At its heart, Zombie Strippers is a deeply stirring tale about the emptiness of the human condition and the fulfillment of zombiedom. It is also an epic tragedy, where few if any of the characters come to an understanding of the true horrors of existence.
For a movie made by humans, for humans, it takes a surprisingly understanding view on zombie life. Historically humans have reviled and indiscriminately murdered our kind, so it is especially pleasant to see that we do have some allies among them. In the movie, the zombie strippers are depicted as being extremely desirable, as well as having their own motives and personalities (faint as those may be). Several of the human strippers voluntarily become zombies, something that we know happens fairly frequently in real life but due to human prejudice is rarely shown on film.
The writers of the movie have also clearly done some research before developing their film. I doubt that they actually bothered to meet with any real zombies, and they certainly didn’t (as usual) hire any zombies, but at least they seem to have searched out zombie-made porn, and taken some cues from that. Not great, but I have to say, better than what other human directors have bothered to do. The classic bloodshot comes early in this film, but is shot with enthusiasm and fervor. And again, zombie sexuality is paired with a heavy metal soundtrack. Is there something about heavy metal that seems appropriate for the undead? I guarantee that we have a wide variety of musical tastes here.
Where the film fails, it fails dramatically. Male zombies are shown as nothing more than mindless creatures, a throwback to the older more classic zombie films. In a movie that made such leaps forward in showing a fairer portraits of zombies, it is especially disheartening to see such a pointless, unrealistic, and discriminatory portrayal of male zombies. Many of my male friends found the movie offensive and hurtful as a result.
The film was only rated a 4.4 on IMDB, and I have to admit to feeling pretty conflicted about how to rate the film. On one hand, it is one of the most progressive portrayals of zombies I have seen to date. On the other, it introduces some deeply problematic themes that may continue to haunt us. In the end, I can only give it faint praise – which only serves to highlight the disappointing nature of human-zombie relations.
Filed under: zombie sightings
Anyone else feel a little nibblish around here? Check out Street Anatomy, where they will treat you to beautiful designs made of humans – and sometimes animals, if you ask nicely. Their most delightful treat yet is little brain cupcakes – I think they must somehow shrink human brains before pickling them and placing them on the cupcake. Just think, bite-sized brains! They look absolutely delightful. I want to taste them on my tongue, their sweet juices running down my chin, biting into that delightful burst of creamy, fragrant brain. Picking the little brains off the cupcakes and feeding them to my lover like grapes.
Excuse me – I have something I need to take care of.
Filed under: zombie sightings
Many of us appreciate the company of animals – you may think that turning into a zombie means that you lose the pleasure of a good run with your dog, or of watching a cat sunning itself on the windowsill, but that’s not true at all. Zombies appreciate animal company. However, we have to be a bit more careful than the living in selecting our pets.
It’s one thing if you already had a pet when you turned into a zombie. Dogs, in particular, have a great tolerance and acceptance of whatever changes their owners may undergo, including death. It could be that they do not quite understand that you are dead – in fact, it often takes them a while to understand that now you have different limitations and move slower than you used to. But they remain faithful companions (most of them) and will still go on walks with you, sleep at the foot of your bed, and play fetch. (Word of advice: it is not actually a good idea to play fetch with your dog using your arm. He will not understand that this is something he shouldn’t eat.)
Cats, on the other hand, are notorious for their lack of loyalty. If you are going to turn into a zombie, do it where your cat won’t notice, or else you might wake up minus an eye or a few toes. However, once you are mobile and able to defend yourself again, you should be relatively safe from your cat. Make sure to keep it well-fed and be especially wary should you start to smell like fish. (It’s particularly hard to get smells out of rotten flesh, by the way. Look for a post in the future on that topic.) Cats are also particularly fastidious and tend to dislike it when you start decomposing. Dogs tend to be happy even if your skin is partially liquified and falling off when you pet them; cats will give you a disdainful look and begin grooming right away.
(I actually have less personal experience with other animals such as snakes or mice, so I can’t really speak about them. Anyone have experiences with other pets or advice to add?)
Of course, one of the best things about keeping your pet through the life-death transition is that you get to have your pet for much longer. When it is about to die, simply turn it into a zombie and you can continue to have plenty of fun. Since your pet may not completely understand what is happening, you will have to train it to be more cautious with its body and to feed it until it can fend for itself.
What if you weren’t so lucky to own a pet before you became a zombie? Unfortunately, unless the pet already knows you, it is far more likely to attack you than it is to bond with you. I have heard of a new zombie company that is trying to breed and train puppies and kittens from youth to be used to zombie company, but so far they have not reached the point of selling any. Until another solution arrives, your best bet is to find a living pet and turn it into a zombie. Unfortunately this means that you will not have as much time with your pet as if you started with a living pet, since they do not tend to understand as much about the zombie condition and act just as recklessly as they do while alive. Some of this can be combated with training, but not everything.
And finally, for those of you who already have zombie pets, check out Skelanimals:
Filed under: zombie sightings
Alert reader Worrggh sent me a link to Humerus, a wonderful site with a good zombie focus. Check it out!
