A new crop of campy zombie ads are cropping up on Broadway, promoting Evil Dead: The Musical. While the posters are all very clever, their presence only reveals what I've long feared: the Disneyification of our beloved brain-eating zombies. These cute versions of the undead are everywhere nowadays, and getting campier by the minute. Click though to see the slow decomposition of zombies, from funny versions of the living dead to the Broadway soft-shoe undead.
It used to be that the only time you were bothered by over-zealous silly zombies was on Halloween during the annual Thriller resurgence. Maybe it was Shaun of The Dead that opened the door for the last four-year craze of the undead on stage. I blame Shaun's good humor and fantastic writing of real characters that allowed other people to view zombies (more recently in a fun and friendly way).
But instead of making a better zombie comedy or another lovely gory zombie classic (such as the 2002 new rage spin 28 Days Later) filmmakers unleashed a string of so-so camp or shaky handy cam gimicky undead flicks, each one sadder than the next. Fido, Planet Terror, Zombie Strippers were all great, but their undead hordes leaned harder and harder on the crutch of camp to get through each take.
We need to be forward-thinking with our precious zombie commodities, people. And what has this campification and blatant misuse of zombies brought us? The Broadway zombie. I love Bruce Campbell and wouldn't mind seeing him singing and slaying on stage, but unfortunately he's not in it. And the Bruce-substitute is surrounded by happy dancing undead. Pass. Also passing on Re-Animator: The Musical, Zombie Prom and Z: A Zombie Musical.
Our last hope for a zombie attack we can take seriously is the forthcoming World War Z movie — which is really a post-zombie narrative, since it takes place after the zombie war.