From World War Z to The Walking Dead, zombies suddenly en vogue
Zombies seem to be big news lately. They have been the subject of numerous popular books, horror movies, video games, and even have their own 5k themed run. They are currently the topic of a comic strip that has led to a widely popular television show on AMC, “The Walking Dead”. The show premiered in 2010 on Halloween and has since gained an enormous following. Almost two and a half years later, the mid 3rd season premiere had the highest viewing to date of 16.6 million. And zombie movies have evolved from scary to humorous, Zombieland, zombie love stories, Warm Bodies, and they even have scored a huge movie break by co-starring with Brad Pitt in the upcoming summer movie World War Z. Zombie popularity is steadily increasing and even making recent headlines.
Just days after the mid 3rd season premiere, headline news was made after hackers broke into several states Emergency Broadcast Services and falsely reported, “the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.” While this was obviously a prank, the Center for Disease Control has a very real section on their website entitled “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse”. The CDC does not believe that a zombie apocalypse is imminent; rather they developed this cartoon zombie tale as an entertaining way to teach the general public about the importance of being prepared in case a real disaster strikes. And what better way to illustrate than with zombies?
And America is not the only country with recent zombie headlines. During a meeting of Canada’s House of Commons a couple of weeks ago, members of Parliament joked about a possible zombie attack when someone asked the Foreign Affairs Minister if he felt Canada was prepared for a zombie attack. This playful question may seem absurd in such serious setting but was actually poking fun at a real event. Last week, Quebec was setting up a practice emergency situation. The fake disaster was supposed to emulate a zombie epidemic scenario. The thought behind this extreme idea is for leaders to think “outside the box’” and come up with unique ideas and strategies. And believe it or not, this is not the first Canadian mock zombie attack. British Columbia carried out a similar drill last May hoping that the “attack” would help make their citizens aware of how to be prepared for a real emergency and resources would be available to them. Since the House of Commons joke got around, Quebec decided to change the drill’s theme from a zombie attack to a more realistic flood scenario, believing that people might not take the zombie exercise seriously.
So just what is it we love about the undead? Their insatiable appetites? Their rotting flesh? Or the way they scare the heck out of us? Whatever the reason, zombies are here to stay. Don’t say you weren’t warned.