When I began this blog, I expected to encounter serious resistance and bigotry against the ideas of zombie sex. I have encountered such bigotry, but what has made an even bigger impression on me has been the sheer groundswell of support for this core concept – and not just from the zombie and undead communities. There are, in any society, progressive and far-thinking beings who think more clearly and more fairly than their peers. Previously I wrote about MissCalico, who wrote in a very zombie way about dissection. Today my featured blogger goes even further. Steward Home writes poignantly of the sexual bigotry he tries to draw attention to with his creation of Necrocards:
To be honest if I was given the opportunity to have sex with a stiff, I’d probably pass it up. However, if prior to their death someone has given their consent to necrophiliac sex, then I don’t really see what moral objections can be raised against it. One of the things that makes the world an interesting place is a wide variety of sexual tastes. People should be free to experiment sexually as long as this is done with the consent of those they are shagging. Not accepting this principle has serious implications for those practicing sado-masochism. A good deal of sexual bigotry is still sanctioned by law. It should go without saying that consent is only possible when all those partaking in a sexual act enjoy social equality. Given the power differentials between adults and children, paedophilia can never be consensual and thus it should be condemned as an utterly unacceptable and inappropriate form of behaviour.
Written in 1999, he probably did not anticipate the zombie outbreaks in the 2000’s. But the philosophy still applies: dead, undead, or living, we should all be free to explore our sexual selves. It is sad to note far we still have to go in pursuing sexual freedom, both in the laws on the books as well as the attitude on the streets.
Show your support for sexual freedom: Print out your own necrocard today!
A few weeks ago, I had the great fortune to attend a talk by distinguished psychiatrist Dr. Steven Schlozman. This was hosted by the Coolidge Corner Theatre, which as it turns out is a great supporter of zombie rights. Now, as you know, much of how and why we are the way we are is still unexplained by human science, so I very much looked forward to hearing about the recent advances in understanding our bodies. His talk was fairly thorough, though it became clear very early on just how much still needs to be researched. A professor from Michigan wrote that by the classic laws of biology, our dead flesh should not be able to move, due to the lack of oxygen. Nevertheless, we do lurch, and shamble, and we do have control over our dead flesh (some more than others).
We already know some things, just through our common experience. We know that cold allows us to stave off decomposition and preserves our bodies. We know that we need freshly killed flesh to continue to unlive (preferably humans, as they are the tastiest and most nutritious). We know that we can suffer almost all injuries without much impediment. We know that it is hard to perform cross-species grafts, but it is easy to exchange organs and limbs with other zombies. We know all these things to be true, because we experience them,but we still don’t know why things are the way they are. I would love to see more scientists start making strides in this rich field of study.
Dr. Schlozman has made a strong foray into zombie medical science. In his lecture he puts forth a theory of zombie brain function. He suggests that while in humans, the amygdala is well-modulated and frontal lobe function is strong, in zombies, our frontal lobe function is decreased while the amydala is stronger. This results in stronger “base” desires, such as rage, hunger, fear…and lust. (Yes, now I have a scientific theory as to why it is typical for zombie libidos to be much stronger than their previous human ones….)
Yes, fellow readers, he mentioned lust. I was wriggling in my seat with joy. Unfortunately, he did not elaborate on lust as he did on hunger and other desires. But I will take my victories where I can: five years ago no self-respecting professor would mention zombie lust in a serious lecture. Today, it was taken easily in stride by the packed lecture hall.
After his lecture followed the screening of the classic horror film, Night of the Living Dead. I watched it, but I had to cover my eyes when the zombies were lit on fire, and also in the last scene when the poor defenseless zombies were picked off one-by-one by callous human posse. For all that it is a very human-centric film, I liked how the humans were shown to be the unfeeling, fractious, and controlling beings that they are often in real life. Humans make much of their frontal lobe domination, but honestly, we zombies manage quite well without it and I think things are much better that way.
Recently I bought my very own copy of Zombie Haiku, by Ryan Mecum. I have to say, folks, this is a really awesome book. It’s got a very high production value – glossy full-color pages (you can see the blood and eyeballs in great detail!) and cute little doodles of doorknobs (“They are so lucky/that I cannot remember/how to use doorknobs”), and brilliant haikus from a zombie perspective. This wonderful book beautifully maps out yet another segment of zombie life that mainstream media has somehow left behind, in order to focus on the attacking humans part. I realize that mainstream media is quite human-centric, but really. We zombies have rich unlives without humans as well! Anyway, this is not *just* a collection of lovely haikus, but it also tells a story.
Some of my favorite haikus:
Blood is really warm.
It’s like drinking hot chocolate
but with more screaming.
I can see through you.
Literally through your mouth
and out to the street.
I keep saying “brains.”
I remember other words,
but I just need one.
What a sweet story. I’m not sure if your local bookstore will carry this, but it really should! And of course there is always Amazon.com, which is where I got my copy ($10, totally worth it for such a pretty book).