Monday, 11 May 2009

Is it a Vampire or a Zombie?

What most horror fans have come to think of as zombies isn't really that at all. When vampires and zombies were divided in pop-culture we ended up with a Jekyll and Hide approach to the creatures, when in fact they should have been one genre.

I recently posted this on BloodyDisgusting.com (and I See Dead.com) in my blog...

Vampires, Zombies and Ghouls=?

Confused?
All 3 sub-genres can be classed under the same genre, the trouble is who gets top billing?

The classic movie definition of a zombie is the re-animated corpse that feeds off of living flesh.
The classic movie definition of a vampire is the re-animated corpse that feeds off of living blood.
And in folklore/mythology the classic definition of a ghoul is the re-animated corpse that feeds off of the living flesh and blood.

As someone who spends much of my time buried under files and books and other dusty things researching vampires in myth and movies; I have had to at times bring the stories labeled as "zombie" into the mix. Both film icons are considered viruses that are spread most often by one getting bitten. Both have the same surefire way to destroy the monster in question by decapitation.

Should vampire and zombie movies be relabeled under the same title of ghoul or given a new category all together?

Only the fans of each genre can say for sure.

As I mentioned a few posts back in Against the Dark the movies have finally caught up with the fact that vampire films and zombie films are linked. Both genres use the idea of it being a virus that spreads through an infectious bite; and both always use the term "undead" in their myths.

So, are they simply zombie films or are they vampire films ? That my pets is something to think about.

3 comments:

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

In Romero's Night of the Living Dead - the creatures are referred to as "ghouls" not "zombies". It was only later that they were called zombies. And this is the first film where the "zombies" are cannibalistic monsters. Prior to that they were reanimated corpses raised up by Voodoo sorcery that would kill only on command but generally act as slaves.

Perhaps "zombies" only should be used for the Voodoo creations and "Ghouls" for the cannibalistic flesh eaters?

GingerRoot said...

Vodou is the proper spelling of it. (the religion)
Voodoo has become the standard because of Hollywood, which is a shame as it is an American bastardization of the word.

But otherwise I tend to agree that the genre should be retitled.
There is a Vampire Encyclopedia, a Werewolf Encyclopedia, have not come across a Zombie one as of yet.

ardeth blood said...

I have only started to get into the zombie side of things. It's never really been my gig.
A buddy of mine knows more on the genre then I do, and I am trying to get him to do a few posts but he's been uber busy with his being an indie wrestler.
I have not come across a zombie encyclopedia yet either but I am sure there has to be one out there.