Zombies are the middle children of the otherworldly family. Vampires are the oldest brother who gets to have a room in the attic, all tripped out with a disco ball and shag carpet. Werewolves are the youngest, the babies, always getting pinched and told they're cute. With all that attention stolen away from the middle child zombie, no wonder she shuffles off grumbling, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha."

- Kevin James Breaux

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Book Review: THE ZOMBIE FILM: FROM WHITE ZOMBIE TO WORLD WAR Z by Alain Silver and James Ursini

Zombies have become so popular in pop culture that they dominate TV screens (one of the most popular shows being AMC’s The Walking Dead) and movie screens (i.e. Warm Bodies and World War Z) and show no signs of slowing down.  In Alain Silver and James Ursini’s book The Zombie Film: From White Zombie to World War Z, the authors try to present a comprehensive overview of the genre and all the films ever associated with the sub genre. 

If you are a fan of zombie films this book will be a treasure trove of information as the authors leave no stone unturned by touching upon the earliest zombie films (i.e. White Zombie) to some of the most recent (i.e. World War Z).  For the most part all the films are presented in chronological order placing the films in a unique context not only in the time period of which they were made but also as an outlook on how audiences taste in zombies changed from one decade to the next.

If you want to know more about foreign zombie films those are discussed as well and the authors do an excellent job of picking both the most relevant films from around the world as well as the lesser gems.    Zombie films have different meaning to different cultures and countries and the authors do a good job of explaining some of the ways zombie films differ from country to country and from the way the U.S. perceived the genre.

Another great aspect of the book is the tons of posters, pictures, and production stills from many of the films discussed.  There are so many pictures from so many films that to some, this book may seem like a visual dictionary and it is, in a way, a visual dictionary of zombie films.

Silver & Ursini’s take on the zombie genre is as fans and the book is a very easy read for everyone.  This is not an academic book which works in the books favor as the author’s keep the book lively and entertaining especially considering how many films they discuss and delve into.  Upon finishing this book you’ll have your own personal list of films to seek out.  This is a book I recommend to all fans of the zombie genre as I’m sure you will discover something new that you didn’t know before.

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