Monday, November 8, 2010

Zombies Don't Sparkle.

It seems as if everything is coming up zombies these days. I and all of my YouTube friends have gone completely ape-schiesse over the embarrassment of riches spilling forth from our TV sets of late: turn on IFC, you get Dead Set, switch over to AMC, you get The Walking Dead. And advertisers virtually rolled over and played dead for all of us horror geeks and our dead-sposable cash in the month of October alone. Dig on all those zombie adverts—StarburstGEICO, Toyota ... I mean, I never thought Toyotas were cool (my opinion forever shaped by me getting sick in our appropriately vomit-green '79 Corolla on the way back from Idaho in '83—not even a sweet AMC Pacer for this motion-sick mini-dweeb).

So, us zombiephiles are finally getting our Night, Dawn and Day in the sun. And while I bask in all the rotting corpses on my screen, I wonder if the zombie—my old reliable, the "comfort food" of my horror fridge—will become mainstream to the height of girlish Glee—if so, a scream and not a song cover will be emanating from my tired, old-lady throat.

In a desperate attempt at a preemptive strike, I'll just put it out there now. Zombies don't sparkle. They don't run, and they don't sparkle.

Sure, zombies might have angst. But just a little. Like Bub in Day, if you will. Or, in a more recent example, Fido. But they don't know it. And short of Zombie Honeymoon (an angst-riddled, star-crossed-zombie-in-love film that I actually really liked), Return of the Living Dead 3 (which I love), or even the pretty-good Irish zombie film Boy Eats Girl, I can't think of any other instance in which we need to have the living and the undead fall in love these days, ala Twilight. And yes, I know there was also My Boyfriend's Back, but that was played for laughs. And that's really where any living/undead-a deux should be relegated—to the RomZomCom file, IF we even still need to have one. I've only tolerated this subgenre because its films, for the most part, have played the horror aspects very, very straight. Which is the only way you're going to sell the "rom" and "com" to this zombie-loving girl.

The aforementioned films that do feature undead boy-live girl or, in ROTLD 3's case, drop-dead-gorgeous undead girl-live boy, have plots in which the couples were already in love before the ish hit the naf. In Twilight (which I actually did see ... look, if  your wack-ass cable company offers you one-cent On Demand rentals for one month, you're gonna watch every damn thing they've got. Which is how I also ended up renting Mama Mia.), the entire relationship between that chick from Adventureland and the dude from Goblet of Fire is predicated on a fascination with death. He's dead, she's dead inside, the weather is dead. Dead, dead, dead, Sparkle! Jazz hands.

No! Not for my zombies. They're dead; they don't sparkle. When zombies aren't fueling on flesh, they're decomposing. That is it. The studios are starting to get the memo that we all wrote on zombies; that is, they're badass. Unfortunately, the film industry tends to feed off of its cash cows until there is nothing left, and vampires are among the latest staples getting drained. So while I'm happy to see zombies walk amok, I'm ... cautious.

There are tons of zombie survival guides out there, but no suit survival guides for zombies.