (1915–1934), when a number of case histories of purported "zombies" began to emerge. The first popular book covering the topics was William Seabrook's The Magic Island (1929). Seabrooke cited Article 246 of the Haitian criminal code which was passed in 1864, asserting that it was an official recognition of zombies. This passage was later used in promotional materials for the 1932 film White Zombie.
Also shall be qualified as attempted murder the employment which may be made by any person of substances which, without causing actual death, produce a lethargic coma more or less prolonged. If, after the administering of such substances, the person has been buried, the act shall be considered murder no matter what result follows.
In 1937, while researching folklore in Haiti, Zora Neale Hurston encountered the case of a woman who appeared in a village. A family claimed she was Felicia Felix-Mentor, a relative who had died and been buried in 1907 at the age of 29. The woman was examined by a doctor; X-rays indicated that she did not have a leg fracture that Felix-Mentor was known to have had. Hurston pursued rumors that affected persons were given a powerful psychoactive drug, but she was unable to locate individuals willing to offer much information. She wrote, "What is more, if science ever gets to the bottom of Vodou in Haiti and Africa, it will be found that some important medical secrets, still unknown to medical science, give it its power, rather than gestures of ceremony."
A Central or West African origin for the Haitian zombie has been postulated based on two etymologies in the Kongo language, nzambi ("god") and zumbi ("fetish"). This root helps form the names of several deities, including the Kongo creator deity Nzambi a Mpungu and the Louisiana serpent deity Li Grand Zombi (a local version of the Haitian Damballa), but it is in fact a generic word for a divine spirit. The common African conception of beings under these names is more similar to the incorporeal "zombie astral", as in the Kongo Nkisi spirits.
A related, but also often incorporeal, undead being is the jumbee of the English-speaking Caribbean, considered to be of the same etymology; in the French West Indies also, local "zombies" are recognized, but these are of a more general spirit nature.
The idea of physical zombie-like creatures is present in some South African cultures, where they are called xidachane in Sotho/Tsonga and maduxwane in Venda. In some communities, it is believed that a dead person can be zombified by a small child. It is said that the spell can be broken by a powerful enough sangoma. It is also believed in some areas of South Africa that witches can zombify a person by killing and possessing the victim's body in order to force it into slave labor. After rail lines were built to transport migrant workers, stories emerged about "witch trains". These trains appeared ordinary, but were staffed by zombified workers controlled by a witch. The trains would abduct a person boarding at night, and the person would then either be turned into a zombified worker, or beaten and thrown from the train a distance away from the original location.
Several decades after Hurston's work, Wade Davis, a Harvard ethnobotanist, presented a pharmacological case for zombies in a 1983 paper in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, and later in two popular books, The Serpent and the Rainbow (1985) and Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie (1988).
Davis traveled to Haiti in 1982 and, as a result of his investigations, claimed that a living person can be turned into a zombie by two special powders being introduced into the blood stream (usually via a wound). The first, coup de poudre (French: "powder strike"), includes tetrodotoxin (TTX), a powerful and frequently fatal neurotoxin found in the flesh of the pufferfish (order Tetraodontidae). The second powder consists of deliriant drugs such as datura. Together, these powders were said to induce a deathlike state in which the will of the victim would be entirely subjected to that of the bokor. Davis also popularized the story of Clairvius Narcisse, who was claimed to have succumbed to this practice. The most ethically questioned and least scientifically explored ingredient of the powders, is part of a recently buried child's brain.
The process described by Davis was an initial state of deathlike suspended animation, followed by re-awakening — typically after being buried — into a psychotic state. The psychosis induced by the drug and psychological trauma was hypothesised by Davis to reinforce culturally learned beliefs and to cause the individual to reconstruct their identity as that of a zombie, since they "knew" they were dead, and had no other role to play in the Haitian society. Societal reinforcement of the belief was hypothesized by Davis to confirm for the zombie individual the zombie state, and such individuals were known to hang around in graveyards, exhibiting attitudes of low affect.
Davis's claim has been criticized, particularly the suggestion that Haitian witch doctors can keep "zombies" in a state of pharmacologically induced trance for many years. Symptoms of TTX poisoning range from numbness and nausea to paralysis — particularly of the muscles of the diaphragm — unconsciousness, and death, but do not include a stiffened gait or a deathlike trance. According to psychologist Terence Hines, the scientific community dismisses tetrodotoxin as the cause of this state, and Davis' assessment of the nature of the reports of Haitian zombies is viewed as overly credulous.
Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing highlighted the link between social and cultural expectations and compulsion, in the context of schizophrenia and other mental illness, suggesting that schizogenesis may account for some of the psychological aspects of zombification. Particularly, this suggests cases where schizophrenia manifests a state of catatonia.
