Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Zomblogging! Morbid Post of the Day, #2

"Zombies," I've heard it said, are the new "monkey," which in turn was the new "pirate." A pop culture phenomenom embodied in one intrinsically humorous word. Toss it around a few times; interject it into everyday conversation. Zombie. I'm telling you, it works.

At the beginning of the semester, I made a resolution to throw more random zombie references into my columns, but, alas, I never got to it. I pledge it again for next semester, and hopefully I can cut my teeth on Zombies right here on my blog. (Incidentally, Oompa Loompas constituted another pledge, and, with the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory coming out, I think they're gonna make a comeback. And I'm gonna ride the wave to stardom, baby).

Michele at ASV writes on Obsessive compulsive zombie disorder (a disorder, which, if you have younger brothers, you are already familiar with):

Most kids learn the value of having patience through the anticipation the arrival of Santa Claus or the countdown to a long awaited family vacation. Not my son. He met his patience challenge with zombies.

The Dawn of the Dead DVD finally arrived on the shelves of our local Best Buy yesterday. I, like any good mother would, used my lunch hour yesterday to go buy my eleven year old son the unedited, unrated version of a zombie movie.

But, if you buy impressionable kids this kind of material, you're going to have to have "the talk" with them, however uncomfortable it may be:

Mom, if I got bit by a zombie would you kill me before or after I turned into one?

I gave him a blank stare. He turned to his stepfather.

Ok, Justin. What about you?

Justin didn't even blink. "I'd shoot you as soon as you got bit. Right between the eyes."I blanched in horror. "You would not do any such thing. How could you kill my son while he was still....him?" I imagined the scenario in my mind. DJ writhing on the floor, blood pouring from his zombie infected wound, the undead hovering around him, waiting for dinner. My motherly instincts kicked in. "I would wait. I would wait until I saw that you were no longer my son, but some hideous creature. Then I would kill you. Maybe."

I looked expectantly at him. He stared hard at me.

"Bzzzz. Wrong answer! Justin is right!" DJ shook his head disapprovingly and Justin sat there all smug, laughing.

"I would expect you to kill me, mom. You don't take chances with the undead. Duh."

Which, he's right you know. Turn you're back for one second, take your hand of the trigger, and BAM! Zombie's gonna be on your jugular, like that.

You really can't put off conversations like this for too long. Kids in our culture are growing up a lot faster. Why, I was probably 15 or so before I saw my first zombie flick. Anymore, young'uns are playing Resident Evil before they hit elementary school.

If you're nervous about talking to a youngster about zombies (don't worry, they would shoot you if you were a zombie), here are some educational materials:

"28 Day's Later" Zombie apocolypse is started by militant animal rights activists--a lesson that EVERY child should learn, and learn early. To bring home the apocolyptic nature of Environmental activism, follow up with a viewing of "12 Monkeys." Not a zombie movie, but hey, monkeys, and you can be sure that your kid will never be a member of Greenpeace (who are just begging for a zombie apocolypse). 28 Day's Later is somewhat artsy (it was shot with digital cameras), and is a zombie movie with a point. The point: don't. get. bitten. Warning: extremely graphic British accents.

"Dawn of the Dead" Remake of the classic Romero flick. Not for the faint of heart; perfect for 11 year-olds [or not--although Grant doesn't care about the corruption of the youth, this being a family blog, I should warn you that this flick, while the apotheosis of the zombie genre, is EXTREMELY graphic-ed. Wussy -Grant]. On the extended DVD: "Attack of the Living Dead - a look at the most memorable zombie kills" and "Splitting Headaches: Anatomy of Exploding Heads." The Rolls-Royce of Zombie flicks: instant classic.

"Resident Evil" The bottom feeder of zombie movies, but probably also the most popular with the kids due to its cross-pollination in video games (although its exclusive appearance on the dead-end GameCube doesn't bode well for it's future.) Your kids, brothers, young male aquaintances (and I mean that in the non-weird way) deserve better than this. The ditchweed of zombie movies.

"Shaun of the Dead" Makes light of the impending zombie apocolypse. Is this the kind of impression you want to leave with young children, that everything's hunky-dory? Do humanity a favor and steer young'uns away from this.

"The Serpent and the Rainbow" Ostensibly based on a real story, this is a slightly more grounded look at zombies. A witch-doctor's potion causes people to fall into a deathlike coma. Gratuitous live burials ensue. Warning: Some scrotal spiking, which, be advised, will cause acute empathic pain in male viewers. After viewing, children will be impressed with the eminent sensibility and importance of writing "I Am Not Dead" on their chest in felt tip pen before they go to bed each night.

"Land of the Dead" Coming soon, from George Romero, maker of the original "Dawn of the Dead." Plot: "The living dead have taken over the world, and the last humans live in a walled city to protect themselves as they come to grips with the situation." Just, you know, practical type stuff, that every responsible young adult should know. Predicted highlight: John Leguizamo zombie takes shotgun blast to head; audience cheers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilarious Grant

8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think this is a laughing matter? I hope you're bit first.

3:55 PM  

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