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Why do we love the zombie apocalypse?

  • Avatar of anthem47

    anthem47

    [1]Dec 20, 2012
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    First off, don't get me wrong, I have loved everything zombie for decades. I vividly remember seeing Return of the Living Dead in 1985 and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. Okay, not the high point of zombie cinema but I'm not quite old enough to go further back than that, haha, though I have explored the Romero series since then.


    But it's left me wondering...when you talk to people who love zombie movies, they're not exactly sad about the end of civilisation. I'm not trying to be a sadsack, it's escapism, it's fun, but when people joke about what happens if the zombie apocalypse happens tomorrow, I do sense a touch of...hope in their eyes. Am I overthinking it? Why is this do you think?


    That's the basic question. This will probably be a long post but the rest is just my point of view ramblings.


    -----


    I think it partly comes down to freedom, a sense of escaping the grind of the rat race.


    There's pros and cons. On the one hand there's the basic freedom of being Glenn picking any old car off the street and driving around an empty city without a care in the world (except the zombies). On the other hand there's the lack of electricity or sewerage or medication. The interesting thing about this scenario versus other "strip civilisation out of man, get him back to his roots" type thoughts, is that you've still got the remnants of civilisation around. If you're a hardcore survivalist who laments that most of humankind doesn't know how to operate independantly anymore, crashing on an island fulfills that wish, Castaway fulfills that wish. Zombie films though, let you do that without having to make your own clothes, since you can scrounge them from abandoned houses...at least until all that cloth starts degrading. Also survivors in these films don't seem to have trouble finding fuel to keep driving around, so that's handy. So you can see why zombie survival is more appealing than deserted island survival, at least in the short term.


    I also think it has something to do with a sense of releasing guilt-free rage.


    We'll try not to do too much couch psychology here, but villains are only satisfying when they're caricatures. Blast bugs in Starship Troopers, everything's great, no one cares about bugs. Shoot Nazi henchmen in Indy films, you're still on pretty good ground...Nazis are understandably well into "villain" territory, occasionally you might get a glimpse of their lives or back stories but generally they're faceless in fiction. But the more you assign motivations, backstories, families to people, the more complicated things get. Zombies, on the other hand, are a completely guilt free yet human-shaped enemy. You can hack as many as you want and never be faced with a picture of the enemy's children in his wallet (or if you do, you at least feel like you did them a favour by putting him to rest).


    It rewards the strong.


    This one's a bit of a mentality thing, and linked to the one above. I think sometimes people feel like civilisation devalues certain qualities (and, if those are the qualities they have, they'll be annoyed). If you're an aggressive, "hunter-type" guy (which is in no way me, just to get that out of the way), the things you excel at tend to be the things that are automated or dead in civilisation. Meat production is automated. The army is certainly an option but, as unstable as the world is, most countries spend not much time in armed conflict. The police force is an option but arguably that requires less aggression and more people skills. Otherwise you've got...erm, a boxing career? In the zombie apocalypse on the other hand, suddenly you're back in vogue. Your combat skills and protective nature are relevant again. And the nerds are useless because there's no computers (as a legal nerd, I have a feeling zombies do not respond to subpoenas). Hunting deer was good practice anyway, and it was never very satisfying when you'd end up passing two supermarkets on the way home...


    Zombies kill the annoying.


    Often the best part of slasher movies is the less-than-ideal kids dying first and early, so the virginal, virtuous final girl can come out on top in the end. In the same way, zombies in movies have a tendency to reward honour and loyalty, that sort of thing. The assholes die early. Which is good for us because we usually picture ourselves as one of the survivors in the zombie apocalypse (when in all honesty I'd probably be one of those guys that falls over while running and gets surrounded, but who pictures that?).


    -----


    I could go on but I don't want to hog the subject matter. The question is: why do you love the zombie apocalypse?

