What Christians Have to Say About Zombie Movies
By Dr. Marc T. Newman
June 24, 2005
(AgapePress) - The first question that might arise from simply looking at the title of this article might be, "Why would Christians even watch zombie movies must less want to have anything to say about them?" In response I need to emphasize that MovieMinistry's role is not that of the film critic, but of the cultural critic. We do not recommend or promote films, we explain them so that Christians can see inside the driving cultural forces underlying the stories movies are telling us to see if we can use them to explore the gospel. And, believe it or not, horror films are ripe with myths and analogies that can be used to our advantage.
And that is what drove me to the cinema at midnight on Thursday to view the latest installment of George Romero's Living Dead franchise. Romero is a famous low-budget horror film maker, and his Land of the Dead is no exception. Made for $15 million (peanuts by most Hollywood film standards) it is guaranteed to turn a profit because millions of young people in the film's target demographic will turn out for the mayhem. The story concerns a group of survivors carving out an existence in a world dominated by zombies whose only desire is to kill and eat the remaining humans. In the midst of the seemingly simple story (and the amazing amount of gore), Romero makes statements about consumerism, greed, and (I think) the human condition. Most noteworthy are the way Romero's films -- and most zombie movies -- make use of death, decay, insatiable appetite, and meaninglessness to expose the contemporary problems facing culture in the West.