WTF Hollywood??? Stop stuffing the zombie genre down our throats!!!!
There’s an old saying in Hollywood about sequels which goes something like, “keep makin’ um until they stop making money.” Anyone who’s familiar with the recent Saw or Paranormal Activity franchises can probably agree with me. In a more general sense I also believe Hollywood ascribes to the notion, “keep riding the gravy train of a popular theme until it stops making money.” All one has to do is look at the ad nauseam amount of superhero movies that come out each year. Marvel Pictures has translated superhero stories from the glossy page to the silver screen with relative ease and created a money-making machine in the process. When it comes to the horror genre, Hollywood isn’t just riding a train, they’re riding the goddamn Starship Enterprise. First it was torture horror (Saw), then it was vampires and werewolves (Twilight), then it was ghosts (Paranormal Activity), and now it’s zombies.
Look I love zombies as much as the next guy. Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead are two of my favorite movies of the last decade and I have tremendous respect for the groundbreaking works of George A. Romero. Unfortunately, I think people are starting to suffer from zombie overload. At least I am. Some of the zombie related dreck that’s managed to ooze its way out of Hollywood in the last year or two makes me want to hop into a pit full of zombies, just so I don’t have to be exposed to some of this crap.
Take for example one of the worst zombie films ever made, last year’s Warm Bodies. Thank God I caught this turdburger on Netflix and didn’t fork down my hard-earned cash for this snorefest. I mean seriously? A zombie who falls in love with a human? This isn’t freakin’ “Romeo and Juliet” where two crazy teenagers from warring families fall in love despite their parents’ wishes! Zombies are brain hungry, flesh eating ghouls who want nothing more than to eat your fat ass. (That’s why cardio is so important.) They don’t feel human emotions, they just feel the need to feed. Warm Bodies is a film that should be morally repugnant to any true zombie aficionado. The film was nothing but a lame attempt by Hollywood to draw tween girls into the horror fold by adding a love story. Or if you examine it from another angle, Warm Bodies served as a trap for men, laid by their girlfriends, with an assist from Hollywood. “Hey honey let’s go see the love story zombie film thinly veiled as a horror movie! And afterwards I can pour sulfuric acid in your eyes!” Grrrrr.
Even more egregious to me however was last year’s World War Z. This was Hollywood at its absolute peak of zombie genre hubris. The geniuses in sunny California apparently thought that if you throw in an attractive, well liked actor like Brad Pitt on-screen, add some zombies, stir in a little atrocious CGI, and add just a pinch of Matthew Fox, it would make for a smashing success. From a box office standpoint they were absolutely correct. It made over $540 million worldwide. From my critical standpoint the movie was an unmitigated disaster. The zombies were derivative of 28 Days Later, virtually none of the genius of Max Brooks’ novel was retained, the CGI as I mentioned was horrendous, and Brad Pitt made about as compelling a heroic lead as The Singing Bush from The Three Amigos. As was the case with Warm Bodies, the fatal flaw by Hollywood was trying to make zombies have a mass appeal to EVERYONE. That’s flat-out impossible. I’m not saying Hollywood shouldn’t attempt to have a broader appeal (obviously they’ve succeeded with AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) however you have to stay true to your core audience. Zombie films are a distinct subset of the horror genre, one that possesses a rabid and passionate group of followers. Hollywood you ignore these people at your own peril!
Despite all my aforementioned grievances against Hollywood’s unrelenting quest to inundate the public with all things zombie, I probably wouldn’t have written this article. The issue was a moderate annoyance for me at best.
Then this happened:
After I saw this…well to be honest I’m not precisely sure what happened. All I know was that my wife found me hours later, cowering in the corner clutching my copy of “The Walking Dead” Season 1, and muttering “They’re coming to get you Barbara.” I couldn’t quite recall what happened but I knew it was something truly revolting and despicable. Eventually I was able to piece together my slightly fractured recent memories and confront the abortion that is Zombeavers. Listen I know that Hollywood doesn’t always hold its audiences in the highest regard intelligence-wise and there are plenty of films that pander to the lowest common denominator,(White Chicks anyone?) but even this is a new low for Hollywood. This is something I’d expect from the SyFy channel, not a film that’s actually going to see screen time. Am I really living on a planet where Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote can’t see the light of day but Zombeavers can? This is the crème de la crap Hollywood, the absolute nadir for the zombie genre. Hang your heads in shame. Then I suggest you read Max Brooks’ book (you know the one your crappy movie was based on), watch Romero’s classics, and peruse Robert Kirkman’s seminal comic books. It’s obvious you need a refresher on what the zombie genre is really all about.