It’s that time of year again! Time to celebrate the Resurrection with a weeklong plunge into all things zombie! Here’s the history: In 2008, Dr. Girlfriend and I decided to spend a week or so each year marathoning through zombie films that we’d never seen before and I would blog short reviews. And simple as that, the Easter Zombie Movie Marathon was born. For the curious, here are links to2008, 2009 (a bad year), 2010, 2011, 2012 (when we left the blog behind), 2013, and 2014. Sunday, Bloody Sunday Zombies: When the Dead Walk (2008) Writer/Director: Donna Zuckerbrot As a way to open this year’s marathon, we decided to open with a short documentary that gives a nice introduction to the historical Haitian voodoo zombie, Zombies: When the Dead Walk. And if you don’t know anything about the history of Haiti, Wade Davis’s experiences as an anthropology student (chronicled in his book The Serpent and the Rainbow, and then fictionalized in Wes Craven‘s The Serpent and the Rainbow — two very different experiences!), or how traditionally zombies were both examples of slavery, grew out of slavery, and became symbolic of the White responses to slavery, then this will be a well-spent 48 minutes. Yes, 48 minutes. You see, Zombies: When the Dead Walk was actually produced as an episode of Vision TV’s Enigma series, which explores strangeness around the world. And while it purports to look at zombies as a pop culture phenomenon, that’s really left to the very end and isn’t all that well done. While Professor Elizabeth McAlister does a fantastic job discussing zombieism as a form of social justice in traditional Haitian culture, and is spot on with her discussion of the use of traditional zombies and voodoo in books and films from the twenties and thirties (and forties, to an extent), she drops the ball when it comes to the transition to the Romero flesh-eaters. But that’s not too terribly unexpected, since her emphasis is on social justice and slavery, but her attempts to apply a broad brush of racial interpretations to contemporary zombie narratives that stem from Romero’s innovations fall well short of the mark. Luckily (?), that’s only a minute or two of the total 48, with the rest of the time devoted to history and anthropology, which, as I stated above, if you’re not familiar with will be enlightening. Of particular interest is the story of Clairvius Narcisse, one of the only documented cases of “real” zombieism in Haiti. So, if you’ve got an hour to kill and a beginner’s interest in the mythology behind the voodoo zombie, Zombies: When the Dead Walk isn’t a bad way to dip your toes into the zombie waters. And it’s narrated by Colm Feore, so that’s pleasant enough. EZMM 2015 Day 1: Zombies - When the Dead Walk (2008)Paul's Rating3.5Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.