Zombies (2014)

*. Zombies aren’t that interesting. With rare exceptions (like Bub in Day of the Dead), they have no individual personality and their only distinguishing characteristics are their choice of diet and the fact that despite being dead they are still animate.
*. As a result, zombie movies often have to create conflict out of the strained relationships among the human survivors. This goes back to the (modern) genre’s inception with the bickering (along racial and gender lines) in Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and has continued up to such movies as The Horde and the television series The Walking Dead.
*. Indeed, I’ve argued elsewhere that The Walking Dead is really just a soap opera with zombies wandering around in the background, like gruesome stage dressing or ratty mobile furniture.
*. In this short film out of Argentina we have two survivors of the zombie apocalypse — a man and a woman who are in some sort of a relationship — stuck in a room together. There are zombies outside trying to break in. Instead of wondering how they’re going to escape they start arguing over whether they have been faithful to each other.
*. Romero liked to speculate on what a post-zombie apocalypse world would be like and imagined various dystopic scenarios with a political message. Perhaps, however, the truth would be more like what we see in The Walking Dead, and here: endless squabbling over who’s screwing who, and who we can trust — not with our lives but with our virtue.
*. It’s presented as comedy in Zombies, and with a straight face in The Walking Dead. In both cases, however, it seems both realistic and depressingly banal. How will we behave when the world ends? According to Thucydides the people of Athens, when it was riven by plague during the Peloponnesian War, embraced an amoral decadence. There are similar stories of Berlin as the Russian army approached in 1945. The world may not end with a bang or a whimper but a grudge fuck or a mutual bitchfest. And this doesn’t diminish us, because let’s face it, we were never going to be heroes anyway.

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