Of Zombies and Nightmares

Most people know I don’t care to much for zombies films. My exception is Planet Terror, which I will watch any time. Also I will watch other undead characters on film, like mummies, or vampires, and walk away fine. Case in point The Walking Dead had a marathon yesterday, and I decided to peek at it. It always starts off simple for me. It doesn’t feel horrible to watch at all, so I was seduced by it, and kept watching. Something about those slow walking, dead creatures and that growl that upsets me.  Even when they run like mobs, and aggressively pursue the living (Dawn of the Dead remake) I find myself disturbed by it.

Here’s where it gets complicated; I went about my day and I was fine until I went to sleep. Then it was like I stepped into a dark zone of dreams. I dare say zombies tap into the darkest part of my psyche, and after the weird ass dream I had last night, all I could say to myself is, “I need to put this one into a short story or dozen.” Why do zombies do this to me? Why do they make me face mortality when the other undead horrors don’t? Mind you, if I saw an actually walking mummy, I wouldn’t feel safe.  In fact the opposite would happen. I’d run for my life. I an actual mummy come to life should be horrible to see. They haven’t wanted “brains” in the books and movies I’ve seen. Still that waking from an eternal slumber. . . Perhaps I’m reading and watching the wrong books, films/TV shows.

I do think fear, apprehension, and anxiety have a way of playing out in our heads that make horror stories compelling. It’s a heightened state I don’t think we can back away from, yet in the confines of a story, it works for us. We can close books, turn off DVD players and televisions. We have to go to sleep though, and they play out in our heads. I’ve never been intrigued and frightened by a prospect like this.

As always, happy creative endeavors.

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