Roland Littlewood, professor of anthropology and psychiatry, published a study supporting a social explanation of the zombie phenomenon in the medical journal The Lancet in 1997. The social explanation sees observed cases of people identified as zombies as a culture-bound syndrome, with a particular cultural form of adoption practiced in Haiti that unites the homeless and mentally ill with grieving families who see them as their "returned" lost loved ones, as Littlewood summarizes his findings in an article in Times Higher Education:
I came to the conclusion that although it is unlikely that there is a single explanation for all cases where zombies are recognised by locals in Haiti, the mistaken identification of a wandering mentally ill stranger by bereaved relatives is the most likely explanation in many cases. People with a chronic schizophrenic illness, brain damage or learning disability are not uncommon in rural Haiti, and they would be particularly likely to be identified as zombies.
If you do not open the gate for me to come in,
I shall smash the door and shatter the bolt,
I shall smash the doorpost and overturn the doors,
I shall raise up the dead and they shall eat the living:
And the dead shall outnumber the living!
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, while not a zombie novel in particular, prefigures many 20th-century ideas about zombies in that the resurrection of the dead is portrayed as a scientific process rather than a mystical one, and that the resurrected dead are degraded and more violent than their living selves. Frankenstein, published in 1818, has its roots in European folklore, whose tales of vengeful dead also informed the evolution of the modern conception of the vampire. Later notable 19th-century stories about the avenging undead included Ambrose Bierce's "The Death of Halpin Frayser", and various Gothic Romanticism tales by Edgar Allan Poe. Though their works could not be properly considered zombie fiction, the supernatural tales of Bierce and Poe would prove influential on later writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, by Lovecraft's own admission.
In the 1920s and early 1930s, the American horror author H. P. Lovecraft wrote several novellae that explored the undead theme. "Cool Air", "In the Vault", and "The Outsider" all deal with the undead, but Lovecraft's Herbert West–Reanimator (1921) "helped define zombies in popular culture". This series of short stories featured Herbert West, a mad scientist who attempts to revive human corpses with mixed results. Notably, the resurrected dead are uncontrollable, mostly mute, primitive and extremely violent; though they are not referred to as zombies, their portrayal was prescient, anticipating the modern conception of zombies by several decades. Edgar Rice Burroughs similarly depicted animated corpses in the second book of his Venus series, again without ever using the terms "zombie" or "undead".
Avenging zombies would feature prominently in the early 1950s EC Comics, which George A. Romero would later claim as an influence. The comics, including Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror and Weird Science, featured avenging undead in the Gothic tradition quite regularly, including adaptations of Lovecraft's stories, which included "In the Vault", "Cool Air" and Herbert West–Reanimator.
Richard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend, although classified as a vampire story would nonetheless have definitive impact on the zombie genre by way of George A. Romero. The novel and its 1964 film adaptation, The Last Man on Earth, which concern a lone human survivor waging war against a world of vampires, would by Romero's own admission greatly influence his 1968 low-budget film Night of the Living Dead; a work that would prove to be more influential on the concept of zombies than any literary or cinematic work before it.
Films featuring zombies have been a part of cinema since the 1930s, with White Zombie (directed by Victor Halperin in 1932) being one of the earliest examples. With George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968), the zombie trope began to be increasingly linked to consumerism and consumer culture. Today, zombie films are released with such regularity (at least 55 titles were released in 2014 alone) that they can be viewed as a separate subgenre of Horror film.
Voodoo-related zombie themes have also appeared in espionage or adventure themed works outside the horror genre. For example, the original "Jonny Quest" series (1964) and the James Bond novel and movie Live and Let Die both feature Caribbean villains who falsely claim the voodoo power of zombification in order to keep others in fear of them.
|'Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction' character|
|First appearance||Night of the Living Dead, 1968|
|Created by||George Romero|
|Type||Undead (influenced by Haitian Zombie), Vampire, Ghoul|
The modern conception of the zombie owes itself almost entirely to George A. Romero's 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. In his films, Romero "bred the zombie with the vampire, and what he got was the hybrid vigour of a ghoulish plague monster". This entailed an apocalyptic vision of monsters that have come to be known as Romero zombies.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times chided theater owners and parents who allowed children access to the film. "I don't think the younger kids really knew what hit them," complained Ebert. "They were used to going to movies, sure, and they'd seen some horror movies before, sure, but this was something else." According to Ebert, the film affected the audience immediately:
"The kids in the audience were stunned. There was almost complete silence. The movie had stopped being delightfully scary about halfway through, and had become unexpectedly terrifying. There was a little girl across the aisle from me, maybe nine years old, who was sitting very still in her seat and crying."
