Many vampires in popular fiction have developed a conscience that mitigates their monstrosity and makes them objects of human love and admiration. With the advent of the reformed vampire, Western culture has, perhaps, lost an icon of true horror. As the vampire has become increasingly humanized and sympathetic, the zombie has stepped up to take its place. Zombies remind us that we will soon be decomposing flesh; the zombie horde embodies fear of loss of self and individuality; zombies expose the dark side of mass consumer culture; and zombies highlight the fragility of human identity in an advanced, globalised society.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (dir. Don Siegel, 1956), The Birds (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1963), and Night of the Living Dead (dir. George Romero, 1968) imbue scenes that take place at a gas pump with a horror so intense, it petrifies. As three of the earliest American horror films to feature a monstrous exchange at the pump, they transform the genre by reimagining automotive affect. This article examines the cinematic mood created when petrification meets petroleum, providing an alternative look at American oil culture after 1956, but before the oil crisis of 1973.
looked at ‘preposterously’, as Mieke Bal ( 2009 ) proposes of past art being read in terms of the effects of its subsequent recyclings, the text engenders productive critical reversals. To read it through the lens of George Romero’s Diary of the Dead ( 2007 ), as this essay proposes, treats the zombie film as a recycling of a notion of war
. Durham, NC : Duke University Press . Filmography Dawn of the Dead. 1978 . George Romero, dir. United Artists. I Walked with a Zombie. 1943 . Jacques Tournier, dir. RKO Radio Pictures. King of the Zombies
history as a cinematic icon’ (2007: 48). Furthermore, for some critics, the pioneer of zombie films (George Romero) ‘has remained a polemical and insightful critic of American culture’ offering an ‘unswerving critique 114 Security of various tendencies in American culture, from racism to consumerism’ amounting to political critique (Phillips, 2012: 4; Ryan and Kellner, 1988: 179–81).10 Consistent with Phillips’ characterisation of Romero as a renegade voice, Michael Newbury argues that progressively critical elements continue to feature in zombie films. Newbury
Printing Terror places horror comics of the mid-twentieth century in dialogue with the anxieties of their age. It rejects the narrative of horror comics as inherently and necessarily subversive and explores, instead, the ways in which these texts manifest white male fears over America’s changing sociological landscape. It examines two eras: the pre-CCA period of the 1940s and 1950s, and the post-CCA era to 1975. The authors examine each of these periods through the lenses of war, gender, and race, demonstrating that horror comics are centred upon white male victimhood and the monstrosity of the gendered and/or racialised other. It is of interest to scholars of horror, comics studies, and American history. It is suitably accessible to be used in undergraduate classes.
, and illustration. However, amongst horror film fans, Barker is regarded as a significant figure in horror filmmaking, alongside George Romero, David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Sam Raimi, and other more established horror film directors. Although he has directed only three films and two early shorts, many other productions have been based on his characters and
. Lauro (eds), Better Off Dead: The Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human (New York: Fordham University Press). Mintz, S. W. (1985) Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Viking). Paffenroth, K. (2006) Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero’s Visions of Hell on Earth (Waco, TX: Baylor
through which US families are socialised into the norms and values of a consumerist, repressive culture. The zombie films of George Romero ( Night of the Living Dead , 1968; Dawn of the Dead , 1978; Day of the Dead , 1985; Land of the Dead , 2005) have been analysed as both political critiques of Vietnam and the rise of the extreme right wing in American mainstream politics in the late 1970s. 5
with a zombie bearing down on you. Contesting humanity and its implications From George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) to Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead (2004), film portrayals of zombies have varied widely. The speed with which zombies can move has shifted from a slow shuffle to the rampant marauding seen in 28 Days Later and World War Z. Moreover, the cognitive abilities of zombies are also seen to vary widely; consider the plotting and planning evident in I am Legend in comparison with The Walking Dead ’s easily distracted walkers. Often