The recent popularity of horror films featuring zombies is indicative of social tensions surrounding racism, globalization and rampant Western consumption. In the films comprising George A. Romero’s Dead series, differences between survivors become blurred when human value is reduced to sheer humanity. Romero’s films show that social preoccupations of race, gender and class (among others) remain problematic in the undead, post-apocalyptic context and often take precedence over the need for cooperation and resources for survival. The zombies themselves are sociologically loaded; from their colonial origins in Haiti to their “Americanization”, combining themes of racism, savagery and othering. This book outlines the underlying social critique that underscores Romero’s entire series. Drawing from cultural materialism and active audience theory, this book shows how Romero’s Dead series can inspire reflexivity and assessment of our everyday roles in consumption processes while helping us speculate on the endings of our own narratives.
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