Romero's reinvention of zombies is notable in terms of its thematics; he used zombies not just for their own sake, but as a vehicle "to criticize real-world social ills—such as government ineptitude, bioengineering, slavery, greed and exploitation—while indulging our post-apocalyptic fantasies". Night was the first of six films in Romero's Living Dead series. Its first sequel, Dawn of the Dead, was released in 1978.
The 1981 film Hell of the Living Dead referenced a mutagenic gas as a source of zombie contagion: an idea also used in Dan O'Bannon's 1985 film Return of the Living Dead. Return of the Living Dead featured zombies that hungered specifically for brains.
The mid-1980s produced few zombie films of note. Perhaps the most notable entry, The Evil Dead series, while highly influential are not technically zombie films but films about demonic possession, despite the presence of the undead. 1985's Re-Animator, loosely based on the Lovecraft story, stood out in the genre, achieving nearly unanimous critical acclaim, and becoming a modest success, nearly outstripping Romero's Day of the Dead for box office returns.
After the mid-1980s, the subgenre was mostly relegated to the underground. Notable entries include director Peter Jackson's ultra-gory film Braindead (1992) (released as Dead Alive in the U.S.), Bob Balaban's comic 1993 film My Boyfriend's Back where a self-aware high school boy returns to profess his love for a girl and his love for human flesh, and Michele Soavi's Dellamorte Dellamore (1994) (released as Cemetery Man in the U.S.). Several years later, zombies experienced a renaissance in low-budget Asian cinema, with a sudden spate of dissimilar entries including Bio Zombie (1998), Wild Zero (1999), Junk (1999), Versus (2000) and Stacy (2001).
There are not many Japanese films related to what may be considered in the West as a zombie film. Early films such as The Discarnates features little gore and no cannibalism but is about the dead returning to life looking for love rather than a story of apocalyptic destruction. The zombie themed video game Resident Evil (1996) was released to sales of 24 million copies worldwide. Most Japanese zombie films emerged in the wake of Resident Evil, such as Versus, Wild Zero, Junk all from 2000. The zombies film released after Resident Evil behave similarly to the Zombie films of the 1970s.
The turn of the millennium coincided with a decade of box-office successes in which the zombie subgenre experienced a resurgence: the Resident Evil movies (2002, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2016), the British films 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later (2002, 2007), the Dawn of the Dead remake (2004) and the comedies Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Dance of the Dead (2008). The new interest allowed Romero to create the fourth entry in his zombie series: Land of the Dead, released in the summer of 2005. Romero returned to the series with the films Diary of the Dead (2008) and Survival of the Dead (2010). Generally, the zombies in these shows are the slow, lumbering and unintelligent kind first made popular in Night of the Living Dead. Motion pictures created within the 2000s, however, like the Dawn of the Dead remake, and House of the Dead, have featured zombies that are more agile, vicious, intelligent, and stronger than the traditional zombie. An alternate take on the zombie was 2013's film (and book) Warm Bodies, where the zombie has consciousness and some intelligence.
In 2013, the AMC series The Walking Dead had the highest audience ratings in the United States for any show on broadcast or cable with an average of 5.6 million viewers in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic.
Intimately tied to the concept of the modern zombie is the "zombie apocalypse"; the breakdown of society as a result of an initial zombie outbreak that spreads. This archetype has emerged as a prolific subgenre of apocalyptic fiction and has been portrayed in many zombie-related media after Night of the Living Dead. In a zombie apocalypse, a widespread (usually global) rise of zombies hostile to human life engages in a general assault on civilization. Victims of zombies may become zombies themselves. This causes the outbreak to become an exponentially growing crisis: the spreading phenomenon swamps normal military and law enforcement organizations, leading to the panicked collapse of civilized society until only isolated pockets of survivors remain, scavenging for food and supplies in a world reduced to a pre-industrial hostile wilderness. Possible causes for zombie behavior in a modern population can be attributed to viruses, bacteria or other phenomena that reduce the mental capacity of humans causing them to behave in a very primitive and destructive fashion.
The usual subtext of the zombie apocalypse is that civilization is inherently vulnerable to the unexpected, and that most individuals if desperate enough cannot be relied on to comply with the author's ethos. The narrative of a zombie apocalypse carries strong connections to the turbulent social landscape of the United States in the 1960s, when Night of the Living Dead provided an indirect commentary on the dangers of conformity, a theme also explored in the novel The Body Snatchers (1954) and associated film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Many also feel that zombies allow people to deal with their own anxieties about the end of the world. One scholar concluded that "more than any other monster, zombies are fully and literally apocalyptic ... they signal the end of the world as we have known it." While zombie apocalypse scenarios are secular, they follow a religious pattern based on Christian ideas of an end-times war and messiah.
