Is The Zombie Genre Dying On Its Feet?

I had a conversation with a man yesterday who is a fanatical sci-fi aficionado. He reckons the interest in zombies is waning.

Common Cold Trilogy coverI sure as hell hope not, I like it when someone buys and enjoys my books. It’s not like I’m going to be earning my living at it any time soon (especially with Amazon’s Lending Library program killing my sales because I don’t want to be fixed to Amazon as my only channel, but that’s for another time and forum), but I certainly appreciate it when people continue to show an interest.

So what made him say what he said? Mostly I think it was a gut reaction because he wasn’t particularly keen on zombies, but let’s look at the way the genre is going.

Zombie Films by YearI don’t know if you’re aware, but the first zombie feature film, White Zombie, was made in 1932 starring Béla Lugosi (love that guy) as the evil voodoo master transforming Madge Bellamy into his erstwhile new born zombie. Fun and games, eh?

I’ve found a listing of 387 zombie films on Wikipedia if you’d like to check it out yourself – the amazing thing is that 243 of them have been made since 2000! I have pulled out my inner geek and analysed the data from Wikipedia. It makes interesting viewing. The graph I built shows that the zombie genre, at least on film, bubbled under for many years. Mr R produced “Night Of The Living Dead” in 1968 causing a little more interest in the genre, but it wasn’t until Mr Romero did his thing with “Dawn Of The Dead” in 1978 Dawn_of_the_dead Zombie(arrow 1) that the interest accelerated. His film spawned a surge of 81 films over the next 16 years. A relative lull occurred for the next few years until 2002 (arrow 2) when “28 Days Later” and “Resident Evil” came out – it didn’t hurt that it starred Milla Jovovich. We haven’t looked back, since when 225 zombie films came out. I imagine the game versions of these films have done a great job promoting the zombie culture in the same period.Resident_evil zombie

What is interesting is that with “The Walking Dead” TV series in 2010 (arrow 3), there was a small surge in film production but it has petered out since then. Has TWD put the brakes on film-making? I think the series could be seen as a blessing and a curse on the genre – some of it was seriously wrist-slittingly boring.

2014 has seen a mere 4 zombie films, although I imagine Zombeavers probably makes up for the paucity of choice. The graph seems to show a decline in film-making in the genre although I am personally aware of one due out next year by Mr Chee Keong Chung which has the potential of being pretty damn good considering those actors and extras I’ve met from it!

Caveat – I don’t believe the list is exhaustive as I am personally aware of one missing title – “Gangsters, Guns & Zombies”.Gangsters Guns and Zombies

So what do you think? Dead or very much alive? I know some Z-Walkers that believe it’s stronger than ever J – let me know.

 

Books by the Author – available worldwide on all good eBook stores:

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle (first in Trilogy)

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Cabin Fever (second in Trilogy)

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle – Dez Rez (third in Trilogy)

The Common Cold: A Zombie Chronicle Trilogy – three books in one

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle (first in trilogy)

Return Of A King: A Zombie Chronicle – Z Factor (second in trilogy)

The Animus Portal

Fierce Alchemy

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6 Comments

  1. There has been a bit of a lull this year in the department of zombie films. However, I do not believe this to be a sign of a decrease in popularity. Film is just one aspect. Zombies have infiltrated television, video games, and books as well. The Walking Dead brought in 17.3 million viewers for it’s season premier, beating it’s previous record by over 1 million. The show could easily go for another 3 seasons, if not more and the comic series is going strong as well. I think the zombie genre is still going strong, just maybe being overshadowed at the moment in film by other genres that are big at the moment.

    1. It’s not easy to get a true measure on a genre; I am aware that films are not the only measure – I’m very glad you think that! I like the genre and would like to see it go from strength to strength.

      1. Yeah, I think that we might see some waxing and waning, but overall the genre will continue to grow in strength and diversity. If you enjoyed Night of the Living Dead, check out the post I have titled Origins, I think you’ll like it.

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