History of Zombies “Is This A Zombie?” Not. Feminism
Film Equals offers “A Brief History of Zombies in Film” in two parts:
[Part One] is “a look at some of the best (and worst) of the moldy oldies of zombie cinema, plus the man … George A. Romero”
[Part Two] is “Euro-zombies, the big zombie boom of the 80′s and the zombies of the new millennium”
See also Wikipedia list of Zombie Films – which should be read with a grain of salt because after all, there are ample disagreements amongst fans about what’s is an official zombie and what is another monster type. What are the limits of the category.
A new “charming” anime movie plays with the question. See “Review: “Is This A Zombie?” Is a Delicious Genre Stew” by Karl Olson about the new Japanese anime “Is this a zombie?” – in Japanese: “Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?”:
Let’s be real for a moment. It’s 2013, and zombies and zombie humor have become so culturally rampant that even complaining about their over exposure is itself a bit trite and played out. So, if you’re in the “not another freakin’ zombie-related thing” camp, just leave
That should be an incomprehensible train wreck, but somehow the show manages to breeze a long with an ever heightening stack of references, nods and out right theft from other shows without ever lamp shading it.
Really, it shouldn’t work, but Is This A Zombie? holds perfectly at hilariously surreal and deliciously self-referential, and never over-reaches into being just plain awkward or over-dramatic.
Oh those charming zombies…
Note advice from TVTropes: “Not a Zombie”:
Everyone knows zombies are make-believe creatures, they’re only “real” in the movies. If you see a “zombie”, odds are it’s one of your friends with poor taste who insist on scaring you, or someone who has been in an accident of some kind.
Generally, any character who thinks a zombie is Not a Zombie is also prone to having Zombie Infectee behaviour or becoming one. If he doesn’t accept that the creatures outside are zombies, he can’t very well become one after being bitten, now, can he?
And note the popularity of girls with chainsaws as weapon of choice in the fight against zombies, see Lillipop Chainsaw
Consider with the history of zombies, the parallel history of modern feminism. Consider that the apocalypse is coming for euro-male global hegemony. Consider that Rome has always been falling. And that the women’s rights movement continues. Consider the oppressed minority with their weapons of mass destruction. Consider that these struggles are always a framing of consciousness – a consideration of the oppressed consciousness. These are struggles where both sides have reason to see the other as zombie.
The girl with a chainsaw trope plays to many interests. First and not least important, hardware stores would love more of the women’s market. Next and most obvious, the girl is sexually attractive and sparks biological response. The chainsaw is a large phallic object. The character has literally decapitated her boyfriend (beyond castration) and carries his head around (ostensibly to save him for later repair) as a charm fashion accessory as she battles the hordes.
Compare “Lollipop Chainsaw” to the poster for “Army of Darkness”. The male, of course, keeps the woman’s body, but otherwise a very similar image of adolescent fantasy. Therefore the image of a girl with a giant phallus topping the zombie horde is an image of females winning at a traditionally male game by using technology, exploiting body sexuality and castrating her male.
See Charlie Rose two days ago about 50 years of feminism, with Gloria Steinem and Amy Richards, “Makers: Women Who Make America”
Part of the problem is that defeating the master-slave dialectic is not about slaves becoming masters. Oppression ends when there is no master. Equality makes us equal. This means that the end of oppression cannot yield the slave’s dream of becoming master. The end of oppression means the end of slavery which means the end of masters.
The civil rights movement means we are all in this together toward greater social justice for all. Women’s rights are black rights are Jewish rights are all minority rights. To think that we are not all in this together is to let them divide for conquer. We are all the zombies. See also this wonderful art from George Pfau entitled: “The Zombie Index” – portraying a world of zombie characters and zombie-name-links and the web design makes for a fun experience scrolling about the doodle horde [click to zoom and slide]: