Plague of the Zombies (1966)

Plague of the Zombies was on TCM last night. This is the first movie that had zombies in it that looked like they had actually risen from the dead, looking decrepit and rotting. In previous movies the zombies looked like ordinary people shambling around with their eyes bugging out of their heads.

However, these zombies in Plague were still taking orders from their human masters who controlled them with voodoo as Bela Lugosi did in White Zombie. Granted, the zombie special effects in Plague were nothing to write home about, but they were an improvement over previous film zombies.

The zombies in Plague of the Zombies hadn’t yet morphed into independent flesh eaters that take orders from no one. That was to come later in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, which presaged today’s Hollywood zombies. It was Romero that created zombies as we know them today–the carnivorous walking dead that eat human flesh and take orders from no one, mindless beasts wreaking havoc on the world for no other reason than to eat.

The zombies in my Zombie Apocalypse: The Chad Halverson Series take after Romero’s zombies.

 

Why Are Zombies So Popular Now?

Zombies aren’t just about zombies. They’re about people and how people react to them. People are the main characters in any good zombie fiction, not the witless zombies.
 
Unlike zombie fiction, vampire fiction is more about the vampires and their personalities than about the people that oppose them. Count Dracula is the most interesting character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, not Dr. Van Helsing, who is his human antagonist. The fascinating count is an aristocratic charmer who seduces women so that he can sink his fangs into their necks and suck their blood. He is so seductive he can make women swoon simply by staring at them with his transfixing gaze that immobilizes their wills and renders them his slaves, all so that he can suck their blood and go on living till the end of time.
 
Zombies as characters, on the other hand, are insipid creatures that lumber around eating human flesh and insects as well, as depicted in George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, which set the standard for the modern zombie. Zombies are filthy rotting corpses that have become reanimated and go around feeding primarily on living humans. In contrast to the charming Count Dracula, they are creatures with no personality. They all blend into one amorphous, shambling, stupid, flesh-eating mob.
 
In zombie fiction, the zombies aren’t the most interesting characters. They simply propel the action and motivate reactions from their human prey. What is most interesting in zombie fiction is how the main human characters battle the zombies and battle each other, as well, in their struggles for survival in a world overrun by mindless repulsive creatures bent on human annihilation.
 
For example, what is fascinating in Romero’s classic zombie film is how the main characters that are trapped together in a farmhouse battle each other as well as the zombies that besiege them. The tension among the trapped inhabitants is palpable and, combined with the zombie onslaught, generates nerve-racking horror.
 
In contrast to aristocratic vampires with intriguing personalities who are basically loners, zombies are ghastly creatures without any personalities who congregate in huge mobs. Zombies are symbols of modern democracies where numbers are more impotant than royal bloodlines. It’s a case of the majority rules, as in democracies (from which zombies were bred), versus the aristocracy rules (from which Count Dracula was bred). Zombies are perfect monsters for democracies, where everybody is considered equal. All zombies are equally characterless, mindless, and horrifying. Unique vampires with intriguing personalities, on the other hand, are perfect monsters for Victorian England and its dissolute bloodlines and crumbling aristocracy.
 
Zombies then are truly products of modern democracies, whereas vampires are products of decaying aristocracies. Now is the age of the zombie. Zombies rule.

Romero’s Dead

George Romero is dead.  He pretty much invented the zombie grindhouse flick with his Night of the Living Dead.  The modern zombie story wouldn’t be thriving today without Romero.

Zombies were lumbering oafs in the movies like in White Zombie before Night of the Living Dead came along.  Essentially harmless unless commanded to do evil by someone like Bela Lugosi, they lumbered around with dead eyes.  They lumbered around in Night of the Living Dead too, with one important difference–they had developed a taste for living flesh, especially the human kind.  But they weren’t picky; they ate living bugs, as well.

Their evolution into flesh eaters made them the horrifying creature that they are today in movies and books.

Explosive zombie action in Chad Halverson boxed set

The explosive zombie action in Bryan Cassiday’s boxed set Zombie Apocalypse:  The Chad Halverson Series will set your teeth on edge.  What force on earth can stop the zombies?Nobody knows.  All they can do is continue fighting, trying to kill the zombies before the zombies can kill them.  The ensuing zombie bloodbath is brutal and relentless–with the zombies gaining the upper hand all over the earth.  Get it now at Amazon.

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Zombie Apocalypse: The Chad Halverson Series

Bryan Cassiday’s massive apocalyptic thriller Zombie Apocalypse:  The Chad Halverson Series is now on Kindle at Amazon.  This brand-new boxed set contains the five complete and unabridged books in the series:  Zombie MaelstromZombie NecropolisSanctuary in Steel, Kill Ratio, and Poxland.

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Zombie Apocalypse: The Chad Halverson Series

Coming soon–the complete Zombie Apocalypse:  The Chad Halverson Series.  The entire set of five books in the series will be released under the same cover for the first time anywhere.  Currently, Zombie Boxed Set #1 and Zombie Boxed Set #2 are on the market at Amazon.  The former contains Zombie Maelstrom and Zombie Necropolis, while the latter contains Sanctuary in Steel and Kill Ratio.  The new boxed set Zombie Apocalypse:  The Chad Halverson Series will contain Zombie MaelstromZombie NecropolisSanctuary in SteelKill Ratio, and Poxland.  

Zombie Mania: Zombie Boxed Set #1 Only 99 Cents on Kindle Today

Bryan Cassiday’s Zombie Boxed Set #1 is only 99 cents today 5/29/16 on Kindle as part of  a special holiday Kindle Countdown sale.  This boxed set includes the first two zombie books in his Chad Halverson zombie apocalypse epic, Zombie Maelstrom and Zombie Necropolis, complete and unabridged.  This 99-cent deal is good for only six more hours today.  Two complete zombie books for one low price.