Thousand of stories have been spawned by the creature that Romero almost singe-handedly created. Many of those stories refer, either subtly or quite blatant, not only to elements of Romero’s tales, but also to the man dubbed “The Master” by millions. Malls have an iconic place in the realms of the zombie multiverse. There will always be “outside” threats from other survivors that seek to spoil some false utopia. Often, the zombie is the lesser threat as it brings out the best and the worst from those who fight and struggle to survive.
The zombie is a terrifying monster because of just how very “real” they are. Whether it is due to a viral infection that causes bestial rage ala 28 Days Later, or some bizarre radiation dragged in from space by a crashing satellite, a zombie is not too far-fetched. After all, The Bible features the first possible zombie: Lazarus. The story never says what happened after Jesus left. While it is not assumed that Lazarus went on a flesh-eating spree, it still opens the mind to the possibility of the dead re-awakening.
As horror has unraveled and become slash or torture-porn, and the good, old-fashioned monster has morphed into the stranger next door...the zombie remains. As vampires undergo high school hormone make-overs...the zombie endures. As Jason spends his time battling Michael and Freddy...the zombie trudges on. As sick old men take out their frustrations of a cancer diagnosis on perceived ingrates with no appreciation of their lives by trapping them in unsolvable torture puzzles that would repulse Torquemada...the zombies gather outside by the millions seeking to devour the last survivor. As today’s scary story plays out on the six o’clock news...zombies break down the last door.
...the people they kill get up and kill!