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Should zombie flicks be more than gorefests?

For all of two hours, our job is to suspend disbelief and take in a story unfolding before us that portrays the dead walking the earth once more in an apocalyptic scenario. At the same time, we are supposed to believe these characters on the screen are falling in love, spiraling into hatred, and developing these complex emotions and stories while zombies try to eat them. Should zombies (and apocalyptic settings in general) continue to be used as a framing device, or otherwise sidelined in favor of focusing on the human experience? Or should zombie flicks focus on the main attraction – the guts, the gore, the death and destruction? Perhaps examine the reception of movies that are clearly placed in one category or the other.

  • Hm. Really depends on what subgenre of 'zombie flick' we're looking at here. I don't think I've ever seen a film where zombies are the MAIN attraction except for that wonderful recent oddity of a rom-com 'Warm Bodies'. Which of course is far from the usual norm. But yeah, from the Romeros to 'I Am Legend', to 'The Walking Dead' to 'Shaun of the Dead' the human quantity has always been most crucial. Maybe you could explore how filmmakers could possible film something from the POV of the zombie's themselves, I'm thinking kind of like the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey, wordless and primal. – CalvinLaw 5 years ago
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  • I think using "zombies" to force a setting that then focuses on the human experience is a way to reach wider audiences. For example, there are probably a lot of people out there that would not have started watching the walking dead if the plot was more like 'watch these people in no danger have a bunch of drama.' There are plenty of people who would watch that, but I think adding zombies attracts other people that may not have watched this otherwise. Another issue is that the people need SOME sort of issue that puts them in this predicament to give them a reason for their interactions. So shipwreck? Well we've done that one too already... so might as well use zombies. – Tatijana 5 years ago
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  • See this is a really interesting idea, but I definitely think that zombies should and could be more than just gore and more gore and unrelenting gore. Zombies actually have a rich history in ancient religions, plays and poems, and I really think that someone could reinvent the way we look at the dead. Take the movie "The Book Of Life" an animated film about the day of the dead in Mexico. Obviously this is a cultural take on the living dead or zombification, but I think a movie could really come out with zombies, but instead of focusing on the whole "I'm going to eat you thing" maybe making their existence more a philosophical question or an existentialist crisis. Of course that is just my two cents from philosophical perspective – alexhim 5 years ago
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  • It might depend on what type of zombie. Old school zombies move slow and probably have less to do with guts. All the new age modern zombies can run and actually look more likely to shred something. – Nori 5 years ago
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