Today’s guest post is rather long, but worth the read if you love zombies and pop culture, or even if you are merely interested.  This post is more of a report, and includes citation.  I am impressed and honored that Ms. Shakir has chosen to share this one.

 

Ms Shanaz Shakir is undertaking a PhD at the University of Southampton, UK. Research interests include Horror films and sexuality. The psychological and social impact of the video nasty, but currently her research centers on representations of the zombie in contemporary British film and the popularity of zombies from what has been termed “the noughties”, onwards.

Her passion is for creating things, whether that be props for a theatre production, a painting, or lifelike baby dolls. Previously she ran a lifelike baby dolls’ business, Princess babies, trading from March 2010 to September 2011 both online and from a retail space. Notable success includes use of one of her dolls on the TV mini-series Marchlands, broadcast on ITV1 in February 2011. Makeup artist for the Zombie trailer for the Abertoir horror film festival in November 2010 and publishing her first novel to Kindle and paperback in 2012. Novels 2, 3 and 4 are forthcoming.

She is currently undertaking studies having always loved academia and sharing knowledge with others (whether that be teaching someone how to make a lifelike doll themselves, or how to work with liquid latex). Undertaking a PhD is the first step to teaching and sharing knowledge with others. The  exploration of the interaction between film theory and practice, particularly in the area of screenwriting is of particular interest.

She is always looking for the next big challenge and a PhD is certainly that. This trait is well suited to research as this curious nature is what drives her to keep learning and growing and exploring new techniques particularly within screenwriting, but also art, prop-making and others.

What follows is an brief insight into the PhD, which in itself originated out of a film script for a zombie film which likened the process of  zombification to an eating disorder, which was written for her Ms. Shakir’s MA dissertation in 2009.

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A Social Zombie: The Contemporary (British) Zombie as Psycho-social Metaphor

Shanaz Shakir 

Abstract

It may be tempting to brush zombies aside as irrelevant, pop cultural ephemera but zombies have followed vampires out into wider culture as icon and metaphor. Zombie popular culture, in addition to movies, books, and video games includes individuals routinely donning complex homemade zombie costumes to march in zombie walks and/or engage in role-playing games like Humans vs. Zombies.

There is even a mobile phone application circulating around college and university campuses, that purportedly helps new students get to know each other through role-playing a zombie-themed game of tag.

This is not to mention zombie related merchandise, zombie music, and zombie fan-sites.

Central to this phenomenon is zombie cinema. Contemporary British examples include; Colin (Price, 2008), Dead Creatures (Parkinson, 2001), I, Zombie: A Chronicle of Pain (Parkinson, 1997), Shaun of the Dead (Wright, 2004), Harold’s Going Stiff (Wright, K. 2012), and Before Dawn (Brunt, 2013).

Clearly zombies are telling socially relevant stories for people who consume or employ their visage. Peter Dendle argues, ‘the monster always reflects the audience for whom it is created.’

This stems from the fact that ‘if cultural products do not articulate closely enough with their social settings, they are likely to be regarded [as] irrelevant, unrealistic, artificial, and overly abstract.’

Cultural products are about culture, they simultaneously distance themselves from culture and reflect it. However, I would argue that films and thus genres are undergoing a process of ‘glocalisation’, that is bridging the gap between a local and a global, or international context.

Key Words: horror, film, movies, zombies, zombie, dead, corpse, living, walking, British

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Zombies: A Brief History

Widespread cinematic popularity of the living dead is recent, particularly post 9/11, (which I will posit is somewhat of a coincidence), it has a long cultural history. Its modern foundations date back to William Seabrook’s sensationalist travelogue and the resulting film.

Therefore, most scholars track our modern understanding of the zombie to U.S. misappropriations of Haitian spiritual ontologies. As the first and only sovereign nation to result from a successful slave revolt, Haiti’s international relations were rife with tales of cannibalism, human sacrifice and outright barbarism. On 28 July 1915, the United States began a near twenty year occupation of Haiti. Haitian uprisings in the latter phases of the occupation piqued U.S. American interest in the so-called ‘Black Republic.’ A series of sensationalist travelogues emerged to sate the xenophobically welled curiosity with Seabrook’s novel being referenced as the ‘meta-text’ to the origins of the cinematic zombie. The resulting film, produced in 1932 by brothers Victor and Edward Halperin was cinema’s first feature-length motion picture to spotlight the monster from Seabrook’s island.

