Stop an average stranger on the street and ask them what a zombie is. Chances are they'll give you a strange look. And then say that a zombie is a flesh-eating monster.Read the whole thing. Barry digs further into the Caribbean zombie's connection to slavery and oppression, and her observations come none too soon to my way of thinking. In film and on television and in books, pop culture seems saturated with splattery variants of Romero's creations. How long until the zombie gets consigned to the genre dustbin, just another trope that overstayed its welcome? Not very, I'll wager, unless someone can come up with a new twist. Perhaps it really is time for the zombie to return to its roots.
They'd only be half right.
What few people know is that the lurching, ravenous undead of the screen have only been around for forty years. Before George Romero gave them teeth and the urge to use them in 1968's Night of the Living Dead, zombies were little more than brainless slaves.
The zombie was first given life in the Caribbean of the early 1800's, where the sugar cane plantations were worked by thousands of African slaves. Here, the zombie became intrinsically tied to the Vodun (or "voodoo") religion.
(Picture: CC 2011 by snowy-ninja)