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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Book Review: AMERICAN ZOMBIE GOTHIC by Kyle William Bishop

For all you zombie lovers out there, you will definitely need to add this book to your library. It is called AMERICAN ZOMBIE GOTHIC: THE RISE AND FALL (AND RISE) OF THE WALKING DEAD IN POPULAR CULTURE by Kyle William Bishop. You gotta love that sub-title! It is published by McFarland Publishers(http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/).

Here is the main description of the book from McFarland's website:

Zombie stories are peculiarly American, as the creature was born in the New World and functions as a reminder of the atrocities of colonialism and slavery. The voodoo-based zombie films of the 1930s and ’40s reveal deep-seated racist attitudes and imperialist paranoia, but the contagious, cannibalistic zombie horde invasion narrative established by George A. Romero has even greater singularity.
This book provides a cultural and critical analysis of the cinematic zombie tradition, starting with its origins in Haitian folklore and tracking the development of the subgenre into the twenty-first century. Closely examining such influential works as Victor Halperin’s White Zombie, Jacques Tourneur’s I Walked with a Zombie, Lucio Fulci’s Zombi 2, Dan O’Bannon’s The Return of the Living Dead, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, and, of course, Romero’s entire “Dead” series, it establishes the place of zombies in the Gothic tradition.

AMERICAN ZOMBIE GOTHIC discusses the meaning and popularity behind the zombie as a film character starting with the very first Zombie films such as WHITE ZOMBIE and I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE and going all the way to the modern zombie films such as George Romero's last zombie film, DIARY OF THE DEAD. Of course, a main part of this book is focused on what most film historians to be the greatest zombie film, Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD from 1968. Bishop goes very in depth with the early zombie films, discussing the origins of zombies from Haitian folklore and voodoo inspired films. He also notes the relationship between the zombies and the subject of slavery and the deep seeded racist attitudes of that generation. Bishop then goes on to discuss various films from each decade and goes "behind the scenes" so to speak, to bring out some of the real basis' and inspirations for some of the zombie films, including the Vietnam War and the commercialized society of the 1970' and '80's.
This is a great book full of great information and full of great pics from most all the zombie films discussed. Along with the Chapter Notes, bibliography, and index, the book also contains a filmography of all the movies discussed in the book. This is especially handy to use as a checklist of sorts in case you want to try to view all the zombie films discussed in the book. The book is softcover with 247 pages of pure zombie fun! Get your copy today!!


You can call McFarlands toll free order line at 1-800-253-2187 to purchase the book or order directly from McFarland's website by CLICKING HERE.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds interesting. I'll be sure to check it out. Jeffrey Thomas Crooms author: The United States of Armageddon

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  2. this is a excellent review, is the combination between art and zombies, do you know what other thing combine perfect with zombies? easy, a shot in the head jajajaja.

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