October is Halloween Month at BTG Lifestyle, and we thought we would kick things off with an article on the brain-dead, brain-eaters known as zombies. There is a certain allure that comes with the undead and here are 4 reasons I think zombies movies and series are so compelling.
1. Post-apocalyptic world
If one were to construct an A-Z of Zombies, “A” would without a doubt be “Apocalypse.” With zombies roaming the streets, it’s pretty difficult to go about your regular routine. Waiting for the bus? Zombie attack. Chilling outside? Zombie attack. Go clubbing? Photobombed by a zombie. Right before, you know…Zombie attack.
Normal routines and life in general go out the window. Priorities shift. Zombies begin to outnumber the living and next thing you know, you’re taking a rifle with you when visiting the empty rundown supermarket for supplies.
But why is this so compelling? Narnia, Hogwarts and The Matrix are compelling because it’s a different world. But with zombies the world has gone to shit. The planet – much the zombies that inhabit it – has become the living dead.
Things are drastically altered from what we have been accustomed to all our lives. This world we’re watching is so far past normal that we cannot help but stay engaged.
2. Survival is the order of the day
A common element in every zombie movie is survival. Whether it be barricading one’s home and setting up traps, or actively killing zombies to prevent being bitten and turned into a zombie themselves. Your main goal for every single day is to survive.
This situation brings out the bravery. We enjoy watching people survive and fight to protect themselves and their loved ones. We cheer on the heroes who, despite being consumed with fear, have to kill the zombies in order to save themselves.
We also enjoy the fact that humans can kill because they have to. We do not judge our fellow humans for killing when it needs to be done. We encourage it. Because if put in the same situation, we hope that we will step up and take matters into our own hands.
3. Disintegration of morality
The Joker in The Dark Knight said it best: “When the chips are down, these civilised people, they’ll eat each other.”
With social order having collapsed, this post-apocalyptic world breeds a new kind of humanity. Soon, due to desperation, we find out the most about ourselves and what we can do.
“People like you, the good people, they always die. The bad people die, too. But the weak people, the people like me, we have inherited the earth.” – Morgan, The Walking Dead
A zombie apocalypse pushes us to our moral limits. Killing is a necessity. Trust is a gamble. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Are we really sure that our friend would run back to help us if we trip and fall, while a group of zombies approach?
If we desperately need medicine, but the only thing standing in our way is someone who needs it too, would do we do? What would they do?
We need to kill to survive. But no one said we’re only killing the walking dead. Survival is the main priority and the basic human instinct is to survive before worrying about anyone else.
4. Brain-dead monsters are the most frightening
You get monsters who blend and those that don’t. Zombies don’t. They make weird sounds, they walk funny and their skin is rotting away. Their eyes are lifeless and often milky. They just look disgusting. Well, most of the time…
But more than that, the appeal stems from the fact that in contrast to other monsters, zombies are not sentient beings and therefore do not function the way that others might.
You might be able to reason with a vampire, or befriend Chucky. Even Frankenstein had some emotion. In zombie films, the monster is frightening because it wants to eat you. That. Is. All.
You cannot talk them out of that. Your best bet is confusing the zombie, but it’s difficult to outwit a monster when you’re pissing in your pants because half of this zombie’s face is missing. And he wants to do the same to you.
Another reason for the allure of zombies is that they were once human beings. Friends or family, even. But all of that goes out the window once they’ve turned. And that, is a special kind of horror. Family who become zombies are still zombies. It sucks. But that’s the post-apocalyptic world that we live in.
And while we have zombies on the brain (see what I did there?), check out this teaser trailer for the upcoming season 4 premiere of The Walking Dead.
About the author: Dean is a co-founder of BTG Lifestyle and is the guy in the zombie movie who is really excited about the zombie apocalypse and then gets bitten ten minutes into the movie. He’s that guy.