Unearthing the truth behind the evolution, growth, development, and dominance of horrific movies has elicited mixed reactions in the past. One of the most contested topics of discussion is the endearment of the Zombies whose origin is little known. In spite of the controversies undergrounding the production of zombie movies, the movies have been renowned with their scenes of monstrous pervasiveness. Their creating a link to post-modernistic cultures adds hue to their resurfacing time and again. This is one reason that ignites Kyle Bishop’s instincts into conducting a comparative research that presents the various mythical dimensions that have been associated with the production of horror movies. His journal “Raising the Dead: Unearthing the Nonliterary Origins of Zombie Cinema” provides a pertinent guide into understanding the monstrous world of the zombies, in addition to popular films (, Bishop, 2006).
The journal resonates towards unearthing the myriad myths on which the evolution of the zombies is based. At some instance, Bishop is keen to illustrate that the Hollywood monsters and zombies act alike. He adds that this characterization could be attributed to the fact that they both exhibit nonliteral phenomenon, merely because zombies and monsters are believed to have originated from either non-European or non-Gothic traditions (Koven, 2008). Despite these utterances, it still remains unclear how the zombies drifted from folk into the popular culture. To this point, the ideologies of other researchers such as Shaun McIntosh echo Kyle Bishop’s opinion that the zombies must have gained their origin from the voodoo practices of the Haitians. Since time immemorial, the Haitians have held zombification reputations which were passed on into the United States through artistic works.
Films have been the mainstream media through which folk cultures have found their way into permeating the porous popular culture practiced by Americans. Reflecting back on films such as the White Zombie (1032) and I walked with a Zombie (1943), illuminates the reality that there is a clear divide between post-modernistic zombies such as Raising the Dead, and classical cannibalistic zombies. The movies and films have been identified with the possession of different features, for instance, Romero films support that cannibalism is a certain type of possession. From the background information in support of the need to unearth the reality behind the unearthing of the modern zombie cinema, it is supported that the post-modernistic zombies entered Western countries slightly during the twentieth century. As reiterated by Dendle, Americans had little information on zombies, but for their common knowledge on vampires, werewolf, Haitian voodoo, and the Caribbean zombie lore published in the ancient literature (Brooks, 2003).
Bishop, (2006) states that the emergence of events before the creation of the Raising the Dead cinematic is believed to have been triggered by Romero’s desire to disinter the uncanny grotesque qualities that were associated with the Haitian zombies. This is because Romero accents to the film by encrypting it with the Romero formula in support of a classical zombie. The use of horrendous graphical violence creates a kind of stark horror which makes the films unnaturally frightening, yet captivating to the people who like to push their imaginations to the limits of voodooist fatalism.
Bishop, K. (2006). Raising the Dead: Unearthing the Nonliterary Origins of Zombie Cinema. Journal of Popular Film and Television 33.4 (2006): 196-205.
Brooks, M. (2003). Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead. New York: Three Rivers Press.
Koven, M. (2008). The Folklore of the Zombie Film” in Zombie Culture Autopsies of the Living Dead. Eds. S. McIntosh and M. Leverette. Lanham Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2008. 19-34.