The zombie genre sure has come a long way since 1968's "Night of the Living Dead," the granddaddy of the modern undead movement.
Now, AMC's "The Walking Dead" is one of the highest rated television shows and two new zombie films present stories and perspectives on the genre sure to make purists throw their arms in the air in eithe anger or delight.
The first film is "World War Z," and before the trailer hit the web it already inspired skepticism. The film is only loosely based on author Max Brooks' popular book, Brad Pitt was sporting a Nic Cage like haircut and the production was plagued by rewrites, re-shoots and tension between the studio and director.
Pitt is still rocking that annoying man-boy haircut in the just-released trailer. "Z" looks like a strong film, but how have we gone from stumbling, black and white zombies trying to break into a house to thousands of cartoon zombies stacked on top of one another? I'll leave it up to you zombie fans as to whether this is a positive development.
"Warm Bodies" takes a less serious look at what it's like to be a zombie. The film follows a young zombie who yearns to be alive, human and in love. As he starts to feel more and more real, the less of a zombie he is. So this is the cure? Wish someone had told George A. Romero ...
While "Warm Bodies" looks to have some charms and laughs, it again throws away the zombie playbook.
One thing is for sure: zombie mania is not going away. It's only getting stronger. This could be due to the genre growing and expanding with new talents hopping aboard, or simply it's a response to the sad economic state of the world. After all, zombie pictures have always commented on the social and political landscape around us. Plus, people are attracted more and more to a fantasy apocalyptic world where anyone can be a hero.
"World War Z" and "Warm Bodies" land in theaters June 21 and February 1, respectively.