September 25, 2020

By AARON CRECES

Zombies have been a part of horror culture since George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, released in 1968, but even then only appeared sporadically.

Now the entertainment industry has fully realized the potential to milk the undead cash cow, and quite frankly, it needs to stop.
We’ve got books on how to survive a zombie apocalypse, and scores of video games that substitute good storytelling for the go-to zombie predicament, to say nothing of current movies and TV.
We, as a society, seem to be obsessed with the concept of the living dead, and it’s really starting to get old.
Zombies were once something terrifying, something movie audiences could be disgusted and thrilled by. Now it seems like a new zombie-based show or video game comes out every month or so; the question is why?
Zombies have crossed over into the mainstream because underground things have suddenly become cool, and the fad took off when everybody starting playing Call of Duty – Nazi Zombies.
The game brought zombies to the general public in a totally new way. Many people played COD, and everyone who played it enjoyed the Nazi Zombies mini-game.
After that, it was The Walking Dead graphic novels, then the AMC TV show, The Walking Dead. The collective obsession has only grown since then.
Zombies have become filler in movies, TV and games. If you, as a designer or director, want to make a media form irresistible to the modern consumer, slap some zombies on it and call it a day.
It’s a go-to for so-called “creative minds” who have run out of ideas. They know that the fad has been kicked into full gear, and they know that any piece of media containing the undead horde will draw crowds to theatres, get people to tune in, or buy their games en masse.
Once again, you can look to Call of Duty for blatant overuse of the living dead.
Developers of the game have thrown in revamped versions of the Nazi Zombies mini-game in every recent sequel of the popular first-person shooter, yet people continue to eat it up.
This isn’t a condemnation of zombies as a whole, they’re pretty cool and will probably stay that way, this is just a wake-up call. We deserve better from the entertainment industry; afterall, it is an industry rooted in creative thinking and taking innovative directions.
Zombies have become what vampires were while everyone and their sister was obsessed with Twilight, or the masses of TV shows and books that sought to imitate it. Creatures from our nightmares turned from unholy demons into fodder to appease the general public.
It’s comparable to a costume party. You, the consumer, would want everybody to put real thought and effort into their chosen character, crafting their attire with care and dedication.
It’s kind of a buzz-kill when some joker just looking to get in on the party (the entertainment industry,) shows up in a cheap Obama mask and claims to be the president.
Thanks but no thanks. This fad needs to fade into obscurity.