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Friday
Sep022011

Time to invoke Rule #2: The Double Tap

During my three days at PAX Prime last weekend, I couldn't help notice the preponderance of zombie themed games.  The short list includes - Dead Island, All Zombies Must Die, Charlie Murder, Zombie Dice, and Last Night on Earth.  There were more, but I stopped paying attention at some point.

Now, I'm not saying these are bad games.  In my opinion, some of them are quite good.  So don't send me hate mail because I don't like your favorite game.

My point here, is that zombies are starting to wear thin as a horror trope.  What started with an entertaining, low-budget horror film has ballooned into countless sequels, a long running comic series, alternate universes for existing comic series, an entire shelf of novels at Barnes and Noble, and most recently, a TV series.  More movies are on the way, and new zombie themed, alternate universes keep popping up on the comic store shelves.  When will it end?  When we stop buying it I suppose.

The problem with this level of media saturation, is that zombies just aren't scary anymore.  Even replacing Romero's shambling corpses, with blood-spewing marathon runners didn't help.  The last two zombie films I found entertaining were Shawn of the Dead, and Zombieland.

And that my friends, is the kiss of death for horror.

When you make the leap from terrifying villain to comic punch line, you are done as a horror trope.  Sorry zombies, you've been retired.  Time to spend your golden days shambling across my back lawn, getting shot by cute, cartoony plants.

Take a double tap to the head, and don't rise in the morning.

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