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Zombies in popular culture
This lens deals with fictitious zombies. Although the concept of the Zombie originates with the Afro-Caribbean tradition of turning people into Zombis and enslaving them as punishment for certain transgressions, the Zombie presented in popular entertainment bears little to no resemblance to actual Zombis.

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Widely acknowledged as the first Zombie film, 1932's WHITE ZOMBIE features a young couple in Haiti, Neil Parker (John Harron) and Madeleine Short (Madge Bellamy), who have been invited by a casual acquaintance, Charles Beaumont (Robert Frazer), to come to his plantation to be married. Beaumont, however, is actually in love with Madeline and hopes to persuade her to become his wife instead. Rebuffed, he approaches local white Voodoo master "Murder" Legendre (Béla Lugosi) to temporarily turn her into a zombie, have her declared dead, send Neil back to the States in mourning, then revive her so that he can woo her anew. Legendre, however, has his own plans for the young lady, and for Beaumont. She is ultimately rescued from living death by her faithful Neil and a missionary named Dr. Bruner (Joseph Cawthorn).

For the next few decades, Zombie films followed the rather racist formula of the "evil Vodouisant" victimizing the "innocent white folks".


Revolt of the Zombies 1936
King of the Zombies 1941
Dead Men Walk 1943
I Walked with a Zombie 1943
Zombies of the Mora tau 1957
Voodoo Island 1957
Teenage Zombies 1959
Blood of the Zombie 1961
Dr. Blood's Coffin 1961 -
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- - In 1968, young filmmaker George A. Romero changed Zombie films forever with his classic NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD .
Inspired by the civil rights battles of the 60's, Romero's Zombies were frightening not only because of their insatiable craving for human flesh, but because they were our mothers, our friends, our children. Nobody ever finds out how the Zombie pandemic started and the characters in Romero's films never get a happy ending.
Romero invented the Zombie film as social commentary.

George A. Romero's Zombie films
Night of the Living Dead

Dawn of the Dead

Day of the Dead

Land of the Dead

Diary of the Dead

The cultural impact of Romero's Zombie films has given births to many remakes and homages. Here are a few:

Dawn of the Dead 2004

Shaun of the Dead (this film is hilarious)


Cemetery Man
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- - In The Evil Dead Sam Ramie put the magic back into the Zombie genre. A group of college students staying in a cabin in the woods, unleash ancient demons by reading passages from The Book of the Dead (not to be confused with the Tibetan Book of the Dead). These demons, through a memorable rape by tree scene, possess the kids one by one.
Starting with Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn , Ramie injects a fair amount of hilarity into the carnage.

The Evil Dead trilogy
The Evil Dead
The Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn
Army of Darkness
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- - In the 1980's, low budget filmmakers wanted to make Zombie movies more attractive to teenagers. Basically mindlessly gory screwball comedies, the Return of the Living Dead franchise was born. The franchise keeps making straight-to-video comebacks.

The Return of the Living Dead movies
The Return of the Living Dead
Return of the Living Dead part 2
Return of the Living Dead 3
Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis
Return of the Living Dead 5: Rave to the Grave
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- - Films like the remake of Dawn of the Dead mainsteamed a new kind of Zombie. The FAST Zombie. No more slowly rambling corpses, mindlessly trying to eat that living human flesh they so desperately crave. These buggers run!

Many of these new-fangled speed corpses were engineered in the labs of the lately popular "EVIL CORPORATION."

Fast Zombie Films

28 Days Later (ask me why I hate this series)
28 Weeks Later

- Resident Evil
Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Resident Evil: Extinction
Resident Evil: Degeneration (animated)
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- - Zombie Lake :The most terrifying zombie massacre ever to come to the screen! In a small lakeside town in the French countryside, young women are disappearing without a trace. The superstitious locals blame "The Lake of Ghosts," but the town's mayor (Howard Vernon) seems reluctant, or powerless, to take any action. When another girl is found with her throat ripped out, a Paris reporter begins to uncover the deadly secrets of the lake and the dead, green-faced Nazis who are aroused to action!

In the Italian classic Zombie , or Zombie 2 (there was no Zombie 1), Dr. Bowles's boat floats into New York Harbor missing its crew and carrying an undead passenger. The doctor's daughter (Tisa Farrow), dead set on finding out what happened to her father, teams up with journalist Peter West (Ian McCulloch) and heads to the cursed island of Matool, where a zombie epidemic is growing and Dr. Bowles's friend, Dr. Menard (Richard Johnson), is desperately trying to find a cure. Will Anne find her father? Will Dr. Menard find a cure? Will our heroes escape? In all honesty, who really cares? Because those in the "know" already know you don't come to a Fulci film looking for Shakespeare. What Zombie 2 lacks in plot development and continuity, it more than makes up for in atmosphere, intensity, and of course the trademark Fulci gore. Some of the unique high points are the never-duplicated zombie-versus-shark vignette, the rising of the Spanish zombie conquistadors, and Fulci's trademark eye shot. Fans of Italian/apocalyptic/cannibal/zombie films should not miss Zombi 2.

In the Italian Burial Ground - Night of Terror , A professor whom is studying a ancient crypt near a cemetery accidentally opens evil from beyond the grave on a burial ground. The curse unleashes the dead to rise up from their grave to devour the living for their cannibalistic needs, lucky for the undead, their main course will be a group of socialites having a weekend in a large mansion.
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- Zombies have become such a major part of popular culture that there are annual "Zombie walks" (large numbers of people meeting in public places, dressed as zombies and scaring the unsuspecting citizens) all over North America. -
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by agentnumalol :
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They dominate us.
Boomer, Hunter, and Smoker
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Saferoom over there!
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Zombie horde attacks

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