Who goes to boring zombie apocalypse movies, or even the Zombieland sequel? It only makes sense if you lift COVID restrictions and see such movies within a sanctuary city, because Trump wants to shake them down for federal aid. It’s the same deal Trump offered Ukraine. Darn those “brute but stupid” enemies. Zombie movies are about selectively breaking the social contract, but in a fictional state rather than a reality TV show.
OTOH this Peter Jukes article does remind us that Kushner and Trump have given us the same moral dilemmas: “In zombie movies there are really only two moral dilemmas. “One is a replay of the old libertarian question from the Wild West: can I kill this person if I find a good excuse? The update is the obsession of baby boomers and their ageing parents: is it okay to kill a loved one if they don’t seem human anymore?” Jukes weighs in on the side of fantasy rather than dystopian prescription but the reality is that the pandemic has made each of us in our masked state of public interaction actually more unhuman, screaming to be heard trying to avoid the brain-dead.
In today’s COVID-19 scenario, it’s Mad Max, not (____) un-Dead. Trump and Kushner want us to kill each other over ventilators to distract us from not getting a test. That’s the real “Operation Warp Speed” looking for a rebrand of the time needed to develop a vaccine, making the NIH just another episode of Survivor, desperate for a fast forward.
Ã¢ÂÂ Byline Times (@BylineTimes) April 29, 2020
Why does every apocalyptic invasion or infection scenario get humanity so horribly wrong?
And that’s the first thing every Zombie Apocalypse movie gets wrong – they’re too exciting.
As we now know, the reality of lockdown and the COVID-19 pandemic is the opposite of entertaining. The cinemas, clubs, concert halls and theatres are all shuttered. As for filmic moments, there’s really very little immediate drama in hundreds of people face-down, intubated and sedated. In simplistic film terms, it’s going to be hard to empathise let alone recognise any of the leading medical heroes under those painful masks and alienating protective gloves and aprons. The terrible reality is that the bigger tragedy is unfolding silently, in the care homes and quiet cul de sacs where the world doesn’t end with a bang or even a whimper. Just a cessation of breath. A suspension of time.
Meanwhile, there is no great inrush of nature to replace the lost life: forests growing out of asphalt and concrete or the Statue of Liberty buried in sand. In Southwark, the pigeons are taking over the streets but seem lost and needy. The seagulls are more raucous and sound noisier than the City Airport jets. But it’s hardly The Birds. You can hear that child-like cry of foxes during the day as well as at night, but it’s no I Am Legend.
No one predicted, and no one probably ever could, the dull apocalypse: this quiet desperation and terrible monotony.
As always, the real story is not the alien enemies, but ourselves. Culminating in the long-running the Walking Dead television series, zombie movie series use the brute but stupid enemy as a backdrop to what’s really happening: the stupid and brutal behaviour of people. The so-called ‘Father of the Zombie Film’, George Romero, started this ironic twist by setting the violence in the bleak deserts of the US shopping mall.
In zombie movies there are really only two moral dilemmas. One is a replay of the old libertarian question from the Wild West: can I kill this person if I find a good excuse? The update is the obsession of baby boomers and their ageing parents: is it okay to kill a loved one if they don’t seem human anymore?
But maybe that’s not the point. The reality of those disaster, alien invasion and zombie movies is that they were never really designed to be a guidebook for how to react. Quite the opposite. They take us down a dark, imaginative path so that, when it really comes along, we don’t go there. They project a future that cannot happen because, once projected, it is the future we’re bound to avoid.