‘Zombies on Film’ Book Review
Ozzy Inguanzo and Universe publishing have brought us a new book that tells the story of zombies on both big and small screens. What they’ve created is a fantastic book almost better to look at than it is to read. Filled with pictures from scenes, handbills, and posters, Zombies on Film: The Definitive Story of Undead Cinema leads us through the history of zombies from their big-name origins all the way through today’s resurgence.
I like to think of myself as a pretty big zombie aficionado, but Zombies on Film: The Definitive Story of Undead Cinema filled me in on a great many things. Firstly — Hollywood monster powerhouse Bela Legosi was involved with the zombie genesis in Hollywood. Once I read that, I felt like it shouldn’t have been such a surprise. For me, and I think many of us, zombie movies started with George Romero. While Romero has shaped a generation of filmmakers and zombies fans alike, he certainly wasn’t the first.
Inguanzo certainly pays his respects to Romero but also goes into great detail and explanation about the different periods in which zombie movies have taken American and foreign cinema by storm. Another thing I learned from the book: much like the shuffling, moaning ghouls we all love, zombie movies also seem to attack the market in groups; they tear and bite at our nerves and senses in true, horror fashion. I enjoy Inguanzo’s ability to relate events that happened in different time periods to the zombie movies of those periods. It helps to see what was going on in the world and gives perspective as to why zombie cinema was successful and why it sometimes even feels campy.
Beautifully put together, the book is also quite comprehensive. We get the informative and enjoyable written history from Inguanzo and also some amazing pictures to go along. The sheer number of these images is staggering. Nearly every mentioned movie or show is represented with a picture. The layout of the book makes for a good time during a lunch break (even if it does get you some weird looks — trust me) or just a nice evening, curled up in your favorite spot.
Another thing I find interesting about Zombies on Film — Inguanzo’s take on the modern evolution of the zombie sub-genre. We’ve seen tremendous acceptance of our favorite ghouls in the past few years and, with that, some changes. Danny Boyle has given us fast-moving infected humans, and Resident Evil has given us fast-moving reanimated corpses. Seems like everywhere you turn, zombies are there. For me, this is a great thing, but it does seem like we might be hitting a cultural tipping point. If AMC passes on renewing The Walking Dead, I think you’ll start to see a gradual decline in the total number of zombie items on offer.
Overall, I would wholeheartedly recommend Zombies on Film: The Definitive Story of Undead Cinema to any and every zombie fan. The zombie lover in your life will get a fantastic journey on this path of the undead, and you’ll get major bonus points for providing a zombie item he/she doesn’t already have. Proudly displayed on a coffee table or prominently on a bookshelf, this book will attract attention and open up some great conversations.