Exhumed: A History of Zombies
(Dr. Emily Zarka, et al / DVD / NR / 2021 / PBS)
Overview: Join Dr. Emily Zarka, who studies literature and film through the lens of monsters, as she deconstructs some of the most significant moments in zombie pop culture over the last 200 years to reveal what these creatures say about us.
DVD Verdict: I think we can all agree that there are few monsters more recognizable than a zombie! Indeed, the reanimated corpse has been a staple of folklore, film, literature and popular culture for nearly 200 years!
Here in the aptly-named Exhumed: A History of Zombies, Dr. Emily Zarka, who studies literature and film through the lens of monsters, deconstructs some of the most significant moments in zombie popular culture over the last two centuries to reveal what these creatures say about us.
Some of the topics covered include the origin of the zombie, the first place zombies appeared in America, their collective myths, Vodou, Haitian history, pop cultures influences and inaccuracies (for, as we quickly learn, ex. practitioners of voodoo don’t actually believe in zombies the same way as followers of Vodou do!
Hence, the more widely known voodoo is seemingly always represented negatively, much like the infamous Michael Jackson music video for his hit single Thriller, and books that influenced the genre (William Seabrook and Zora Neale Hurston) are also discussed.
This documentary also delves into movies/TV shows (George A. Romero’s influence and such along with newer zombie movies/TV shows such as 28 Days Later, The Walking Dead, World War Z, etc. along with the progression of zombies (fast, rage, comedy, etc.), video games (Resident Evil), what influences the story of the zombie, and interviews with various informed talking heads pop up throughout.
Also, in New Orleans, Dr. Zarka explores how zombie folklore arose before it became mainstream and discovers more about the spiritual and historical roots of zombie lore. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
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