Due to a large number of thematic films and video games, the idea of a zombie apocalypse has entered the mainstream, and many fans have begun making efforts to prepare for the hypothetical future zombie apocalypse. Such efforts include creating weapons and selling educational material informing people how to survive a zombie outbreak; while most of these are tongue-in-cheek and do not represent an authentic belief that a zombie apocalypse in the near future is likely, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have used the fictional scenario to demonstrate survival and emergency-preparedness techniques that may be useful in a "real-world" setting.
The stories usually follow a single group of survivors, caught up in the sudden rush of the crisis. The narrative generally progresses from the onset of the zombie plague, then initial attempts to seek the aid of authorities, the failure of those authorities, through to the sudden catastrophic collapse of all large-scale organization and the characters' subsequent attempts to survive on their own. Such stories are often squarely focused on the way their characters react to such an extreme catastrophe, and how their personalities are changed by the stress, often acting on more primal motivations (fear, self-preservation) than they would display in normal life.
There has been a growth in the number of zombie manga in the last decade, and in a list of "10 Great Zombie Manga", Anime News Network's Jason Thompson placed I Am a Hero at number 1, considering it "probably the greatest zombie manga ever". In second place was Living Corpse and in third, Biomega, which he called "the greatest science-fiction virus zombie manga ever".
Artist Jillian McDonald has made several works of video art involving zombies, and exhibited them in her 2006 show, "Horror Make-Up," which debuted on 8 September 2006 at Art Moving Projects, a gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Artist Karim Charredib has dedicated his work to the zombie figure. In 2007, he made a video installation at villa Savoye called "Them !!!" where zombies walked in the villa like tourists.
Zombies are a popular theme for video games, particularly of, but not limited to, the stealth, survival horror, first-person shooter and role-playing game genres. Important horror fiction media franchises in this area include Resident Evil, Dead Rising, The House of the Dead, Dead Island, Left 4 Dead, Dying Light, State of Decay, The Last of Us and the Zombies game modes from Call of Duty title series. A series of games 5 has also been released based on the widely popular TV show that first aired in 2010, The Walking Dead.
PopCap Games' Plants vs. Zombies, a humorous tower defense game, was an indie hit in 2009, featuring in several best-of lists at the end of that year. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game Urban Dead, a free grid-based browser game where zombies and survivors fight for control of a ruined city, is one of the most popular games of its type.
DayZ, a zombie-based survival horror mod for ArmA 2, was responsible for over 300,000 unit sales of its parent game within two months of its release. Over a year later, the developers of the mod created a standalone version of the same game, which currently is in early-access on Steam, and so far it has sold 3 million copies since its release in December 2013
Romero would later opine that he believes that much of the 21st century obsessions with Zombies can be traced more towards video games than films, Noting that it was not until the 2009 film Zombieland that a Zombie film was able to grose more the 100 million.
Outside of video games, zombies frequently appear in trading card games, such as Magic: The Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game (which even has a Zombie-Type for its "monsters"), as well as in role-playing games, such as Dungeons & Dragons, tabletop games such as Zombies!!! and Dead of Winter: A Cross Roads Game, and tabletop wargames, such as Warhammer Fantasy and 40K. The game Humans vs. Zombies is a zombie-themed live-action game played on college campuses.
Writing for Scientific American, Kyle Hill praised the 2013 game The Last of Us for the game's plausibility, which based its zombie enemies on a fictional strain of the Cordyceps fungus, which has real-world parasitic properties. Despite plausibility, to date there have been no documented cases of humans infected by Cordyceps.
On 18 May 2011, the United States' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a graphic novel, Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse providing tips to survive a zombie invasion as a "fun new way of teaching the importance of emergency preparedness". The CDC goes on to summarize cultural references to a zombie apocalypse. It uses these to underscore the value of laying in water, food, medical supplies, and other necessities in preparation for any and all potential disasters, be they hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, or hordes of zombies.
On 17 October 2011, The Weather Channel in the United States published an article, "How To Weather the Zombie Apocalypse", that included a fictional interview with a Director of Research at the CDD, the "Center for Disease Development". Questions answered include "How does the temperature affect zombies' abilities? Do they run faster in warmer temperatures? Do they freeze if it gets too cold?"
Michael Jackson's music video Thriller (1983), in which he dances with a troop of zombies, has been preserved as a cultural treasure by the Library of Congress' National Film Registry. Many pop culture media have paid tribute to this video, such as a gathering of 14,000 university students dressed as zombies in Mexico City, and 1500 prisoners in orange jumpsuits recreating the zombie dance in a viral video .
The Brooklyn hip hop trio Flatbush Zombies incorporate many tropes from zombie fiction and play on the theme of a zombie apocalypse in their music. They portray themselves as "living dead", describing their use of psychedelics such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms as having caused them to experience ego death and rebirth.