Most early horror films percolated from adaptations of mostly-European novels (Dracula, Frankenstein et. al.) zombies, ‘pass[ed] directly from [Haitian] folklore to the screen, without first having an established literary tradition.’

Cultural entrepreneurs exploiting Haitian folklore have taken the concept of the zombie, the mindless walking dead, and run with it. Similarly this can be seen in other film traditions, such as Japanese horror. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s zombies headlined a handful of films.

Intoned with hyperbolic (mis)representations of Voudou these films were ‘more inclined to exploit rather than explore the topic’ Because zombies lacked a literary heritage producers took liberties with the legend, displaying an irreverence which enabled zombies to appear in numerous radio serials, comics, novels, and short stories where they were capable speech and complex thought, betraying the traditional Haitian conceptualization more than the cinematic zombie.

Cinematically, zombies became subsumed in a style of pictures known as weirdies, an inexact nomenclature for an offbeat science fiction, fantasy, monster, zombie, or shock film, usually of fantastic content and ridiculous title. What these films did was further expand the limits of what zombies could be and how they could appear, even to the point of portraying zombies as mutated, irradiated, humanoid fish.

It is in these films that elements such as voodoo, racism, colonialism, and outright xenophobia were supplanted by fears of invasion, social homogenization, apocalyptic narrative, and just plain ‘weirdness’ paving the way for George Romero’s landmark film.

NOTLD was a harbinger of change for films concerning the living dead. Its success helped popularize the civilization ending zombie narrative. In surveying the significance of NOTLD and George Romero in particular, authors note he ‘liberated the zombie from the shackles of a master’ and in doing so almost single-handedly reinvented the subgenre. NOTLD has been read as providing a window into race relations, a chronicle of the fall of the nuclear family, a testimony against the Vietnam War, and a nihilistic turn in countercultural ideology to name a few.

Zombies also managed to infect different mediums, most notably video games with the Resident Evil (1996) franchise. But cinematically this was a period of quiet for the zombie. Thus, when the 2000s proved a watershed period for zombies, it came as a surprise to everyone. The major difference between new zombies and Romero-zombies is that most twenty-first-century zombies are faster, more deadly, and symbolically more transparent narratologically, whereas Romero-influenced zombie films are often read progressively insofar as the problems presented therein cannot fold back into the dominant ideology contemporary zombie films are shown to be more ambivalent.

While many point to the events of 9/11 as explanation for the rise of zombie popular culture, Peter Dendle rightly points out:

‘Images of destruction, plague, and civil collapse are especially poignant in the post-9/11 world, and it’s tempting to think of the zombie movie resurgence in the 2000s as a response to that event. But 28 Days Later was mostly shot before the attacks on the Twin Towers, and Resident Evil had been in the works since 1999.’

Dendle, in his analysis of nearly 300 zombie films produced between 2000 and 2010, also observes that explicit references to 9/11 are rare. Downplaying direct links between 9/11 and the current flux of current zombie cinema Dendle quips, ‘if a number of zombie movies started to appear in 2002 and 2003, that means that many of them had been in the works for quite a while. In any event none of those early movies deal explicitly with 9/11 anxieties.’

Many of the elements said to correspond to post-9/11 anxieties were already built into the genre. Dendle also posits, ‘one of the hallmarks of the twenty-first century zombie is the proliferation of diverse media and narrative formats.’

As this admittedly brief historiography of zombies attests, a welter of contradictory creatures has carried the monstrous label.

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Zombie (R)Evolution

Why are these changes within the horror taking place? And why now? Is this due to simple genre regeneration, connected to consumption and production of the films themselves? Or is it a case of a reflectionist society post-millenium. Perhaps this is an unconscious reaction to global overpopulation, (millennialism) and apocalyptic end-of-the-world type scenarios.

Connected to this is also the question of why zombies in particular are such a popular thing. This could be due to their cultural power, the social aspect (the Britishness of it) or perhaps simply that they have more dramatic potential as yet untapped (compared to other ‘monsters’ such as the Vampire) due to their common use as gun-fodder, or perhaps due to developments in science such as stem cell research and organ re-growth. This connects on a more base level to existential debate around physicality and the politics of identity.

