Zombies: From Haitian Magic to Hollywood Horror

Zombies: From Haitian Magic to Hollywood Horror

Zombies are constantly in the forefront of public thought thanks to oustanding success in recent depictions of the monster - but where did the ideas come from, and how did we get where we are now?

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Thank you for reminding me - I really should watch that movie this weekend. When I started building a substantial horror collection, The Serpent and The Rainbow was one of my first purchases. Such a great film, and it permanently added the word tetrodotoxin to my vocabulary.

Really awesome article. Telling the history of these things, like you did with the golem, should be its own article, not part of critical Intel. Not that it doesn't belong here, but it could stand on its own I think.

All of this article really brought back memories. Once in high school I did a lot of research for an essay, the topic I chose was Vodoun. The inspiration, Gabriel Knight: sins of the fathers.

I've always thought that Zombies were the most white washed monsters in film. Vampires for the most part have kept their cultural contest, same thing with werewolves. But the modern zombie has had pretty much its entire cultural subtext removed overtime. In short their is nothing Haitian or Pan African about the modern zombie.

martyrdrebel27:
Really awesome article. Telling the history of these things, like you did with the golem, should be its own article, not part of critical Intel. Not that it doesn't belong here, but it could stand on its own I think.

Thanks! This is part of CI's Halloween series in the same vein as Moviebob's Schlocktober - the difference is it doesn't have a specific name.

Next week will be the last one for the year, unless I decide to stretch it one more week because... well, c'mon, who likes to see Halloween end?

I often wonder if night of the living dead or other early zombie movies were inspired by tales from Hiroshima and Nagasaki nukes being dropped. Watching documentaries where the survivors describe what they saw in great detail often gives an image similar to a zombie apocalypse. Especially how the injured (often heavily burnt/mutalated) are walking with their hands out in groups towards water or those they think can help. Some of the descriptions of how the injured looked sounds identical to zombies in their more modern forms. Considering knowledge of what happened in those cities were kept secret for like 50 years by the US (they were worried it'd turn public opinion of the world against them) it wouldn't surprise me if witnesses or those that heard 2nd hand used it as inspiration or as a way to leak the stories without breaching some sort of NDA.

 

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