Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hot off the presses: Zombie movies reflect cultural anxieties!

Not to be snotty, but anyone who watches a lot of horror movies has already noticed that a.) horror is cyclical — it never goes away, but there are peaks and valleys, b.) horror movies flourish in anxious times and c.) ever since George Romero liberated the zombie from its narrowly defined roots in Haitian folklore, they've become the go-to monster metaphors for fear of everything from the oppressed underclass to nature run wild, global pandemics, mindless fanaticism, archaic disaster response systems, sinister mind control programs and the fragility of social structures and the ties of friendship and family.

Which is not to say that this Freakonomics graph correlating social upheaval and zombie-movie production that just appeared on the New York Times website isn't cool. Just that it's a blinding glimpse of the obvious.

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