"The Walking Dead" is the zombie TV show that zombie fans have hoped for over many years. There are potential issues that the show could cause for the zombie movie industry over the next few years that need to be addressed. "The Walking Dead" could do damage to the zombie movie industry that could take years to repair.
The Zombie Rules
George Romero is the father of what are called the "zombie rules." The thoughts that zombies are slow-moving and are destroyed by fire or shots to the head originally came from "Night of the Living Dead." Over the years, some directors have taken liberties with these rules by making faster zombies, or creating other ways in which the infection spreads.
"The Walking Dead" has added more strength to the original rules set down by Romero. The more strength that are given to the original rules, the weaker the variant ideas become in the minds of many zombie fans. The new zombie fans that are added by the show might be less accepting of variant zombie rules and be turned off to the zombie movies that use them.
At least to this zombie movie fan, some of the best zombies that I have ever seen have shambled across the screen on "The Walking Dead." The quality of the makeup on the show raises the bar for zombie movie directors. As more people start watching the show all the time, the expectations about what zombies should look like will become harder and harder for the directors that decide to take on a movie about the walking dead.
Most zombie movies focus on how the characters deal with the zombie apocalypse, and how they deal with each other. The average movie has about an hour and a half to develop these characters and make them connect with the audience. Some zombie fans may become discouraged by the fact that they cannot connect with new zombie movie characters like they can with the characters on their favorite TV show.
Granted, it is impossible to create characters that are as strong in a movie as they are on a TV show. An hour and a half cannot compare to fifteen or twenty hours that can be used to develop great TV characters each season. I know this. You know this. The average viewer sometimes forgets, though.
Inundation vs. Passing
The worst issue that could be caused by the zombie movie industry could be what Hollywood decides what the current market must want. Hollywood might look at "The Walking Dead" as the strong show that it is, and not want to try to compete with it. If this happens, the execs might decide to pass on any zombie movie scripts as they believe that the entertainment market has enough zombies walking around in it.
The other side of the coin could come from inundation. Hollywood has been known for finding a strong horse and running it into the ground. Right now, movies are forming like "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies," "World War Z," and "Zombieland 2." I hope that Hollywood execs do not start thinking the market is ripe for zombies and flood the market with the undead. Either one of these options could kill the undead market that many of us have come to love over the years.
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