For many years, the supernatural world and its forces have continued to fascinate and intrigue mankind. Known for its mystery and dark allure it bestows on us, we are left to question if we are truly alone. In this case, we will be evaluating the notorious and charismatic zombie. Originally noted as a voiceless marionette serving its master under the influence of black magic, the image of a zombie has gradually evolved greatly to this modern day. This week, we review the evolution to the modern representation of a zombie in American media from different aspects of elements, genres, and emotions. That become highlighted by an array of feedback on their idol stance in today’s mainstream society.
- Illustration poster of Shaun of the Dead film with a humorous yet charismatic depiction of the zombie. A more comedic approach to the fiend presented in this article. ImageSource:Shaun_of_the_Dead_film_poster.jpg (364×273) (wikimedia.org)
Representation of the Zombie in American Media
First, we begin with the different components and materials spread out behind their representation. In the film Shaun of the Dead, the zombies are presented in a modernly fashioned way. By the characteristics being set in a typical post-apocalyptic setting where it appears like almost everyone. Had suffered from an unknown toxic radiation epidemic accident. It follows the latest stereotype of the zombie image in the film. Yet lacks the dark diabolical origins as it becomes replaced overall by a theme of humor and wittiness. For example, when Shaun’s stepfather dies and transitions into a zombie, he reasons with his mother before leaving him. By further implying that the man she once knew and loved was gone. Yet the newly turned zombie stepfather begins lowering the volume of the radio in his monster form. As he used to hate the sound of loud music played before he transitioned.
The second example from Shaun of the Dead occurred before Shaun and his friends became close to finding refuge. Set in a well-known pub that all characters find solace in, they soon become surrounded by crowds of zombies. Which forces Shaun to pose as a distraction to the fiends by luring them away in a goofy manner. Continued by mocking their behavior and the zombies obliviously repeating his movements and following him away while loved ones escape.
- Protagonist named R in Warm Bodies. Representing the common charismatic foundation of modern zombie idolism in American media. Image Source: MV5BNDE2MjcwMTk1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTQ5ODY5O(751×500) (media-amazon.com)
On the other hand, in the film Warm Bodies, we get to experience some of the wicked origin elements. That regard the depiction of a true zombie. One example is the boneys characters which are evil skeletons that a zombie becomes after losing emotion and self-consciousness. Overall becoming void to the consequence of their actions. Typically, a zombie becomes notorious as a senseless being that acts impulsively on its lust of cravings. Followed by carrying no remorse or affection. Ultimately furthering it away and making it forget what it was to be human.
The next example for the film Warm Bodies comes towards the end of the movie. When we witness how some zombies became cured of their curse by becoming human again. Then later expressing and feeling emotions like love and warmth which aided in reviving their souls. On the opposite end, the boneys remained beyond repair as they became one with the shadows. In other words, they chose to advance on ensuring their devilish ways for eternity. As we have disclosed the different segments of the zombie that get instilled in films. We come to the outcome that the fiends are an ever-growing equivalent to their predecessors.
- Menacing depiction of a zombie in the show Lost Tapes. As the fiend becomes portrayed in a more authentic manner in American media. Image Source: latest (625×450) (nocookie.net)
A Darker side to Charismatic Fiend
Furthermore, in contrast to the mild horror that finds itself depicted in the previous films mentioned comes the true stance. Originally Zombies became products of Necromancy. Meaning that a sorcerer or sorceress exclusively focuses on resurrecting corpses for evil purposes. With additions like Voodoo in Haitian and West African culture, the emergence of the Zombie came to be. To illustrate, in the American show titled Lost Tapes, a more macabre example of the fiend can be found. Since an episode highlights the matter in depth as three officers arrive to a voodoo priestess home. When they enter to properly evict her, they discover the home to be abandoned with little evidence of life inside. Discouraged, the officers take one last inspection throughout the manor. Then, to everyone’s surprise, the seemingly empty home became found to host zombies as they began attacking officers.
A charismatic force to be reckoned with
Shocked, the officers run into a room for shelter only to discover the priestess shrine of dark artifacts. As a result, they become surrounded by the fiends and barely escape with just two surviving officers. Leaving one behind in the process while fighting through the gang that was threatening their lives. Later towards the climax, there comes a twist as the deserted officer (a zombie himself) now attacks his former colleagues. Forcing them to kill their former friend and acquaintance. In the end, the zombies nor their priestess were ever retrieved. As a result, the building became demolished within the next day to begin a new construction project. Overall leaving the surviving officers forever traumatized to the point of them resigning from their positions.
Indeed, most Zombies in mainstream media are portrayed on a clean note these days. Yet in this show, their true nature becomes easily identifiable. This example deserves to be acknowledged because there are a lot of forgotten elements present. To the charismatic character which are made evident on the show. With examples like the zombies appearing still human-like rather than decayed as most portrayals depict. Which adds to the creepy and shock factor of it all since the characters easily risk themselves from becoming inflicted. By the dangers of the zombies wrath. Moreover, there was also in-depth analysis from professionals in the episode. That presented informative and interesting knowledge of the fiend’s charisma and total essence. All in all, the experience for the characters in Lost Tapes were disturbing and petrifying.
- The original zombie film in American media. Representing glamour, beauty, and charismatic aspects to a catalystic feature. Image Source: 9ec45f569c7298a95e9495b284f6e871.jpg (1280×1122) (pinimg.com)
Precursor in American Film
When it comes to examples of zombies in American films, it is always best to go back to early sources. For example, in the 1932 film titled White Zombie, there are an array of depictions that focus on the purpose. Relating to what creates the charisma of the Zombie as the characters in the story become instruments of manipulation. The antagonist named Murder Legendre who is portrayed by Bela Lugosi beautifully portrays that aspect because he gains status. As a Voodoo practitioner who makes servants out of his rivals and enemies in the film. All in all, the character strongly grasps the zombie’s true aspiration.