In the 1990s, zombie fiction emerged as a distinct literary subgenre, with the publication of Book of the Dead (1990) and its follow-up Still Dead: Book of the Dead 2 (1992), both edited by horror authors John Skipp and Craig Spector. Featuring Romero-inspired stories from the likes of Stephen King, the Book of the Dead compilations are regarded as influential in the horror genre and perhaps the first true "zombie literature". Horror novelist Stephen King has written about zombies including his short story "Home Delivery" (1990) and his novel Cell (2006) concerning a struggling young artist on a trek from Boston to Maine in hopes of saving his family from a possible worldwide outbreak of zombie-like maniacs.
Max Brooks's novel World War Z (2006) became a New York Times bestseller. Brooks had previously authored The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), a zombie-themed parody of pop-fiction survival guides published in 2003. Brooks has said that zombies are so popular because "Other monsters may threaten individual humans, but the living dead threaten the entire human race.... Zombies are slate wipers." Seth Grahame-Smith's mashup novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009) combines the full text of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (1813) with a story about a zombie epidemic within the novel's British Regency period setting. In 2009, Katy Hershbereger of St. Martin's Press stated "In the world of traditional horror, nothing is more popular right now than zombies.... The living dead are here to stay."
The zombie also appears as a metaphor in protest songs, symbolizing mindless adherence to authority, particularly in law enforcement and the armed forces. Well-known examples include Fela Kuti's 1976 album Zombie, and The Cranberries' 1994 single "Zombie".
A variation of the zombie walk is the zombie run. Here participants do a 5k run wearing a belt with several flag "lives". If the chasing zombies capture all of the flags the runner becomes "infected". If he or she reaches the finish line—which may involve wide detours—ahead of the zombies the participant is a "survivor". In either case an appropriate participation medal is awarded.
Researchers have used theoretical zombie infections to test epidemiology modeling. One study found that all humans end up turned or dead. This is because the main epidemiological risk of zombies, besides the difficulties of neutralizing them, is that their population just keeps increasing; generations of humans merely "surviving" still have a tendency to feed zombie populations, resulting in gross outnumbering. The researchers explain that their methods of modelling may be applicable to the spread of political views or diseases with dormant infection.
Adam Chodorow of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University investigated the estate and income tax implications of a zombie apocalypse under United States federal and state tax codes. Neuroscientists Bradley Voytek and Timothy Verstynen have built a side career in extrapolating how ideas in neuroscience would theoretically apply to zombie brains. Their work has been featured in Forbes, New York Magazine, and other publications.
A botnet is a number of Internet-connected devices, each of which is running one or more bots. Botnets can be used to perform distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS attack), steal data, send spam, and allows the attacker to access the device and its connection. The owner can control the botnet using command and control (C&C) software. The word "botnet" is a combination of the words "robot" and "network". The term is usually used with a negative or malicious connotation.Halloween (2007 film)
Halloween is a 2007 American slasher film written, directed, and produced by Rob Zombie. The film is a remake/reimagining of the 1978 horror film of the same name; the first in the rebooted Halloween film series and the ninth installment of the Halloween franchise. The film stars Tyler Mane as the adult Michael Myers, Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Sam Loomis, Scout Taylor-Compton as Laurie Strode, and Daeg Faerch as the ten year old Michael Myers. Rob Zombie's "reimagining" follows the premise of John Carpenter's original, with Michael Myers stalking Laurie Strode and her friends on Halloween night. Zombie's film goes deeper into the character's psyche, trying to answer the question of what drove him to kill people, whereas in Carpenter's original film Michael did not have an explicit reason for killing.
Working from Carpenter's advice to "make [the film] his own", Zombie chose to develop the film as both a prequel and a remake, allowing for more original content than simply re-filming the same scenes. Despite mostly negative reviews, the film, which cost $15 million to make, went on to gross $80.3 million worldwide in unadjusted U.S. dollars. Zombie followed the film with a sequel, Halloween II, in 2009.House of 1000 Corpses
House of 1000 Corpses is a 2003 American exploitation horror film written, co-scored and directed by Rob Zombie in his directorial debut. The film stars Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon, and Karen Black as members of the Firefly family. Set on Halloween, the film sees the Firefly family torturing and mutilating a group of teenagers who are traveling across the country writing a book. The film explores a number of genres, and features elements of the supernatural. Zombie cited American horror films The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and The Hills Have Eyes (1977) as influences on House of 1000 Corpses, as well as other films released during the 1970s.Initially filmed in 2000, House of 1000 Corpses was purchased by Universal Pictures, thus a large portion of it was filmed on the Universal Studios backlots. The film was made with a budget of $7 million. Zombie worked with Scott Humphrey on the score of the film. House of 1000 Corpses featured a graphic amount of blood and gore, and controversial scenes involving masturbation and necrophilia. The project was ultimately shelved by the company prior to its release due to fears of an NC-17 rating. Zombie later managed to re-purchase the rights to the work, eventually selling it to Lions Gate Entertainment. The film received a theatrical release on April 11, 2003, nearly three years after filming had concluded.