According to Linnie Blake, the trend for crossover films, emerged out of the fertile political ground of New Labour and a response to the emergent feminism of the time (seen for example in Blair’s ‘babes’). Responding to feminism’s perceived denigration of the immorality of men, such [masculinity self-exploration] groups self-consciously sought a form of masculine community wherein the roles, status and power of individuals was suspended and the collective identity of men explored through talking, ritual and drumming. Theirs was a kind of ‘resistance to domination’ through which men might reply to the ‘alien and isolation that stem from living in a capitalist society that encourages people to be greedy, selfish and predatory’ a society that calls on men to promote these qualities as culturally necessary norms regardless of their own needs and desires. Thiers was a means of breaking free of the conceptual constraints of late twentieth-century society in all its stultifying actuality to imagine a world in which being a man was not to be an agent of oppression. And it is intriguing that it is precisely this aspiration that is foregrounded by the two most successful British horror films to emerge to date under Blair’s premiership.

Since the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of the millennium, an enormous amount of literature has been published on the zombie phenomenon. However, not all of it is film-centric, and a lot of it tends to connect to (both implicitly and explicitly) to arguments associated with philosophy and sociology. A large percentage of the material tends to examine the Romero, ‘Hollywood’, shambling, mute and slow zombie, who is just after brains. There is a distinct lack of examination of other kinds of zombies, in particular the films of Andrew Parkinson and other British fare have been overlooked. However, a couple of other interesting trends have been noted. In particular the prevalence of a newer zombie trope; that of the ‘infection’ zombie. These zombies are almost super-human, the next stage in evolution.

They are fast, intelligent and have a collective consciousness; an often deadly combination for their victims.

There exists a wealth of non-academic articles, blogs and books on the zombie. Fiction, short stories, factual books, blogs and articles (obviously there are of course academic journal articles on the sub-genre such as for example). The non-academic books on zombies tend to be fictional, and their authors tend to be fans of the genre themselves. Often, the authors tend to slip (unintentionally, I imagine) into writing about the genre in the same way as biologists would if studying a fascinating new species. The most recent academic books on the zombie examine the zombie in very different ways. The first has heralded a ‘new boom of scholarly investigation of this fearsome figure of living death’ though Christie and Lauro would argue that this boom in scholarly interest in zombies precedes their text. This may in fact be the case however, the texts that they quote as examples are horror academics more broadly and do not examine the walking corpse in any detail. I would argue it was not the “monster du jour” until more recently when the increase in ‘popular literature, and comic books, video games and performance art, mobile phone applications and homemade films was noticed by film (and other) scholars. The recent resurgence of the zombie from ‘screen to street is but one of the many types of “zombie evolution”’ that they discuss, with things like games of “zombie tag” and instances of hackers changing road signs to warn of zombies instead of inclement weather on the motorways.

They go on to say; ‘Our collection’s deep engagement with narratives that reach beyond those found in film and literature to investigate zombies in art, life, and cyberspace reveals that the zombie has not just evolved within narratives – it has evolved in a way that transforms narrative’.

While this can be useful as it would acknowledge the possibility of the zombie as ‘post-human’ and/or put forward the idea that we may be living in the period of the post-zombie, any use of the word “post” is as Neil Badmington writes, ‘forever tied up with what is post-ing’.

The zombie may therefore; according to Christie and Lauro, be an apt icon for the post-human in its frustrating antipathy: Just as the post-human will always assert what the human is by that which it supposes itself to be beyond, the zombie both is, and is not, dead and alive.

It’s this complex sense of transformation that I agree, more then any other aspect of the ‘Millennial Zombie’ (as defined by Peter Dendle) that called for more scholarship on the topic of the zombie. If the zombie has evolved so much over the course of the twentieth century that, at the beginning of the twenty-first, it is nearly unrecognizable, then surely there is a need to define exactly what ewe mean when we call something a zombie, to chart the evolution of the concept, and to map out the ways that this monster has been and will continue to be a useful theoretical apparatus.

Zombies and Society

As I would argue, recent zombie horror’s resurrection of this popular 1970’s genre (speaking of Romero), allows us to trace continuities between that period and our own, specifically the ways in which ideas of nationhood are re-narrativised, re-visioned and re-remembered in the service of nationally-specific military-industrial ends, whether this is in the aftermath of traumatic events such as military atrocity, terrorist outrage or the impending threat of total thermonuclear war. But if all of this appears to emphasise an unnecessarily grim picture of what it is to be the member of a nation-state, subject to its laws and engaged with its cultural products, then its ability to offer traumatized subjects a means of initially recognizing, subsequently conceptualising and finally overcoming the traumatic dislocations of the past. In the exploration of British horror of the new millennium, Linnie Blake has thus attempted to indicate how horror cinema might point the way to a new, desirable and indeed necessary model of masculinity for a post-patriarchal age. This is not of course to deny or marginalize the sense of violently retributive misogyny that is very much alive in aspects of the culture that created these films. But it is to illustrate how horror cinema’s socially engaged deployment of humorous pastiche and affectionate parody (both of earlier films and of available ways of being a British man) might bring forth a new form of subjectivity from the trauma of the past, unbinding the wounds of the nation and in so doing offering them the opportunity to heal.

