Are Zombies The New Vampires?
The nineties were a dry spell for zombie fans. Mostly due to the string of comedy films that were released during the late eighties in response to George Romero's infamous Night Of The Living Dead films. After becoming a scary representation of societies cruelty at the hands of Romero's cinematic mastery, films like Return of the Living Dead (1985) and Redneck Zombies (1987) rendered the staggering undead unscary. Their resurrection is attributable to Danny Boyle's 2002 masterpiece, 28 Days Later, which made them scary once again.
Vampires, to the contrary, don't go through these phases of popularity. Even early pictures staring Bela Lugosi have seen them as figures of seduction and danger. Buffy: The Vampire Slayer ruled the airwaves during the late nineties, and before that Forever Knight, a series about a vampire detective, did relatively well for nearly a decade. In this context, Twilight is merely a continuation of the immortal vampire tradition, as we see zombies slowly returning to the grave.
Twilight: New Moon © Summit Entertainment
Zombieland © Columbia Tristar Marketing Group
The simple truth of it is that vampires and zombies occupy two different subgenres of horror, and both are fiercely territorial. Vampires are light, fun, and dramatic, where zombies are either darkly satirical or hysterically violent. Hardcore zombie fans are a niche audience, and vampires have more mass appeal. There are exceptions to this, as always, but with only one zombie film upcoming (The Crazies, another Romero remake destined for that small niche audience of gore hounds) and three mainstream vampire films, (New Moon, Circue Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, and Daybreakers) there certainly seems to be no stopping the vampire gravy train. Sorry zombies, maybe in another ten years or so.
Story by Eric Jones
Starpulse contributing writer
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