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Subject: Zombies

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Date Posted: 07:59:58 10/29/06 Sun

Since no one else is posting here this Halloween, figure I'd have some fun and put up some posts on the history of movie monsters, beginning with our old buddies the Zombies.

Today, zombies are among the most popular movie creatures through the popularity of George Romero's films, starting with "Night of the Living Dead." In such films, zombies are portrayed as dead people who come back to life.

That is the traditional folklore of what a zombie is, but in the old movies, film makers were reluctant to use this idea. In the earliest horror films about zombies, a natural explanation was always given for their condition.

In the first zombie movie, "White Zombie" (1932) Bela Lugosi plays a plantation owner in Haiti who uses a powerful drug to bring people under his control. In one chilling sequence, he taunts a victim who is slowly turning into a zombie from the drug's effects.

"Revolt of the Zombies" (1936) featured a young Dean Jagger as a man who turns the whole population of a Cambodian city into his personal slaves through mental telepathy.

All the zombies in "King of the Zombies" (1941)are actually normal men under the hypnotic control of a Nazi scientist.

Finally, "I Walked With a Zombie" (1943) is about a woman who's under some sort of psychological or physical condition that she got from a jungle fever.

It wasn't until "Revenge of the Zombies" (also 1943) that the zombies were portrayed as honest-to-goodness corpses brought back to life, this time through the work of yet another Nazi scientist, played by John Carradine.

Films after that continued in this tradition, such as "Zomies of Mora Taru" (1957) where the dead crew of a shipwreck (and anyone else they happen to kill) have becoming the walking dead, forever guarding a priceless treasure.

It wasn't till "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) however that the added touch of cannibalism was placed into the Zombie mythology, with the living dead eating the living.

There have been several "official" sequels to "Night of the Living Dead," all directed by George Romero. There's also been been a curious "unofficial" series of sequels done by other directors, starting with "Return of the Living Dead" (1985). These films, most made straight to video, introduced the now-common cliche that Zombies prefer human brains as their chief source of food. An Australian film, "Undead" (2003) spoofs this concept.

So you see how one form of monster has evolved in the movies. Tomorrow I'm going to take on another movie monster.

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[> Subject: Conrad, l'm Soooo glad you've kept the Halloween spirit here!! l've been mentally posting, but you can't see those!! Yes, watching lots of great Hallo flicks, but too sleepy to loggon (l usually loggon at night) Anyway, when l get the chance, l'll make a few comments of my own.

Judi....not forgetting the forum, just sleepy...must be under a spell!!
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Date Posted: 09:39:20 10/29/06 Sun

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[> [> Subject: OK, yes, l luv the zombies, nothing's creepier to me, i suppose because they actually existed in Haiti! (yeah, yeah, they've solved the mystery of what causes zombies, now...but for this season l want to pretend they are truly supernatural!) We caught the end of White Zombie this year...l love the film, and esp. due to the grand, Romantic gothic sets! l'll have to do some research on how it was done. l really enjoyed, l Walked with a Zombie; Val Lewton can do no wrong in my book! (Cat People, etc...) Gosh, the nurse's walk through the cane fields..meeting up with the white-eyed zombie out in the middle of nowhere...ahhhh!! And the zombie's shuffle! To me, that's worse that a creature on a chase...that constant, quiet shuffle!

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Date Posted: 10:57:27 10/29/06 Sun

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