Body and Fear. Physiology of Death in Zombie Horror and the Audiovisual Culture
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The living dead are appearing in films for almost eighty years now. During that period, their revolting image was contextualized and related to fears typical for Western societies. From the most obvious fears such as fear of disease and death, associated with films made in the first half of the twentieth century, to the films made in the sixties and seventies, where the zombies were part of a metaphor attacking the conventional language of mainstream cinema, and the shortcomings of the 20th century consumption society. During the second half of the seventies, films about the living dead reached the peak of their popularity. Also during this period zombie horrors became visibly formulaic. Films made in the eighties and nineties dealing with the biotechnological resurrection were an attempt at reviving and refreshing the genre. These films were also characterized by the distance, irony and even a vulgar humor with which they dealt with the subject in question. Even contemporary cinema and audiovisual media, such as music video clips or adverts, deriving their iconography from science-fiction and horror, sometimes continue the process of deconstruction of the conventional image of the living dead. However it is more common to meet zombies in modern remakes of old, independently produced horror classics and film adaptations of computer games, treating the living dead as an easily identified element of the commercialized mass culture.
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