Legendary filmmaker George Romero invented what we now know as the modern zombie with his 1968 classic film, Night of the Living Dead. But the monster he created did not evolved from the zombies of Haitian voodoo tradition, but rather from vampires.
Inspired by Richard Matheson’s 1954 vampire novel, I Am Legend, Romero developed a creature grounded in modern science that he called a Flesh Eater. In fact, the term “zombie” wasn’t officially applied to Romero’s ghouls until ten years later when Italian producer Claudio Argento bought the international rights to Dawn of the Dead, and renamed it Zombi for European audiences.
The new label stuck, spreading around the world, causing endless confusion, and prompting countless long-winded academics to theorize about the complex evolution of the Haitian zombie into its current pop culture form.
Anyone who claims that the connection between voodoo zombies and modern zombies goes deeper than their shared name has no understanding of the phenomenon that Romero created, and should be promptly fed to the undead hordes when they rise.
There, I said it.