Among film critics, House of 1000 Corpses received a generally negative reaction following its release. The film was critically panned, with the film's various side-plots and main cast being criticized by multiple critics. The film earned over $3 million in its opening weekend, and would later go on to gross over $16 million worldwide. Despite its initial negative reception, the film went on to develop a cult following. Zombie later developed a haunted house attraction for Universal Studios Hollywood based on the film. Zombie later directed the film's sequel, The Devil's Rejects (2005), in which the Firefly family are on the run from the police. Additionally, Zombie is also set to be directing 3 from Hell, the sequel to The Devil's Rejects. This would be the final film performance of Dennis Fimple before his death in August 2002. This film was dedicated to his memory.List of zombie films
The following is a list of zombie feature films. Zombies are fictional creatures usually portrayed as reanimated corpses or virally infected human beings. They are commonly portrayed as cannibalistic in nature. While zombie films generally fall into the horror genre, some cross over into other genres, such as comedy, science fiction, thriller, or romance. Distinct subgenres have evolved, such as the "zombie comedy" or the "zombie apocalypse". Zombies are distinct from ghosts, ghouls, mummies, Frankenstein's monsters or vampires, so this list does not include films devoted to these types of undead.Victor Halperin's White Zombie was released in 1932 and is often cited as the first zombie film.Philosophical zombie
A philosophical zombie or p-zombie in the philosophy of mind and perception is a hypothetical being that from the outside is indistinguishable from a normal human being but lacks conscious experience, qualia, or sentience. For example, if a philosophical zombie was poked with a sharp object it would not feel any pain sensation, yet could behave exactly as if it does feel pain (it may say "ouch", recoil from the stimulus, and say that it is feeling pain).
The notion of a philosophical zombie is used mainly in thought experiments intended to support arguments (often called "zombie arguments") against forms of physicalism such as materialism, behaviorism and functionalism. Physicalism is the idea that all aspects of human nature can be explained by physical means: specifically, all aspects of human nature and perception can be explained from a neurobiological standpoint. Some philosophers, such as David Chalmers, argue that since a zombie is defined as physiologically indistinguishable from human beings, even its logical possibility would be a sound refutation of physicalism, as it would establish that the existence of conscious experience is a further fact. However, physicalists like Daniel Dennett counter that Chalmers's physiological zombies are logically incoherent and thus impossible.Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies is a tower defense video game developed and originally published by PopCap Games for Microsoft Windows and OS X. The game involves homeowners who use a variety of different plants to prevent an army of zombies from entering their houses and "eating their brains". It was first released on May 5, 2009, and made available on Steam on the same day. A version for iOS was released in February 2010, and an HD version for the iPad. An extended Xbox Live Arcade version introducing new gameplay modes and features was released on September 8, 2010. PopCap released a Nintendo DS version on January 18, 2011 with content unique to the platform. The PlayStation 3 version was released in February 2011 also with added new co-op and versus modes found in the Xbox 360 version. An Android version of the game was released on May 31, 2011 on the Amazon Appstore, while it was also released to the Android Market (now Google Play) on December 14, 2011. On February 16, 2012, a version was released for BlackBerry PlayBook. Later, a BlackBerry smartphone version of the game was released on January 2013 following the launch of BlackBerry 10. Furthermore, both the original Windows and Mac version of the game have been re-released with additional content in a Game of the Year version. In January 2015, a free ad-supported version of the game was released for iOS.The game received a positive response from critics, and was nominated for multiple Interactive Achievement Awards, alongside receiving praise for its musical score. A sequel, Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time, was released in 2013 for iOS and Android.Rob Zombie
Rob Zombie (born Robert Bartleh Cummings; January 12, 1965) is an American musician and filmmaker. He is a founding member of the heavy metal band White Zombie, releasing four studio albums with the band. He is the older brother of Spider One, lead vocalist for American rock band Powerman 5000.Zombie's first solo effort was a song titled "Hands of Death (Burn Baby Burn)" (1996) with Alice Cooper, which went on to receive a nomination for Best Metal Performance at the 39th Annual Grammy Awards. In 1997, he began working on his debut solo studio album, Hellbilly Deluxe, which was released in August 1998. A month later, Zombie officially disbanded White Zombie. Hellbilly Deluxe went on to sell over three million copies worldwide and spawned three singles. He released a remix album, American Made Music to Strip By, the following year that contained songs from Hellbilly Deluxe. Zombie directed the horror film House of 1000 Corpses in 2000, though the controversial project was not released until 2003. His second studio album, The Sinister Urge (2001), became his second platinum album in the United States. In 2003, Zombie released the compilation album Past, Present, & Future.
