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Analyzing Zombies in the Movie World War Z

            Over the past decade, the notion of zombies - dead humans who've died and come back to life as drooling, growling, flesh-eating monsters - has risen to new heights in popular culture. In this essay, I will discuss the scary, violent role zombies have played on TV and in movies. George Romero's, "The Night of the Living Dead" and its' sequels, spinoffs, satires and remakes are a seemingly endless bank of inspiration and lucrative investment1. The entire "Resident Evil" franchise; from games to the most successful and profitable game-to-movie conversions, comic books, novels and a startlingly large array of fan created fiction and artwork2. The most successful and most influential music video of all time: Michael Jackson's "Thriller." The television show, "The Walking Dead," which has been nominated for Golden Globe and Emmy awards. Film stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Carrie Anne Moss, Laurie Holden, Bruce Willis, Will Smith, Brad Pitt and Billy Connolly appear in zombie movies, while other zombie productions are so popular they propel the actors in them into stardom a la Simon Pegg, Jon Bernthal and to a certain extent Chandler Riggs. What is the appeal of the zombie? Why are they such a popular horror monster? Why do they resonate with such a wide spectrum of socio-demographic groups? What does the zombie represent to the viewer? These are the questions which this essay will attempt to answer with an examination of the portrayal of zombies in director Marc Forster and producer Brad Pitt's movie, "World War Z." After a brief synopsis of the film and the visual embodiment of the WWZ zombies have been given, a closer examination and interpretation of what zombies could mean to the viewer will be laid out. The essay will seek to explore several of the different possibilities of what WWZ zombies could mean, rather than a singular definition of the zombie allure.

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