Some of us could see the inevitability of creative individuals finally making zombies more human in movies. So far, that hasn't happened on TV, particularly with the ever-departed zombies in "The Walking Dead." Although even the aforementioned AMC show has given hints at the possibility of finding something still alive within the shell of all those zombie extras.
So much can be said that's positive about sudden hit "Warm Bodies" finally taking the zombie somewhere between the world of the dead and the living. From an acting perspective, it could change the game for the zombie extra we see so plentifully in the above-mentioned AMC show. An up-and-coming actor may eventually have a chance to say a line as a sideline zombie rather than merely amble his or her way down a country path before having respective heads excised.
And from the entertainment side, it could finally mean the end of the stereotypical zombie that's devolved close to self-parody. Nobody can watch "The Walking Dead" or another zombie movie now without letting out a chortle at the sight of a very non-believable, lumbering example of the dead. It might make that chortle turn to a head pain when we see the CGI representations of zombies in "World War Z" this summer.
If any movie is suddenly in the wrong place and time, it's "World War Z", despite the novel still proving that Mel Brooks' offspring had a high I.Q. Regardless, anybody with insight should have realized the zombie genre was fair game for being changed as much as the vampire genre has. But it's clear the movie subject of zombies has coasted too long into complacency to a point where a zombie movie was always a good idea at any time.
The success of "The Walking Dead" and recent cinematic zombie offshoots were the solid anchors for the thought zombies would be perpetually lucrative. Nowhere, though, can we say the standard way a zombie is performed today can scare us as much as George Romero's did in the original "Night of the Living Dead." Reasons for that may have connections to the more human portrayal in "Warm Bodies."
Yes, we forget how much closer to human the zombies looked in the 1968 Romero classic. By way of human, I mean still having the intelligence to use a rock to break a window in a car or break down a door (when the barricades are down). By the 1980s, zombies had become nothing but listless souls who only know how to disassemble a living person for feeding time.
Even all those zombie flash mobs we see a little too often in local streets and malls are turning into tongue-in-cheek exercises that transformed the zombie into a dual figure of comedy and tragedy. "Warm Bodies" may be deemed tongue in cheek, yet could be taken at a level going beyond the obvious new twist of humanness and romance. Teens could be using a more complex analogy for the feelings of depression or even the feeling prescription drugs give in treating any condition.
Or in the more comedic universe, the character of R could be somewhere between the gates of sleep and being awake, which could easily be the premise for the inevitable parody.
- Arts & Entertainment