Work and modern pop culture

There is a bit of a running joke about the subway vent in the King’s Chapel Burial Ground.  Tourists ask about it on a fairly frequent basis.  And one response that is sometimes given (but not by me) is that it is a zombie pit.  It certainly does look as if someone is trying to keep everyone out, because they are.  Or perhaps… keep something in.  Heh, heh, heh.

Seriously, I think a few people might actually believe this is a zombie pit. But I assure you, it is not. And it’s not a conspiracy I am covering up either.

Anyway, today one of those questions led to an extended discussion about zombies, and that led to a discussion of Max Brooks’ novel World War Z (which I am currently reading for the 3rd time) and the movie that is being made with the same title.* I am withholding judgment for now, but I am not sure what to make of the trailer that I have seen.  Part of me is thinking, “wow, that scene of the zombies trying to scale that wall like army ants was just insane.  This film might be really interesting.” The other part of me is thinking “umm… why did they bother to call this film World War Z?  Is it even going to resemble the book? Because as cool as they might be, fast-as-hell zombies that act like army ants is definitely NOT in the book.”  But I just don’t know.  I am generally not one of those people who freak out over the movie being different from the novel in some respects, because that is just something that happens.  It would be almost impossible to make a movie that follows a book exactly.  For many books, that would make an unwatchable film.  I realize that.  I do have a much bigger problem with movies that deviate from historical fact and try to pretend that they haven’t.  Or more commonly, people try to base their understanding of the historical event on the movie, rather than the historical record, and that is difficult for a historian to overcome sometimes when trying to get people to understand history.

But I am curious to see what the film will ultimately look like, and what Max will think of it.  I have a feeling that as a stand-alone movie, it might actually be pretty entertaining.  But as a 100% faithful interpretation of Max’s novel, it will almost certainly not be.  So yeah, kind of like what happened with I Am Legend, it deviated from the original story but it was a hell of a film.


*Yeah, about that.  On his blog Max himself wrote this: “Oh yeah, and I also saw a trailer for a movie last week that happens to have the same title as a book I once wrote, and I’ll say more on that when I know more.”  So I won’t say it is based on the book until Max does.

2 thoughts on “Work and modern pop culture”

  1. I hear the Bleeding Rotten Alienated Interlopers’ Nationalist Society feels the movie fails to adhere to basic tenets of zombie history and culture.

    Just sayin’.

    1. Yes. Fast zombies are generally not historically accurate, according to most experts, notably the eminent historian George Romero. But some revisionists have steadfastly insisted that zombies can be fast. However, I would argue that in those cases, their definition of “zombie” does not meet the standard definition. Their case studies only fit when the definition of “zombie” is expanded to include living subjects displaying some zombie-like behavior, such as those studied by professors Reese and Warnick in the U.S. or by professors Boyle and Garland in the UK.


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