The undead in pop culture, wait what?
Our pop culture has always derived from fads or certain topics. Once Star Wars released in 1977, that became of pop culture, and everything about it. We never truly know what will catch on, however, sometimes we can take good guesses.
For example, The phenomenal movie The Avengers came out earlier this summer, and I loved it, so did the world. It is now the third highest grossing movie of all time, and personally, my favorite movie ever made. As a result, superheroes have caught on even more popularity. Now, if about 20 years ago, I told you that undead horror creatures would become popular and sometimes envied entities in pop culture. If your answer is confusion, you are among many of us.
Mainly, it is vampires and zombies. These creatures of death used to be mere horror monsters, feared in cinema, all the way back to the original Dracula. Lately, they have caught such a hype train, it's hard to not going anywhere and see their influence, in varying degrees.
I'll talk about vampires first, because this is the subject I have problems with. Vampires have always been cool, and they have always been in media. Especially Dracula, that pinnacle character has been in books and co-starred in movies with Batman. But, the problem lies with why they are so massively popular now, Twilight.
Yes, The Twilight series is insanely successful, the franchise has sold millions, and little girls....and sometimes moms....can't get enough of the adventures of Edward and Bella. I'm not against the success Stephanie Meyers has had with this series, J.K. Rowling still whupped her with the Harry Potter franchise, but I think it some of the reactions fans have had from these movies that concern me.
These girls support their characters, that's been done, I'm a huge fan of Star Wars like these people are "Twihards." But I have a problem with the fact that these girls want to fall in love with vampires and werewolves. Seriously? These are feared creatures of cinema horror that killed people and their thirst for blood is never ending. Now, people want to love them, kiss them and.....ya know, with these monsters? These movies strike me with the same feeling that Hunger Games gave me, a twisted view that humanity is embracing. I won't hark this too much though, everybody is entitled to their opinion.
Also, the main characters aren't that great. Bella is a totally unlikable character. Look at it like this, she is a girl who is suicidally attached to a weird pasty white boy that she just met, and then cheats on him while he is gone with a tan guy who can't act, yet still marries the vampire. Her attitudes and ways of handling everything are so unbecoming, I can't believe that she is so popular. Also, I'm not a hypocrite, yes, I've had to see these movies because my sister loves them and I had to taker her, but I'm not a fan.
Ok, Ok, I'm done harking on Twilight. Don't hate me for it, there are good things about it. It did bring vampires and werewolves into popularity again, and at least other media is visually using them appropriately, like a movie about a former president slaying them during the Civil War. So I guess fans of these monsters can thank Twilight for making them so insanely popular.
Now on to the more positive view, zombies. Holy cow, zombies, they are everywhere! They are on every kind of wearable item, they are in books, movies, tv and almost rampant in video games. It's crazy, and fortunately since zombies are literally just dead people come back, they can't really mess up their look.
Zombies are such a generic topic, they can be used in multiple ways, superheroes have been zombies, animals have been zombies, it really is interesting. Now yes, vampires have felxibility, but zombies just seem to utilize it more. Zombies have a ton of success on their own as well. The Resident Evil brand has been around for years in video games and movies, and they are always fighting zombies. AMC's hit show, The Walking Dead (based on a very successful and on-going comic book series), is a huge hit and a popular show. George Romero's "Dead" movies are also very successful. In an interesting use, zombies are even used in the popular Call of Duty video game series, and are a big selling point for the multi-million dollar franchise.
So yes, the ways these mosnters are used vary, but there is no denying that vampires and zombies are a huge part of modern entertainment. Now I didn't go more into the media facets that vampires are in, but lets face it, Twilight was the main outlet for these creatures. I'm still waiting for Frankenstein and Creature of the Black Lagoon to come back, but until then, we can enjoy the rotting flesh and blood sucking goodness of the zombies and vampires in our world. Long live the undead.