Diaries of a plague year: perspectives of destruction, from surveillance to the point of view narrative in contemporary zombie film

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The past 20 years has seen a steady flow of productions of Zombie film, both in terms of global film production, and both ‘independent’ and studio based productions of horror film. The popularity of Zombie film may be determined by many differing factors, though the ruling ethos may be that expressed by the creators of Night of the Living Dead (1968), who based their first feature on the genre that “was cheapest to make”.
This infective genre spans different countries and concerns, notably at a time of rising global communication and the subsequent shifts in global film markets, and while the idea of economic imperatives may explain the rise of fan–created material, notably through the affordability of camcorder and then digital video equipment, it does not satisfactorily explain how the concept of global infections is such a strong thematic consideration of contemporary Zombie film. This paper argues for both a consideration of the production contexts of modern Zombie film, in a culture conditioned to access global media, and the thematic uses of how events are recorded in modern Zombie film, from the distrust of the media first proposed in George Romero’s Night and Dawn of the Dead (1978) to the chilling first person perspectives of Zombie Diaries, (M. Bartlett and K. Gates, 2006) Diary of the Dead (G. Romero, 2007) and [Rec] (J. Balaguero and P. Plaza, 2007)
These aesthetic choices in presenting events may indicate an overriding definition of the modern Zombie film – as a genre predicated on establishing and destroying social spaces of freedom and containment, it also addresses concerns relating to the visual representations of protests, uprisings and disasters in news media reportage and the possibly conflicting viewpoints of ‘official’ news and those arising from first-person perspectives of events.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2009
EventCine Excess III - Odeon Covent Garden, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Apr 20092 May 2009


ConferenceCine Excess III
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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