Which you all know that I can’t resist commenting on. TAP’s Paul Waldman piece is here; Ace of Spades HQ’s Open Blog (Mætenloch) piece is here. Let’s get this out of the way: I agree with AoSHQ that Waldman’s done his homework, but I have to take major exception with his statement:
There are no highbrow zombie movies or novels, and admitting you love them amounts to a declaration that your tastes are unrefined.
It will all depend on how you define ‘highbrow’ – but I think that The Serpent And The Rainbow would qualify, as would 28 Days Later. Admittedly, the first is more Afro-Caribbean than the standard zombie flick, and the second breaks a lot of the conventions, so I may be on thinner ice than I like – but if Waldman can include The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari in his list, then I can use these two*. As to whether zombie films default liberal or conservative: well. They default to satirical, in my opinion; and you don’t want to end up getting too overtly partisan there. If you do, you end up making movies like Homecoming, which I cruelly mocked at the time (without even seeing**) as an inept attempt to use dead soldiers as mouthpieces for the antiwar movement (given that the living ones loudly declined the ‘honor’). There’s a lesson there, really.
That being said: I may pick up Revenge of the Zombies at some point.
*And, of course, there’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! … which pushes the definition of ‘highbrow’ almost but not quite to the breaking point. And then there’s World War Z, which was in my opinion very sophisticated. It’s not all that easy to do an authentic-sounding oral history book.
**Still haven’t, in fact.