Bryan Cassiday will be signing books in the Dealers Room of the Flamingo Casino on Saturday May 14, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. for the Horror Writers Association’s StokerCon. Copies of his Zombie Maelstrom will be available for purchase at the Barnes and Noble room at the convention.
September 9, 2012
The term noir used to refer to crime fiction and movies with cynical characters, bleak settings, and a pervading atmosphere of gloom and entrapment.
There aren’t any crime thrillers these days that convey such desolation and hopelessness. Instead it is the zombie apocalypse genre of books and film that can best be described by the term noir.
In the zombie apocalypse genre, society has collapsed or is in the midst of collapsing. Characters are so cynical that they turn against each other at the drop of a hat in order to survive. And the outlook of society is an oppressive hopelessness.
George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is a textbook example of zombie noir. Zombies are overruning the world and devouring humans. A band of surviving humans make their last stand against the zombies in a deserted house.
While battling the zombies, the characters fight against themselves as well, and, in the end, the characters are all wiped out. Ironically, the last survivor in the house is shot and killed by vigilante humans who blow him away thinking him a zombie.
Night of the Living Dead is classic film noir, and it’s not even a crime thriller. Contemporary films like 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later continue the tradition of zombie noir in the movies.
When it comes to hopelessness, a bleak desolate environment, and cynical desperate characters, nothing can compare to the zombie apocalypse genre. Hence the popularity and rise of zombie noir during these days of a sluggish economy.
Check out the five-star review on Amazon for Bryan Cassiday’s zombie apocalypse thriller Zombie Necropolis. The title of the review says it all–“What a Book!”
And if you haven’t yet read the first book in the series, read Zombie Maelstrom. Or better yet, read Zombie Maelstrom first. It’s not necessary to read the books in order, but it might help.
A week before its scheduled release, Bryan Cassiday’s Zombie Necropolis is being made available for order now at Amazon’s Create Space. If you can’t wait to get your hands on Zombie Necropolis, order it now in this special prerelease event.
It seems that zombies are everywhere these days. They’re not just in horror movies like 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later. Now we have zombie computers and zombie banks.
Zombie computers are computers controlled by hackers who use them for nefarious purposes, such as sending out spam. Zombie banks are insolvent banks that are propped up by the government.
The term zombie didn’t even come into existence until around 1871. The Haitian Creole word was used to describe individuals in the West Indies who had died and come back to life. In most cases, these cadavers were resurrected by practitioners of voodoo.
One of the first books about zombies was Magic Island by W. B. Seabrook concerning Haitian zombies, but zombies didn’t really catch on until horror movies popularized them in the 1930s.
One of the earliest and most popular zombie movies was Victor Halperin’s creepy White Zombie, starring Bela Lugosi in 1932. Lugosi is an evil genius who uses zombies to do his bidding.
At this point in the evolution of these monsters, zombies are Haitian-type creatures that have been resurrected by a voodoo-practicing malefactor, or by an evil madman, who orders them around like they are slaves.
It is interesting to note that these zombies evolved during the Great Depression and also during Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in Nazi Germany.
The zombies in White Zombie shuffle around with their eyes staring blankly out of their heads as they act like minions to the whims of their evil master played by Bela Lugosi. The zombies’ servile obedience to Lugosi can be interpreted as mirroring the Germans’ blind obedience to their fuehrer Adolf Hitler.
The next incarnation of the Hollywood zombie came in 1968 with the release of George Romero’s low-budget classic Night of the Living Dead. Like the zombies in White Zombie, Romero’s zombies shamble around mindlessly. However, these newer zombies are different in several important respects. First, they don’t take orders from an evil genius, and second, they have developed an overpowering appetite for living human flesh. In fact, the only reason they exist is to eat.
The next generation of zombies manifests itself in 2007’s 28 Weeks Later. Like their predecessors in Night of the Living Dead, these zombies are flesh-eating ghouls, but there is a striking difference. Whereas the older zombies shambled around like drunks, these new zombies are fleet-footed like humans. The new generation of zombies isn’t resurrected from the dead. These zombies are infected by plague, which may explain why they can move as fast as their fellow living humans.
Modern zombies reflect the collapse of contemporary civilization and its inability to cope with its failing and disintegrating economic systems. These zombies aren’t controlled by a Hitler-type evil genius. They aren’t controlled by any human being. Mindless, they are controlled only by their insatiable craving for living human flesh. Zombies now represent mankind run amok.
It is no wonder then that zombies, who most accurately symbolize the times we are living in, have become the ne plus ultra of bete noires for modern times, superseding other monsters like vampires, Frankenstein monsters, and Godzilla.
The prelude of Bryan Cassiday’s Zombie Necropolis is now posted on Amazon. Zombie Necropolis is available for preorder. It will be released during the last week of May 2012.