Conclusions

Across an ever-broadening array of media, zombies are making their presence known, and in several variations they are learning, adapting to their altered circumstances with frightening rapidity, and evolving into a rather perplexing ontological problem for humans. As in Romero’s latest incarnation’s

tagline; ‘Survival isn’t just for the living.’ Are zombies becoming more human, or are humans becoming more like zombies?

The former can be seen in the recent Hollywood film Warm Bodies where the zombies do indeed regain speech and emotion, the protagonist R (a zombie) falls in love with one of the few human survivors (Juliet) and they live happily ever after. If the latter is true, might that resolve some of our uniquely humanist problems? Christie and Lauro ultimately ask; ‘might we not all be better off dead?’.

The question of whether the zombie resembles our prehistoric past, reflects our present anxieties or suggests a future of a more evolved post-humanity, or the graves of a failed civilization.

They consider the zombie ‘not only as a fictive monster on which we stamp our society’s latest fears, but also as a model to which we have applied modes and methods of reading’.

This leads them onto ‘an investigation of the zombie from an interdisciplinary perspective with an emphasis on deep analytical engagement with diverse kinds of narratives. Just as we approach the zombie from many different points of view, we also employ diverse theoretical perspectives.’

I would posit that this diverse ‘scattergun’ approach to the zombie can be a problematic one looking at the same subject through multiple analytic lenses will not build a coherent picture of the development of the genre.

Perhaps of all of our beloved monsters the zombie has undergone the most drastic shift in their social roles and identity construction in recent years. Here, at the beginning of the 21st-century, there has been a sharp and steady rise in post-apocalyptic zombie cinema, mirroring a fascination, paranoia, and socio-politico-cultural moment of war. Horror movies (monster movies in particular) help to make sense of ill-timed spaces of death, but also serve to elude us: we do not have control, only different ways to wrestle with the inevitable. In today’s zombie films, we’re confronted with new possibilities as the walking dead demand to be social actors in society with rights and responsibilities.

There has been a “shift in zombie characteristics”.

The walking dead have changed. As decades pass and the trend for zombie paraphernalia comes in the form of things as innocently popular as a Hello Kitty toy, fans are asked to sympathise with the undead as we also continue to seek to violently avoid becoming one of them. The time has come for zombies to not only be the ones to survive, but rally for social justice and social change as they are susceptible to violent hate crimes. It is complicated at best when contemporary settings for zombie movies confront our age-old sensibilities about what (and who) zombies are and what they’re capable of. Can zombies become well-meaning citizens and are these new social roles simply revisioning attempts at cultural reinvention, or not?

With the walking dead now claiming the streets in zombie walks, along with cinematic recreations of what it means to be a zombie, there is a cultural shift afoot. Given these changes, there are questions fans of the celluloid walking dead must face and grapple with when investigating the sociological meaningfulness of zombie ‘societies’ and the political nature of survival, which must also mirror the morphology of the zombie. Max Brooks’ works on surviving the zombie apocalypse has cinched this possible third wave of zombie styling, which now includes these two possibilities; first, that zombies will survive their own apocalypse and work in convenience stores or serve as pets, and second that we now have directions from Brooks on how to live full lives in their world by learning about who they are, their many nuances and survivability. For both of these scenarios, we are at war with zombies and our choices become political: which side are we on?

All of these possibilities beg many questions. Do the walking dead have a survival instinct? How have recent constructions of 21st century zombies redefined the genre if they are suddenly rendered not only mostly dead, but social outcasts? In the case of the walking dead, our fears turn our terror back to us.

As the future of zombie movies are changing, so our relationship with these fabled characters also changes. Whatever the shape future films do take, it is abundantly clear that zombies won’t be contained.

