Aberzombie & Stitch, Est. 1968
Zombies are everywhere: movies, books, video games, television shows, the list goes on; I would even go so far as to say that zombies went from being an ancient demon from old texts to being the biggest thing since Croc shoes (which, by the way, need to go away. They’re hideous and uncomfortable). Let’s be realistic here, they’ve made their biggest breakthrough in the past five years or so with appearances in games that have nothing to do (or at least SHOULD not) with them, i.e. Call of Duty. We have countless iPod and Android games such as “Plants vs. Zombies,” “Stupid Zombies,” and my personal favorite, “Zombie Farm” which pits our smelly friends against keeping a thriving farm, capitalizing on the uncanny success of Zynga’s “Farmville” (found on Facebook) only with subtle differences. The point is that zombies have become a fad, something I didn’t think possible until recently.
In all fairness you can put zombies wherever you want, but let’s tone it down a bit. Everywhere you look these days, whether it’s XBLA, iPod/Pad, Android, or even full-blown disc releases, zombies are there eating away at the substance of gaming. It’s almost as if developers begin creating a game and when they can’t think of where to take it, they throw zombies in there.
The zombie fad needs to be acknowledged as just that – a fad. These rotting corpses don’t have the appeal they once did in horror, (where they belong) and the basis of what they are has been stripped down and given an overhaul -perhaps it’s the American way, everything nowadays has to be fast, flashy and have at least a few random explosions thrown in ala Michael Bay. Even the general demeanor of zombies has changed dramatically, not just their usage.
They came from being lumbering, mutated and rotted to the now large, muscular marathon runners with very little wear to them; most disturbingly in this epidemic is the fact that they no longer are portrayed as wanting our brains, as precious as they are, but are now wanting to just tear at our clothes i.e. “Left 4 Dead,” and “28 Days Later.” When did zombies grow sharp teeth and claws? I understand the need to alter the formula here and there and I can respect that, (“28 Days Later” is a phenomenal film by the way) but the zombie of today is a shell of its former, more vicious and frightening self and it needs to be brought back. I’m all for artsy games, movies, or cute and cuddly zombies, but do it with some style and in moderation.
Don’t take someone else’s idea and slap a new skin or two on it and call it good and please, please stop using zombies in every game, movie, or lunchbox artwork imaginable because it’s an insult to what the zombie stands for, which is stupidity, fear and an unwavering determination to acquire brains.
Tune in next time for my take on Hollywood vampires!! *grumbles* >:(