strange musing I had about an allegorical film where zombies attack a town in the usual fashion, and are killed doff by shotguns by the usual rouugh types, but for some reason everyone in the film never uses the word “zombies”, instead they call them “socialists” – and instead of brains, the zombies go looking for wallets. The shotgun-wielders all have cool names like Galt and Laffer and they name their shotguns things like Chicago School and Trickle Down.
In a flashback, we can see the origin of the zombies – a virus caught by ordinary folk who are sitting around in a poost-apocalyptic landscape (quite different from the clean rural chic of the heroes’ home towns), unemployed and ill, gathered around the iconic television on fire from the original Terminator movie.
At the end, the small band of heroes is surrounded by the zombies (er, socialists) in an old farm, and all looks lost when all of a sudden the calvalry, dressed in crisp trenchcoats, white gloves and black boots, comes swarming in from out of town and smashes the zombies into pulp with truncheons. Then they usher the grateful citizenry towards their nearby semi-trailer for a hot shower. Credits.
6 thoughts on “socialists and zombies”
Oh my, I like this idea a lot. One might be able to do it as a short film, and get the idea across pretty well.
Anyone up for a little YouTube project…?
lovely. i’m not sure what the cavalry represents tho–the only thing it calls to mind is spinrad’s the iron dream. (which come to think of it your whole concept doesâ€¦)
So the guys in trenchcoats are the communists?
I’ve always thought that zombies would be a great metaphor for socialism. Indeed, I think it would be interesting to look at existing zombie movies through the lens of socialism and see what comes out. I was thinking about doing something like that during my 6WH marathon…
For example, the original Dawn of the Dead seems like it’s a very anti-capitalist, anti-consumer film. It takes place in a mall and the sorta hollow life that the protagonists fall into (hollow because they’re consumers!) stresses those themes. But the zombies in that film? They are clearly socialists. There is no private ownership in zombie society. They allocate resources (i.e. food) as they find it. You don’t see zombies hoarding resources, nor do you usually see zombies eating a body by themselves. The limiting factor seems to be how many zombies can physically surround the food. There is no greed, there is no hierarchy, there is no emotion, hell, there is no money in zombie society. There are no poor or rich – all are equal.
Also, considering that the film was made during the cold war, it’s tempting to correlate the spread of zombies with the spread of communism that everyone seemed to fear back then.
Now, the film would still be an allegory about capitalism and consumerism, but it’s the humans in the film that really stress that sort of thing, not the zombies. At the end of the movie, it’s the greedy capitalists (led by Tom Savini!) who break into the mall and screw things up. And I’ve already mentioned the hollow life the protagonists lead.
Interestingly, the 2004 remake does away with most of the humans, leaving a much clearer dynamic – socialism vs capitalism. Of course, the capitalists lose in both movies, so I’m not sure what the real point is, but whatever:p
the thing is that you could take the idea in two directions – as a warning of socialism, or as a rebuke to those who warn about socialism. If done right it could be both simultaneously.
Aaron you just blew my mind with the Iron Dream bit. Thats brilliant and intriguing…
Iron Dream is a weird and fascinating book. (As is everything by Spinrad. Except possibly Bug Jack Barron, but I have issues with stream-of-consciousness writing, ) I highly recommend you read it.
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