Birth of the Living Dead: Characteristics of the Zombie Film Genre and Romero’s Vision of Apocalypse Cover Image

Rađanje živih mrtvaca: karakteristike žanra zombi filma i Romerova vizija apokalipse
Birth of the Living Dead: Characteristics of the Zombie Film Genre and Romero’s Vision of Apocalypse

Author(s): Marina Mandić
Subject(s): Anthropology, Structuralism and Post-Structuralism, Crowd Psychology: Mass phenomena and political interactions, Film / Cinema / Cinematography
Published by: Институт за етнологију и антропологију
Keywords: zombie; genre; Romero; apocalypse; horror; escapism

Summary/Abstract: Starting from the theoretical explications of the genre film and Cawelti’s concept of formula, this paper relates to the genre conceptualization and contextualization of the popular zombie film narrative. Pioneered by George Romero in 1968, and his film “Night of the Living Dead”, zombie film genre represents a synthesis of the apocalypse formula, science fiction, horror and the monster movie. Inspired by previous film traditions, Romero combines the elements of the mentioned film genres, offering his own vision of the end of the world, epitomized by the presence of a monster which appears simultaneously as the cause of the catastrophe and as the dominant social setting. Romero’s films can be viewed as a metaphorical mirror of the era and the social climate in which they appeared. Their development can be seen as a decades old diary in which the signs of the times and social events are inscribed by the author himself, as well as by the audience, which views these films and interprets them based on their own experience. With their specific language, zombie apocalypse deconstructs the social discourse and constructs it again in the narrative form which aims to arouse uneasiness and fear, as well as to create a particular survivalist fantasy without a happy ending. These emotions and meanings altogether hint at the apocalyptic character of the contemporary society.

  • Issue Year: 18/2018
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 173-190
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Serbian