Zombie directed The Devil's Rejects (2005), a direct sequel to his prior film House of 1000 Corpses. The project received a more positive reception than its predecessor. His third studio album, Educated Horses (2006), was a departure from his earlier recordings. The album became his third to enter the top ten of the Billboard 200, though saw a decrease in sales when compared to his previous releases. Deciding to focus on his directing career, Zombie directed the horror film Halloween (2007), a remake of the 1978 horror classic of the same name. The film became Zombie's highest-grossing film to date, though was met with a generally negative critical reception. He later directed Halloween II (2009), which failed to match the success of its predecessor. He released the animated film The Haunted World of El Superbeasto that same year. Zombie returned to music with the release of his fourth studio album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2 (2010). The album peaked at number eight in the United States and sold over 200,000 copies in the country.
In 2012, Zombie released a second remix album and directed the horror film The Lords of Salem, which was released the following year. He released his fifth studio album Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor the following year (2013). He directed the horror film 31 and has purchased the rights to a film about the NHL team Philadelphia Flyers, titled The Broad Street Bullies; no release date for the film has been announced. Since the beginning of his music career, Zombie's music and lyrics have featured notable horror and sci-fi themes. His live shows have been praised for their elaborate shock rock theatricality. Since beginning his solo career, Zombie has sold an estimated fifteen million albums worldwide.Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is a 1998 direct-to-video animated comedy horror film based on Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo Saturday-morning cartoons. In the film, Shaggy, Scooby, Fred, Velma, and Daphne reunite after a year-long hiatus from Mystery, Inc. to investigate a bayou island said to be haunted by the ghost of the pirate Morgan Moonscar. However, the five find not only a deeper mystery on the island, but their first encounter with a genuine, deadly supernatural threat.
It is the first in a long-running series of direct-to-video Scooby-Doo films; succeeded by Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost (1999). Production started at Hanna-Barbera, but was then completed by its then-new parent company, Warner Bros. Animation (which would produce all subsequent Scooby-Doo films). It was also the first of four Scooby-Doo direct-to-video films to be animated overseas by Japanese animation studio Mook Animation. The film was released direct-to-video on September 22, 1998 and premiered on Cartoon Network on October 31, 1998. The film received acclaim from critics who praised the animation, voices and writing. The film also has a much darker tone than the original series. Unlike in the original series, promotional commercials for the movie announced that "This time, the monsters are real!"
The movie was dedicated to the memory of Don Messick, the original voice of Scooby-Doo, who died nearly a year before the film's release. The movie is also one of Ed Gilbert's final roles.Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead is a 2004 horror comedy film directed by Edgar Wright, co-written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost. Pegg plays Shaun, a directionless Londoner who is caught in an apocalyptic zombie uprising. The film was a critical and commercial success and was nominated for a BAFTA. It is the first in Wright and Pegg's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, followed by 2007's Hot Fuzz and 2013's The World's End.White Zombie (band)
White Zombie was an American heavy metal band that formed in 1985. Based in New York City, White Zombie was originally a noise rock band, and was known for its later heavy metal-oriented sound. Their best-known songs are "Thunder Kiss '65", "Black Sunshine" and "More Human than Human". The group officially disbanded in 1998. In 2000, White Zombie was included on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, ranking at No. 56.World War Z
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is a 2006 apocalyptic horror novel written by American author Max Brooks. The novel is a collection of individual accounts narrated by an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission, following the devastating global conflict against the zombie plague. Other passages record a decade-long desperate struggle, as experienced by people of various nationalities. The personal accounts also describe the resulting social, political, religious, and environmental changes.
World War Z is a follow-up to Brooks' "survival manual", The Zombie Survival Guide (2003), but its tone is much more serious. It was inspired by The Good War: An Oral History of World War Two (1984) by Studs Terkel, and by the zombie films of George A. Romero. Brooks used World War Z to comment on government ineptitude and US isolationism, while also examining survivalism and uncertainty. The novel was a commercial hit and was praised by most critics.
Its audiobook version, performed by a full cast including Alan Alda, Mark Hamill, and John Turturro, won an Audie Award in 2007. A film with the same name as the novel, directed by Marc Forster and starring Brad Pitt, was released in 2013.World War Z (film)
World War Z is a 2013 American apocalyptic action horror film
directed by Marc Forster. The screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof is from a screen story by Carnahan and J. Michael Straczynski, based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Max Brooks. The film stars Brad Pitt as Gerry Lane, a former United Nations investigator who must travel the world to find a way to stop a zombie pandemic.