Notes
1 See companies like Zed events <http://www.zedevents.co.uk&gt; (paintballing) or airsofting.
2 Other mobile phone applications include Zombie, Run! which is a combination of pedometer, GPS, scary soundtrack & zombie newscasts to make jogging fun.
3 For example undead teds <http://www.undeadteds.com&gt; and living dead dolls <http://www.livingdeaddolls.com&gt;
4 For example, Rob Zombie, White Zombie,& Zombina and the Skeletones
5 All things zombie <http://allthingszombie.com&gt; and the Zombie Media Database <http://www.zmdb.org&gt;
6 Peter Dendle, The Zombie Movie Encyclopaedia Volume 2: 2000-2010. ( NC: Jefferson, McFarland, 2012), p. 1
7 Robert Wuthnow, Communities of Discourse.( MA: Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1989), p. 3
8 William Seabrook, The Magic Island (NY: New York: Paragon House, 1929)
9 White Zombie, dir. by  Victor Halperin (Victor Halperin Productions, 1932).
10 Peter Dendle. The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia. (NC: Jefferson, McFarland, 2001), p.3
11 Including I Walked with a Zombie, dir. by Jacques Tourneur  (RKO Radio Pictures, 1943)12 Doherty, Thomas. (2002): Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950s. (PA:
Philadelphia, Temple University Press), p.119. This included films like Plan 9 from Outer Space, dir by Edward D. Wood, (Reynolds Pictures, 1959), Plague of Zombies, dir. by John Gilling (Hammer Horror Productions, 1965) & The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies, dir. by Ray Dennis Steckler (Morgan-Steckler Productions, 1964).
13 The Horror of Party Beach dir. by Del Tenney (Iselin-Tenney Productions, 1964).
14 Night of the Living Dead, dir. by George Romero (Image Ten, 1968). Hereafter referred to as NOTLD.
15 Dendle, The Zombie Movie Encyclopaedia, p.6.
16 Stephen Harper, (2005): ‘Night of the Living Dead, Reappraising an Undead Classic: Romero’s Canonical Work Remains Timely Decades Later.’ In Bright Lights Film Journal 50(3) <http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/50/night.htm&gt; [accessed 1st October 2012].
17 R.H.W. Dillard, ‘Night of the Living Dead: It’s Not Like Just a Wind That’s Passing Through.’ In Waller, Gregory A. Ed. American Horrors: Essays on the Modern American Horror Film.  (IL: Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1987) pp. 14-29.
18 Sumiko Higashi, ‘Night of the Living Dead: A Horror Film about the Horrors of the Vietnam Era.’ In Dittmar, Linda & Gene Michaud Eds. From Hanoi to Hollywood: The Vietnam War in American Film, (NJ: New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1990) pp. 175-188.
19 Matt Becker, ‘A Point of Little Hope: Hippie Horror Films and the Politics of Ambivalence.’ In Velvet Light Trap (57, 2006) pp. 42-59.
20 Dendle, The Zombie Movie Encyclopaedia V ol. 2, pp. 7-8
21 Dendle, The Zombie Movie Encyclopaedia V ol. 2, p. 8.
22 Dendle, The Zombie Movie Encyclopaedia, Vol. 2, p. 4.
23 whether it be the ‘zom-com’ that is Shaun of the Dead dir. by Edgar Wright (Universal Pictures, 2004) or the sci-fi crossover of  28 Days Later dir. by Danny Boyle (DNA films, 2002)
24 Michael Schwalbe, ‘Mythopoetic Men’s Work.’ In Kimmel, Michael S. & Michael A. Messner Eds. Men’s Lives  (MA: Boston, Allyn & Bacon, 1995) p.518.
25 The grimly hilarious Shaun of the Dead dir. by Edgar Wright (Universal Pictures, 2004) and the apocalyptic sci-fi-horror crossover  that is 28 Days Later dir. by Danny Boyle (DNA films, 2002) Linnie Blake, The Wounds of Nations: Horror Cinema, Historical Trauma and National Identity. (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2008), p.166
26 For example the ‘zombies’ of I Am Legend dir. by Francis Lawrence (Warner Bros., 2007) and World War Z dir. by Mark Forster (Plan B Entertainment, 2013).
27 Deborah Christie, & Sarah Juliet Lauro Eds. Better off Dead: The Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human. (NY: New York. Fordham University Press, 2011) and Christopher M. Moreman & Cory James Rushton Eds. Zombies are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the Walking Dead. (NC: Jefferson. Macfarland & Co. Inc., 2011)
28 Deborah Christie & Sarah Juliet Lauro “Introduction” In Christie, Deborah & Sarah Juliet Lauro Eds. Better off Dead: The Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human. NY: New York. Fordham University Press, 2011) p. 1.
29 For example, Carol Clover, David J Skal, Rick Worland, Cynthia Freeland, Steven Jay Schneider to name but a few.
30 Christie, Better off Dead, p. 1.
31 Christie, Better off Dead, p. 1.
32 Christie, Better off Dead, p. 2.
33 Badmington, Neil  “Theorizing Posthumanism” In Cultural Critique (53, Winter 2003) p. 11.
34 Christie, Better off Dead, p. 2.
35 Christie, Better off Dead, pp. 2-3.
36 Blake, Wounds of a Nation, pp. 190-1.
37 Survival of the Dead dir. by George A. Romero (Blank of the Dead Productions, 2009)
38 Christie, Better off Dead, p. 4.
39 Warm Bodies dir. by Jonathan Levine (Summit Entertainment, 2013)
40  Christie, Better off Dead, p. 4
41  Christie, Better off Dead, p. 2
42 Christie, Better off Dead, p. 2.
43 Christie, Better off Dead, p. 2.
44 Sara Sutler-Cohen, ‘Plans are Pointless; Staying Alive is as Good as it Gets, Zombie Sociology and the Politics of Survival’ In Christopher, M Moreman & Cory James Rushton Eds. Zombies are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the Walking Dead. (NC: Jefferson. Macfarland & Co. Inc., 2011) p. 183.
45 Sutler-Cohen, Plans are Pointless, p. 184
46 Sutler-Cohen, Plans are Pointless, p. 185
47 Sutler-Cohen, Plans are Pointless, p. 185
48 Sutler-Cohen, Plans are Pointless, p. 186
49 Sutler-Cohen, Plans are Pointless, p. 193

