For technology class we had to write a research paper on… zombies. Yep, my teacher thought if he wants us to write a great research paper he thinks we should write about something we like. And he thinks every kid loves zombies! Anyways here’s my paper. Warning: it’s silly.
Zombies. They are a very common theme in recent and past pop culture movies, games, and books. The idea of zombies or the undead originated in West Africa’s Vodou religion and was taken to Haiti in the slave trade. In 1937 while researching the folklore of the people in Haiti, Zora Neale Hurston came across a case where a woman appeared in a village. A family said she was Felicia Felix-Mentor, a relative who had died 30 years ago. Yet when she was examined by a doctor and was X-rayed she did not have the leg fracture that Felix-Mentor had. Although, Zora was told rumors that the women had been give a powerful psychoactive drug. The modern picture of a zombie was characterized in the 1954 novel “I Am Legend” and the 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead”.
In current movies and TV series makeup artist make regular people look like zombies by using makeup or sometimes facemasks. Another technique is fake blood make with water and red food colouring and maybe some thickener. This can make for some very genuine-looking undead. Masks can sometimes help the wearing look as if flesh is cut or ripped open. The way the makeup artists of the hit TV series “The Walking Dead” make their actors undead is they put a layer of waxy clay which they put of face from the forehead to the chin then they smooth it out. Lastly they can peel away or cut into the clay to make it look as if the actors skin is cut and mutilated. Contacts with handpaint blood stains or white haze can be worn to further add to the dead look. Many extras are need for and undead army so many many extras are chosen. Each extras is also carefully sculpted into a zombie. Although there are so many extras in there perfectly painted face that the horde can look very ominous.
Finally the debate over fast versus slow zombies which has been around since the 2002 movie “28 Days Later”. Although some people say that the “zombies” in 28 Days Later are not actually zombies. Max Brooks, an author who has written numerous horror stories including zombie stories and the books which has been adapted into the film World War Z, has defined zombies as “slow-moving, minimally cognitive predators who are technically dead and suffer from natural decay”. The zombies in 28 days later are not slow-moving and are therefore not zombies. Zombie lovers are split between fast and slow zombie lovers. Fast zombie lovers state fast zombie make books and movies are intense and terrifying, while slow zombie lovers say they fast zombies are overwhelming and creepy. Slow zombies tend to be the undead or a supernatural creature, they were what the vodou religion developed. Fast zombies are more intended to be an infection or virus, sometimes a science experiment or alien life form. Current movies that have fast zombies include 28 Days Later, World War Z, and the remake of the 1978 movie Dawn of the Dead.
My opinion of zombies is are a good theme for horror books and movies. I think fast zombies are better for action movies and games while slow zombies are great for building up tenseness in a book and some dark movies. I personally don’t like zombies in the generic sense and think they are overused and not interesting. I do however like zombie which are alien life or disease. This is shown in the Dead Space series of video games. The zombies are slowing walking undead but infected by an alien lifeform. In the end I think the undead are a good theme in many books and movies.