We have ‘Zombieland’ on the Blu-Ray player at the moment as we couldn’t find anything direct to air we could contemplate watching, since it’s the off-season for TV. A few friends recommended this movie but it seems a bit same-ish rather than progressing as it goes. Woody Harrelson looks super-ugly in it and the acting is pretty ordinaire.
Now ‘Shaun of the Dead’– that was a SUPERB zombie movie- it didn’t matter that the zombies were totally silly, the whole thing just cracked me up! If you’ve never seen it, I recommend it heartily- it’s quite philosophical- really!
The zombies really get to me- where did this portrayal of zombies as un-stoppable flesh-devouring automatons come from? I used to think zombies were part of the Voodoo cult of the Caribbean and were ghostly creatures that hung around graveyards, representing people who had been buried without their destinies being satisfied. Sometimes the zombies seemed to be “woken” and placed under commands by powerful Voodoo practitioners or witch-doctors, so they sometimes chased after live people. But I don’t recall them EATING people!! The zombies in this movie are just monsters who eat human flesh as fast as they can and can’t be “killed”- they just get up again no matter if they’re shot, whacked on the head or cut to pieces! The living dead/undead/can’t-be-killed seem to have merged. Anyway the movie alternates between the two lead characters driving along a highway and various encounters with more zombies- no real highs and lows. Every time the zombies appear they are growling and gurgling, waving their arms around and slavering furiously, with partially congealed blood welling out of their mouths- UGLEEE!
I recall some British murder or police shows over the last few years that had elements of Voodoo and zombie-cults. They usually involved poor families from African countries combining evangelical Christian activities with voodoo to either contact or avenge dead relatives and friends. The documentary ‘Voodoo’  is still a good account of the old-style voodoo and zombie cults from Haiti. They didn’t go into the undead stuff, but were more into preparation of odd herbal concoctions, some involving hallucinogenic compounds, a la Hippie era 1970s. Having been a minor hippie during the 70s, I know there wasn’t any voodoo or zombie stuff around then in Australia. We just wore light cotton kaftans and flat leather sandals and read Honi Soit and the Nation Review!
The main substances I recall are pot and LSD. Marijuana (or grass-clippings masquerading as same) were by far the dominant substance, with LSD pretty rare and mild. Maybe things were more exciting then for people who had more money- but I was amongst a bunch of impoverished university students, none of whom had rich parents except a guy called Julian whose parents were Jewish fabric importers and didn’t give him much pocket money! It was a real event if anyone got hold of LSD (or whatever was being passed off as LSD). None of this stuff turned us into zombies. Marijuana used to make me laugh a lot and time would telescope- a lot of time would pass while I thought it had only been a few minutes. I couldn’t smoke much of it as my asthma would play up, but I usually only needed a tiny bit to feel hilarious! The LSD didn’t do anything spectacular to me- I tried it twice I think and the effect wasn’t nearly as great as various legit drugs I’d been given in the past for asthma and pneumonia. My hallucinations under oxygen deprivation and from too much ipecac bronchitis medicine were totally spectacular by comparison! I still flash back to those medication-induced hallucinations whenever I have a bad chest infection, but never to the old LSD experiences- far too boring!
So there we are- a quiet ramble through the years, reminiscing over zombie experiences, sex, drugs and rock and roll! I didn’t think I was going to end up here, but that’s it- I’m off to bed!