Bibliography

Badmington, Neil ‘Theorizing Posthumanism’ In Cultural Critique (53, Winter 2003) p. 11.
Becker, Matt. ‘A Point of Little Hope: Hippie Horror Films and the Politics of Ambivalence.’ In Velvet Light Trap (57, 2006) pp. 42-59.
Blake, Linnie The Wounds of Nations: Horror Cinema, Historical Trauma and National Identity. (Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2008)
Christie, Deborah & Sarah Juliet Lauro Eds. Better off Dead: The Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human. (NY: New York. Fordham University Press, 2011)
Dendle, Peter. The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia. (NC: Jefferson, McFarland, 2001)
Dendle, Peter. The Zombie Movie Encyclopedia Volume 2: 2000-2010. (NC: Jefferson, McFarland, 2012)
Dillard, R.H.W. ‘Night of the Living Dead: It’s Not Like Just a Wind That’s Passing Through.’ In
Waller, Gregory A. Ed. American Horrors: Essays on the Modern American Horror Film.  (IL: Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1987) pp. 14-29.
Doherty, Thomas. Teenagers and Teenpics: The Juvenilization of American Movies in the 1950s.(PA: Philadelphia, Temple University Press, 2002)
Harper, Stephen ‘Night of the Living Dead, Reappraising an Undead Classic: Romero’s Canonical Work Remains Timely Decades Later.’ Bright Lights Film Journal [50(3)] <http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/50/night.htm&gt; [accessed 1st October 2012].
Higashi, Sumiko. ‘Night of the Living Dead: A Horror Film about the Horrors of the Vietnam Era.’ In Dittmar, Linda & Gene Michaud Eds. From Hanoi to Hollywood: The Vietnam War in American Film, (NJ: New Brunswick, Rutgers University Press, 1990) pp. 175-188.
Moreman, Christopher M. & Cory James Rushton Eds. Zombies are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the Walking Dead. (NC: Jefferson. Macfarland & Co. Inc., 2011)
Rhodes, Gary D. White Zombie: Anatomy of a Horror Film. (NC: Jefferson, McFarland, 2001)
Sutler-Cohen, Sara ‘Plans are Pointless; Staying Alive is as Good as it Gets, Zombie Sociology and the Politics of Survival’ In Christopher, M Moreman & Cory James Rushton Eds. Zombies are Us: Essays on the Humanity of the Walking Dead. (NC: Jefferson. Macfarland & Co. Inc., 2011) pp. 183-193
Wuthnow, Robert. Communities of Discourse.(MA: Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1989).

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Biography

Ms Shanaz Shakir is undertaking a PhD at the University of Southampton, UK. Research interests include Horror films and sexuality. The psychological and social impact of the video nasty, but currently her research centres on representations of the zombie in contemporary British film and the popularity of zombies from what has been termed “the noughties”, onwards.

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