Tuesday, May 8, 2012

spoiler: a suggestive zombie short

I am amazed at this wonderful short film.  a year ago a short teaser to the game dead island came out, guarenteed to make one lose one's shit.  it did not do that.  (that a little girl will become a zombie is, at this point, such a commonplace that anyone surprised at it never heard of night of the living dead.) this short, however, in its unbearable denuement, made me lose my shit, despite my knowing--or rather, on 1st watching, my being certain of--the ending.  the premise is that, after a zombie outbreak has been dealt with, life will go on, with modifications that include ruthless extermination of potential re-outbreaks.  that makes a great deal of sense.

I'm fascinated by the horror tropes of zombies and vampires because of the suggestion that each is a step between being alive and being dead.  (thomas merton, in an essay on an unrelated point, refers to this existence as being in purgatory, which is a "place" between the 2 states.)  the religious possibilities of what it would mean if something like a vampire or zombie outbreak occured would be enormous.  think on this:  if the supernatural origins of either were true, what kind of god would foist insatiable hunger on someone?  would that be a punishment or, in the case of starving nations, some odd blessing?  and in that latter case, if the infected took their toll on the wealthiest nations, would that be a punishment of the policies of those nations?  if zombies were real, would it suggest that voudon or santeria were the "true" religions?  if vampires were real, would they be worshiped as intermediaries between people and god, sort of angels, and would infection by them be welcomed?

in the case of spoiler, what would a post-infected religion look like?  would infection prove to most survivors that god is a fiction?  would it suggest the truth of a belligerant, angry, spiteful god?  there are suggestions in the short that there is more than 1 type of infection.  would different types suggest different divine intervention?  (that there is more than 1 type is, I think, a sly captip to the incredible diversity of zombie films.)  if someone is responsible for putting down one's spouse or child or mother, how does one reconcile one's place in the world afterward?  to what hope does someone like spoiler's protagonist cling?   is there hope in such a world?  what we see of people's lives in this post-infection world suggests that they go on with their otherwise ordinary lives with grim acceptance that it all could happen again.  in the face of constant fear of a repetition of infection, can there be hope beyond simply living through the day?

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