    Edited on 12/20/2012 2:49am
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  • Avatar of OdumC

    OdumC

    [2]Dec 20, 2012
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    I'll get to take my neighbors head off with a sword.
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  • Avatar of RockxySaint

    RockxySaint

    [3]Dec 20, 2012
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    Because it's getting back to the basics. When you form a group during an apocalypse, they are or become (ideally) real buddies who you know have your back. Everyone has to bring something real to the table- what you get to take is a direct result of what you give. No need for anyone to put on a facade, you don't have to schmooze up to any one.

    and let's face it, with most people today living lazy lives like clockwork and glued to some sort of screen most of the time.... an apocalypse is exciting.

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  • Avatar of ionee24

    ionee24

    [4]Dec 24, 2012
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    My love for the show reduces to three simple points:


    1) Brilliant Characters


    2) Intelligent conflict.


    3) Emotionally compelling writing.


    The fact its immerse in a zombie apocalypse only makes it better.

    Edited on 02/23/2013 8:29pm
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  • Avatar of LordGrievous

    LordGrievous

    [5]Dec 28, 2012
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    There's the poetic justice of the human race getting hunted down from a plague of te undead of our own species(we have it coming).

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  • Avatar of ionee24

    ionee24

    [6]Feb 23, 2013
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    I think there's something to be said about the characters contemplating their own mortality as well. It doesn't matter if its a child like Carl, a pregnant woman like Lori or an old man like Hershel, they are all on the same boat: they are all going to die, and they all know it.


    For something as grim as the zombie plague, the characters from The Walking Dead don't take it as the terminal condition it actually is but accept it as part of their existance: they still fall in love (Glenn and Maggie), develop friendships (Michonne & Andrea, Rick & Morgan, Daryl & the group), raise their children (Hershel & his daughters, Rick and his children, Carol for as long as Sophia was alive), etc.

    Edited on 02/23/2013 8:38pm
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of SupernaturalX55

    SupernaturalX55

    [7]Feb 23, 2013
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    In a zombie apocalypse your not bound by so many rules and regulations, you don't have to pay bills and who says we wouldn't have electricity? Take TWD's Woodbury for instance. They got some basic electricity (solar i believe) but bottom line is it's a chance to start over again. Honestly though anyone wanting a zombie apocalypse to happen is either wanting something meaningful to do, an excuse to kill something or they're just sick of the day to day living any apocalypse would be nice. Then there are those who are like, "there's no one watching the car dealerships, lets grab a new Mercedes". For me it's going back to the basics of survival. We depend too much on themomentarysystem that eventually when something does happen people won't know what to do.



    That and i have always wanted to take charge. Zombie apocalypse fanatics most likely want that sort of deal where they are leaders protecting others that are unable to fend for themselves.

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  • Avatar of ionee24

    ionee24

    [8]Feb 24, 2013
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    That's the thing with this show: I don't think this a chance to start all over again. Unlike postapocalyptic shows like Terra Nova & Revolution, the people in The Walking Dead are dying, there's no chance to start all over if you'll die by zombies, or by natural causes and then become zombies. The best they could hope is for a love one to shot them in the head once they die so they would not turn. The last survivor is not going to be the King of a wasteland, but doomed to turn into a zombie once he or she dies as well.

    The fact they still have lives, morals, friends among this scenario is the real miracle.
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  • Avatar of SupernaturalX55

    SupernaturalX55

    [9]Mar 4, 2013
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    Well, simply put if people can't work together there won't be a chance to start over. I don't think humanity will become extinct in TWD universe there isn't any reason to believe that. People will always die even after they have tried to keep the zombies at bay. Unless the writer decides to kill off every human survivor then simply put they are already starting over. They continue to live their lives and even today we live with the constant problem that one day, we too will be wiped out.

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  • Avatar of Helostwin

    Helostwin

    [10]Mar 5, 2013
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    I said this long ago : the zombie problem will go away by itself.

    When the apocalypse first happened there were huge herds of zombies. Rick estimated "half the population" in 1 episode. I predicted that what happens to corpses exposed to the elements would happen to them & I seem vindicated. In Season 1 they looked like dead bodies, now thy are walking skeletons. They are decaying & falling apart. You can crush their skulls easily.

