Road Trips, Globalisation, and the War on Terror

American zombie Gothic films have changed markedly in their tone, style, and structure since September 11, an evolution that expands the Gothic mode to include the mobility of the narratives protagonists, a popularisation of the movies, and an increased engagement with a multi-ethnic international community. To remain timely, relevant, and commercially viable, such alterations must occur, and these shifts in particular can best be explained by the changing cinematic marketplace, the influence of videogames, and the policies and anxieties resulting from the (inter)national trauma of 9/11 and the War on Terror. This essay examines the film version of World War Z as a key text for exploring the current transition from a localised siege narrative to an international kind of road trip movie, a shift largely tied to the popularity of zombie-themed videogames.

Gothic Studies
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From White Zombie to World War Z

employment, eager to feed families or flee cycles of oppression, war and starvation. Max Brooks’s World War Z ( 2006 ), written as supplement to a UN report documenting human testimonies on the suffering, devastation and rebuilding of the zombie war, charts the emergence and overcoming of global swarms of living dead. These swarms in part constitute reactionary images of Western fears of immigrants and

in Globalgothic
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Editor: Glennis Byron

The late twentieth century saw growing number of articles and books appearing on new national gothic; however, the wider context for this had not really been addressed. This collection of essays explores an emerging globalgothic useful for all students and academics interested in the gothic, in international literature, cinema, and cyberspace, presenting examples of globalgothic in the 21st-century forms. It analyses a global dance practice first performed in Japan, Ankoku butoh, and surveys the ways in which Indigenous cultures have been appropriated for gothic screen fictions. To do this, it looks at the New Zealand television series on Maori mythologies, Mataku. The unlocated 'vagabonds' of Michel Faber's "The Fahrenheit Twins" are doubles (twins) of a gothic trajectory as well as globalgothic figures of environmental change. The book considers the degree to which the online vampire communities reveal cultural homogenisation and the imposition of Western forms. Global culture has created a signature phantasmagoric spatial experience which is uncanny. Funny Games U.S. (2008) reproduces this process on the material level of production, distribution and reception. The difference between the supposedly 'primitive' local associated with China and a progressive global city associated with Hong Kong is brought out through an analysis of cannibal culture. In contemporary Thai horror films, the figure of horror produced is neither local nor global but simultaneously both. The book also traces the development, rise and decline of American gothic, and looks at one of the central gothic figures of the twenty-first century: the zombie.

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central gothic figures of the twenty-first century: the zombie. In ‘Globalzombie’, Botting traces changes in this figure from White Zombie onwards. In particular he considers Max Brooks’s World War Z with its depiction of the emergence and defeat of global swarms of living dead, swarms which are both reactionary images of Western fears of immigrants and manifestations of the excessive and

in Globalgothic
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Neoliberal gothic

programmes, films and games that showcase its insatiable hunger to consume both human beings and the societies they inhabit. Notable novelistic examples include World War Z ( 2006 ) by Max Brooks, Jonathan Maberry’s Patient Zero ( 2009 ), Jon Ajvide Lindqvist’s Handling the Undead ( 2009 ), Dust ( 2010 ) by Joan Frances Turner, and M. R

in Neoliberal Gothic
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Zombies and the spectre of cultural decline

warnings with fantasy. The zombie thus demonstrates a conflicted desire to warn of an end to the model of limitless growth underlying Western modernity while yet preserving a narrative of progress. The final line of the Brad Pitt vehicle World War Z (2013) is instructive in the way it expresses this contradiction, as the fearful possibility of a reversal of American history

in The Gothic and death
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matter for some concern. Order films have been dominated since the 1980s by largely conservative, patriotic, war films which offer virtually no criticism of the social order. More recently, however, some limited signs of critique of nation, authority, and leadership seem to be appearing in apocalyptic narratives (see for example, Children of Men, 2006; Elysium, 2013; World War Z, 2013; for discussion, see Faludi, 2007; Kellner, 2016). Elements of social critique, or spaces in which such critiques might arise, are neither routine nor prevalent in security films

in The cultural politics of contemporary Hollywood film

). 25 At the end of the First World War, Z. K. Matthews recalled, ‘it was impossible not to believe that some of what was said about freedom and democracy [in that war] had some substantial reality and … [would] trickle down to us … We had learned scepticism in a hard school, but hope is a stubborn thing that mocks the mind.’ Matthews

in The South African War reappraised
Competing imaginaries of science and social order in responsible (research and) innovation

Frankenstein story, whose rejection sets the creature on its rampage, so that the cultural resonance of the monstrous regiment is always anti-progress and anti-science. These two inherently irreconcilable scripts, that of technology as simultaneously the saviour of humanity and a kind of monster factory, 2  As depicted in a new generation of films such as 28 Days Later (20th Century Fox, 2002) and World War Z (Paramount Pictures, 2013). 154 Science and the politics of openness and the public as simultaneously the eager beneficiary and the irrational (yet organised

in Science and the politics of openness
The suicide at the heart of Dear Esther

Brooks’ World War Z (2009) and Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin (2010) all make use of this structure, with the potential for unreliable narration being a key factor in these texts. It is into this tradition that Dear Esther fits: the unreliability of the narrator becomes a major factor in the interpretive nature of the narrative. The fragmentary nature of the letter delivery means that the player, to understand the narrative fully, must repeatedly force the narrator to relive his suicide, haunting this landscape with his continued presence each time

in Suicide and the Gothic