Autopsies of the Living Dead
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Why have zombies resonated so pervasively in the popular imagination and in media, especially films? Why have they proved to be one of the most versatile and popular monster types in the growing video game industry? What makes zombies such widespread symbols of horror and dread, and how have portrayals of zombies in movies changed and evolved to fit contemporary fears, anxieties, and social issues?
Zombies have held a unique place in film and popular culture throughout most of the 20th century. Rare in that this enduring monster type originated in non-European folk culture rather than the Gothic tradition from which monsters like vampires and werewolves have emerged, zombies have in many ways superseded these Gothic monsters in popular entertainment and the public imagination and have increasingly been used in discussions ranging from the philosophy of mind to computer lingo to the business press.
Zombie Culture brings together scholars from a variety of fields, including cinema studies, popular culture, and video game studies, who have examined the living dead through a variety of lenses. By looking at how portrayals of zombies have evolved from their folkloric roots and entered popular culture, readers will gain deeper insights into what zombies mean in terms of the public psyche, how they represent societal fears, and how their evolving portrayals continue to reflect underlying beliefs of The Other, contagion, and death.
- Scarecrow Press, February 2008
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