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WHY ZOM COMS COULD KILL YOU!

WHY ZOM COMS COULD KILL YOU!

How pop culture will get us all killed. (Part 6)

Why do we let comedies shape the zombie narrative?

The zombie comedy Buck Wild is due out on DVD next month. While the movie itself looks pretty funny, what’s really interesting is the actual cause of the zombie virus; the mythical chupacabra! Now we all know that because it’s a comedy the film will get a pass from the usual zombie tropes. After all, zombie comedies can do pretty much whatever they want since they are… well, comedies! And the point of these movies is to be funny, not to give you zombie survival tips.

The problem is that the general population (i.e. non-zombie enthusiasts) often take these films to heart, and that ends up affecting the zombie genre as a whole. Think back to two zombie comedies that have already affected the genre. The 1985 Dan O’Bannon classic Return of the Living Dead gave us what is now the universal zombie war cry for “Brains!” While the hugely successful film Zombieland introduced a number of ridiculous survival tips; most notably “the double tap.” I mean, one of the common beliefs of zombie culture is that noise attracts zombies. So why would you ever make more noise than you need to?

Here’s the issue; these movies cause confusion by adding things into the lore that the masses think are cool, rather than furthering any research. There is no doubt that zom-coms add a lot to the genre. And films like Shaun of the Dead, Fido or Dead Alive provide tons of enjoyment to fans while serving as an introduction to more serious zombie fare. However, shapers of the zombie narrative need to take control and educate the general public so we can ultimately find a happy medium between a good laugh and potentially dangerous zombie survival practices!

Check out the official trailer of Buck Wild here:

Contributing author Alfredo Torres is an adjunct professor of communications at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA where he wrote his master’s thesis on the metaphoric representation of zombies in the films of George Romero.

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