As a result, the film White Zombie became a cultural icon at its time and for our generation today. Since the project became considered to be the first major Zombie film and overall model in America. One element that stood out to the work done on the film was the characters practicing voodoo. As there were lots of examples of fundamental features present like voodoo drums, blank-eye gazes, and zombies performing physical labor. Opposite to later films that focused more on mythical means to the creature’s emergence and purpose. White Zombie earns an honorable mention because without the film ever coming into existence. There probably would not be any other zombie content prevalent like there is today. In sum, the film stands as a perfect example of highlighting the charisma of the zombie figure in American media.
- Visual example of the dark origins of the charismatic zombie. Rooting back to Voodoo and overall Sorcery to the fiends emergence. Image Source: https://en.metal-tracker.com/torrents/images/2363360.jpg
Further input on the charismatic Zombie
In addition to the evolving image of zombies, we focus on the genres. Regularly, the zombie gets associated with the horror and supernatural genres, but that contiunes to develop. As they are becoming more fused with other ones. For example, the film Warm Bodies is considered Drama/Romance with a bit of Horror since it features a story of a love that begins with a forbidden relationship between a being from the undead and a teenage girl. The zombies in this film somewhat stick to their original fiendish category. While at the same time, mesh in with other topics such as forming relationships and facing dramas of daily life. Another aspect can be the overall theme and mood put into the work. Such as when we see more of a somberness and moody presentation at the beginning of Warm Bodies. Where everything eventually lightens up as the story progresses.
In like manner, Shaun of the Dead is viewed as an action/horror/comedy and parody film. It does not show or relate the zombies here to their beastly nature that much. But later makes up for it in its main whimsical theme presented to audiences. For example, the overall feeling in Shaun of the Dead is more snug, sheltered, and pleasant with lots of laughs. Since the environment of the movie seemed more family-based as most of the characters knew each other for years. Making things more comfortable and comedic as there were lots of witty scenes. Like when Shaun continued with his morning routine at the store without realizing that the zombie apocalypse was occurring. Essentially, genres for the newfangled zombie increase with more principles and key details becoming added to the stories produced.
Next, the television show Lost Tapes puts the spotlight on the heart of horror and mystery genre. Highlighting the very essence of the charismatic zombie’s nature and purpose. This becomes perfect in the eyes of newcomers due to most modern zombie depictions becoming watered down in recent representations. Although this version to the fiend may be too bone-chilling for some, it can also provide a great perspective. To the more authentic side of the zombie’s representation in American Media.
Lastly, with the addition of White Zombie, comes true thriller and drama. Since the movie stands as a catalyst to all zombie films while blending quaint elements of romance. Truly an original, there cannot be any replicas to the work presented here. Due to the large influence, the film brings to American cinema and moviegoers worldwide. In all, White Zombie stands as another great example of what the zombie can be. In contrast to most other depictions that are found throughout other feature film projects in American media.
- Visualisation of necromancy’s appeal and charismatic elements as there are various human arms becoming conjured by supernatural means. Image Source: a3955005542_10-1-750×375.jpg (750×375) (cvltnation.com)
Final Thoughts on Zombies
Furthermore, we move on to the responsiveness of the growing image of a zombie. To illustrate, Shaun of the Dead provokes comfort and playfulness rather than concern or unease. Next, it promotes more excitement and pleasure as we get to see the characters evolve and better themselves. After the turn of events with their experiences in the paranormal world by the characters becoming more understanding and aware. Followed by getting to know what is real, important, and learning how to build yourself mentally after traumatizing events. Although Warm Bodies carries some of that dreary portion of the horror and bone-chilling factor of what a zombie is. People are becoming more accepting and enamored in the mythological aspect and display of zombies that we see in present American media.
By featuring the fiend in various forms of entertainment from video games and TV programs. Then lastly, hosting random zombie reenactment walks in comic cons and so forth. Zombies can be fun and thrilling but disturbing at the same time. Leading on the initial charisma to the appeal of the figures. Followed by never failing to entertain audiences worldwide as there are always new stories. To becoming shared and spread in a world that craves excitement. In essence, the representation of the zombie may vary by culture, presentation, and belief, but the same charisma remains.
- Rightful interpretation of how a zombie works and the background to their charismatic function. Overall, highlighting the fiends’ appeal in American media. Image Source: c43026d34cf92ebe62d3ebb04b6e1f1e.jpg (736×1008) (pinimg.com)
Significance of Zombies Charisma in North American Media
In conclusion, from different aspects of elements, genres, and responsiveness displayed. We can say that the image of the zombie finds itself on a thriving state in American culture and media. More than ever before, the zombie will continue to be a major and unforgettable character in the supernatural world. That persists onto mesmerizing audiences with charisma and wonder. Just like its predecessors which also hailed from the mythical realm. That ultimately set an example for many additions of “The Zombie” to come and go throughout time.
Lost Tapes, Dir. Devin Powers, Go Go Luckey Entertainment, Animal Planet, 2010
Shaun of the Dead, Dir. Edgar Wright, Universal Pictures Rogue Pictures, 2004
Trentemøller, Anders Blue September. 2019
Trentemøller, Anders Sycamore Feeling (Trentemøller Remix). 2010
Warm Bodies, Dir. Jonathan Levine, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Films, 2013
White Zombie, Dir. Victor Halperin, Halperin Productions, 1932
Ultraista Small Talk. 2012
Ultraista Strange Formula. 2012
Ultraista You’re Out. 2012