Sunday, November 13, 2011

Zombies, Vampires and the Post Apocalyptic Craze

So this post might be a little bit late.  After all, a posting with zombies and vampires in the title would have been must better suited for a couple weeks ago, but...I'm still new at this and I never claimed to be great with timing.  What spurred this particular topic was a video game I was playing with my best friend and my brother titled Dead Island.  (For a moment I will fall into my role as a Dad and say that I do not recommend this game for children)  The game was a blast.  Set on a resort island over run by flesh eating zombies, with a mixture of the classic sauntering foes and the new trending rage filled, lighting fast zombie creation.  It got me thinking, though...what is it about zombie games, movies and books that are so appealing.  They have certainly seen a resurgence of late, as popular now, if not more so, than they were in Romero's heyday.
While there is certainly something to be said about zombies' symbolic representation of the animalistic side of humanity, over-consumerism, fear of masses and the multitude of interesting theories for zombies' popularity and why we are drawn to them in fiction.  I'm not going to attempt to delve into any of those more sophisticated arguments here though, partly because I don't know enough about them, but mostly because I don't think they are behind my personal interest and enjoyment.  For me, it's the post apocalyptic aspect.  I find the idea of a few humans fighting to rebuild a semblance of society against near impossible odds to be fascinating.  I Am Legend, both the novel by Richard Matheson and the Will Smith movie are perfect examples.  Zombies serve to increase the danger and give a universal foe that most times can be fought against without compassion or complicated emotion.  I mean, how sorry really can you feel for a zombie.  They're already dead.
In Scarlet and the Keepers of the Light (mild spoiler alert, skip this paragraph if you have yet to read it) I was drawn to the idea of having to rebuild society, in this case after the world Scarlet knows is destroyed by the evil from Satorium.  I was able to mix this idea of post apocalypse with classic fantasy and the result was a series which has been a joy to write and develop.  While in Scarlet's case there are no zombies, that element of danger amist a world that should be so familair and is yet reveocably changed is no less potent.
Which brings us to vampires, because no discussion of the undead can be made without them.  Intelligent, hypnotic and supernaturally powerful, they bring a whole other element to the fear of the undead.  In most case they can blend in with the normal population and the fact that women, especially innocent and other wise good, are drawn to them make them even more dangerous.  Personally I'm more of a Dracula kind of guy and as such, I don't quite get the whole shy, sexy, misunderstood vampire trend.  However, as a guy, I will be the first to admit that I'm probably not really suppose to and so I hold nothing against Edward and his legion of fans.  I do like the idea of good vampires however, but more in the action oriented genre like Underwood and the like.
In Keepers of the Light, vampires are represented in two characters.  The Mortada and the incruetatus.  While neither of these are actually vampires, the Mortada certainly have that hypnotic quality.  Evil and beautiful, they are a mixture of two opposing ideas that make them all the more feared.  The incruetatas, who aren't presented until the end of Keepers are my added danger for the post apocalyptic world, with the idea that they have always been present among us giving an added element of terror.  The thought that something so dangerous and evil could have always been there without our knowledge makes us question our safety in all capacities.  You never know what is lurking around the next dark corner, so to speak.
I hope you all enjoying the blog.  I would love to hear back from all those readers out there and would especially love it if you had any questions or discussion.  Thank you for clicking over.

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