    Once the massive first wave of zombies is gone the problem will be much less because there are fewer "replacement" zombies being created for 2 reasons : 1) there are simply too few humans left to become zombies and 2) surviving humans seem to have gotten very careful about destroying the brain of anyone who dies. There are still enough humans to be a genetically viable breeding population which the will do. Humans can reproduce rapidly once the crisis is over (look at Europe after the Black Death, huge population increase). Hell we are seeing new babies NOW while the crisis is still at it's height.

    So with the vast majority of walkers gone in a few more years the remaining walkers will be treated like any other predator. Civilization will rebuild. Funeral customs will be different, with the deceased persons brain immediately destroyed. Hikers & campers will have to look out for individual walkers just like they are careful about bears & other dangerous animals today.
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    beowulf579

    [11]Mar 7, 2013
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    "Hikers & campers will have to look out for individual walkers just like they are careful about bears & other dangerous animals today."

    Especially those ninja Walkers that just seem to poof out of nowhere.
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  • Avatar of OdumC

    OdumC

    [12]Mar 7, 2013
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    beowulf579 wrote:
    "Hikers & campers will have to look out for individual walkers just like they are careful about bears & other dangerous animals today."

    Especially those ninja Walkers that just seem to poof out of nowhere.


    To be fair, in that scene there WERE bodies laying around everywhere, and zombies DO go dormant when there's no activity/food around (the cafe?) they got stuck, made a commotion rocking the car back and forth, everyone was concentrating on the transmission shifter watching her try to rock the car out, zombies got up, surrounded the car.
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  • Avatar of LordGrievous

    LordGrievous

    [13]Mar 8, 2013
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    Helostwin wrote:
    I said this long ago : the zombie problem will go away by itself. When the apocalypse first happened there were huge herds of zombies. Rick estimated "half the population" in 1 episode. I predicted that what happens to corpses exposed to the elements would happen to them & I seem vindicated. In Season 1 they looked like dead bodies, now thy are walking skeletons. They are decaying & falling apart. You can crush their skulls easily. Once the massive first wave of zombies is gone the problem will be much less because there are fewer "replacement" zombies being created for 2 reasons : 1) there are simply too few humans left to become zombies and 2) surviving humans seem to have gotten very careful about destroying the brain of anyone who dies. There are still enough humans to be a genetically viable breeding population which the will do. Humans can reproduce rapidly once the crisis is over (look at Europe after the Black Death, huge population increase). Hell we are seeing new babies NOW while the crisis is still at it's height. So with the vast majority of walkers gone in a few more years the remaining walkers will be treated like any other predator. Civilization will rebuild. Funeral customs will be different, with the deceased persons brain immediately destroyed. Hikers & campers will have to look out for individual walkers just like they are careful about bears & other dangerous animals today.


    I don't think they'll be much of a need to destroy the brain at funerals, I think once the whole zombie armies are gone the remaining survivors will become immune to the virus infecting them, eventually anyway.

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    beowulf579

    [14]Mar 8, 2013
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    OdumC wrote:
    beowulf579 wrote:
    "Hikers & campers will have to look out for individual walkers just like they are careful about bears & other dangerous animals today."

    Especially those ninja Walkers that just seem to poof out of nowhere.


    To be fair, in that scene there WERE bodies laying around everywhere, and zombies DO go dormant when there's no activity/food around (the cafe?) they got stuck, made a commotion rocking the car back and forth, everyone was concentrating on the transmission shifter watching her try to rock the car out, zombies got up, surrounded the car.


    I know but I was kind of thinking more about the Walker waaay back in season two that attacked Lori and Maggie got while riding a horse. Just came from behind a tree out of nowhere.

    Lol...imagine with her ninja skills what kind of Walker Michonne could make! She can also poof into cafes, saved pictures and cat statues and get out in less than a minute.
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  • Avatar of ionee24

    ionee24

    [15]Mar 18, 2013
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    I love it because its brilliant.

    It doesn't matter if the Governor is a bad guy or Rick is going crazy, the characters actually think their next move and that makes all the difference in the world to me.
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