Pitt's Plan B Entertainment secured the film rights in 2007, and Forster was approached to direct. In 2009, Carnahan was hired to rewrite the script. Filming began in July 2011 in Malta, on an estimated $125 million budget, before moving to Glasgow in August 2011 and Budapest in October 2011. Originally set for a December 2012 release, the production suffered some setbacks. In June 2012, the film's release date was pushed back, and the crew returned to Budapest for seven weeks of additional shooting. Damon Lindelof was hired to rewrite the third act, but did not have time to finish the script, and Drew Goddard was hired to rewrite it. The reshoots took place between September and October 2012.
World War Z premiered in London on June 3, 2013, and was chosen to open the 35th Moscow International Film Festival. The film premiered in New York, and Los Angeles on June 14, 2013, and released everywhere on June 21, 2013, in the United States, in 2D and RealD 3D. The film received positive reviews for Brad Pitt's performance and as a realistic revival of the zombie genre, but received certain criticism for the anti-climax and outdated CGI. Regardless, the film was a commercial success, grossing over $540 million against a production budget of $190 million, becoming the highest-grossing zombie film of all time. A sequel was announced shortly after the film's release, and is currently in production.Zombie (comics)
The Zombie (Simon William Garth) is a fictional supernatural character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett for the standalone story "Zombie" in the horror-anthology comic book Menace #5 (cover-dated July 1953), which was published by Atlas Comics, a forerunner to Marvel. The character later became well known for starring in the black-and-white, horror-comic magazine series Tales of the Zombie (1973–1975), usually in stories by Steve Gerber and Pablo Marcos.Zombie (computing)
In computing, a zombie is a computer connected to the Internet that has been compromised by a hacker, computer virus or trojan horse program and can be used to perform malicious tasks of one sort or another under remote direction. Botnets of zombie computers are often used to spread e-mail spam and launch denial-of-service attacks (DOS attacks). Most owners of "zombie" computers are unaware that their system is being used in this way. Because the owner tends to be unaware, these computers are metaphorically compared to fictional zombies. A coordinated DDoS attack by multiple botnet machines also resembles a "zombie horde attack", as depicted in fictional zombie films.Zombie (song)
"Zombie" is a protest song by Irish rock band The Cranberries, written about the 1993 IRA bombing in Warrington, and in memory of two young victims, Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry. It was released in September 1994 as the lead single from their second studio album, No Need to Argue (1994). It preceded the release of No Need to Argue by two weeks. The song was written by the band's lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, and reached No. 1 on the charts in Australia, Belgium, France, Denmark and Germany.
It won the "Best Song" award at the 1995 MTV Europe Music Awards.In 2017, the song was released as an acoustic, stripped down version on the band's Something Else album.Zombie apocalypse
A zombie apocalypse is a particular scenario within apocalyptic fiction. In a zombie apocalypse, a widespread rise of zombies hostile to human life engages in a general assault on civilization.
In some stories, victims of zombies may become zombies themselves if they are bitten by zombies or if a zombie-creating virus travels by air, sexually, or by water; in others, everyone who dies, whatever the cause, becomes one of the undead.
In some cases, parasitic organisms can cause zombification by killing their hosts and reanimating their corpses, though some argue that this is not a true zombie. In the latter scenario zombies also prey on the living and their bite causes an infection that kills.
In either scenario, this causes the outbreak to become an exponentially growing crisis: the spreading "zombie plague" swamps law enforcement organizations, the military and health care services, leading to the panicked collapse of civil society until only isolated pockets of survivors remain. Basic services such as piped water supplies and electrical power shut down, mainstream mass media cease broadcasting, and the national government of affected countries collapses or goes into hiding. The survivors usually begin scavenging for food, weapons and other supplies in a world reduced to a mostly pre-industrial hostile wilderness. There is usually a 'safe zone' where the non-infected can seek refuge and begin a new era.Zombie comedy
The zombie comedy, often called zom com or zomedy, is a film genre that aims to blend zombie horror motifs with slapstick comedy as well as dark comedy.Zombieland
Zombieland is a 2009 American post-apocalyptic zombie comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer and written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The film stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin as survivors of a zombie apocalypse. The film follows a geeky college kid making his way through the zombie apocalypse, meeting three strangers along the way and together taking an extended road trip across the Southwestern United States in an attempt to find a sanctuary free from zombies. The film premiered at Fantastic Fest on September 25, 2009, and was theatrically released on October 2, 2009, in the United States by Columbia Pictures. Zombieland was a critical and commercial success, grossing more than $60.8 million in 17 days and surpassing the 2004 film Dawn of the Dead as the top-grossing zombie film in the United States until World War Z in 2013. A sequel is set to be released on October 11, 2019.