So, to keep the Halloween theme going, let’s talk about Zombies. Of course, the fact that I have just burned through both the First and Second seasons of Walking Dead recently is certainly fueling my geeky love of the Zombie.
Zombies. They are certainly tied into the idea of Halloween. Many an October 31st I have sat at my front door and watched as zombies slowly drag themselves by the house. Of course, these walking undead are looking for candy more so than brains or human flesh to feast upon. But here is where I get a little Rennie.
My first introduction to zombies was D&D. The undead where always my favorite monsters. From liches to vampires and of course, even zombies, I loved the reanimated corpses that roamed the various dungeons. Zombies, carrying disease as they do, were a special complication to any campaign. Many a time, my favorite characters had to beat a hasty retreat when attacked by a pack of zombies. Only later to come back and beat the crap out of said zombies with a war hammer.
That being my first introduction, the first time I saw zombies in the movies was in Night of the living Dead – the classic. Slow, shambling zombies that all seemed focused on getting the odd selection of people in the house. That black and white classic stills stands up, and if you haven’t watched it in a while, please take the time this Halloween season and spend some time with that movie classic. Fast forward to more current times and think about our pop-cultural love of all things zombie.
I think the first thing that really pushed zombies back into the cultural purview was Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. This brought zombies, fast moving, intelligent zombies back to the family couch. You had, had other movies like 28 Days Later which were certainly reboots of this genre but PotC:CofBP is certainly more mainstream and a time for families to watch zombies together. Then several years later, three years ago in fact, you have the launch of The Walking Dead on AMC. This show brought zombies to the living room – every week. This show made zombies mainstream. And the show just keeps getting better. And the only thing I don’t like about the show is I would have set it back in time, Maybe to the Renaissance time period.
Imagine with me if you will: Rick and Shane are soldiers in the king’s army. Rick has been in a coma and awakes in the barber’s house to find that the dead have come back to life. He escapes and finds a horse (see it isn’t that different) and rides to England (in place of Atlanta) to get back to his family. In this version, you don’t have to worry about guns alerting the walkers. In this version ammo is not an issue. Of course, they would not have cars to ride in so that does become a little bit more of problem when trying to get around the countryside. ANd the zombies would be in tabards, waistcoats and the such. The costuming would be much more interesting. And of course, that means you have people going as Sir Rick and Sir Shane to the Ren Faire.
I bet even without the Walking Dead being set during that time period that you will have some zombies at the Ren Faire this weekend. If you see any, resist the temptation to bash them in the head and grab a picture, I would love to see it.