28 Days Later. Resident Evil. Land of the Dead. Deadgirl. Army of Darkness. The Walking Dead. Fido. Dead Snow. Planet Terror. Evil Dead 2. Dawn of the Dead. Zombieland. Shaun of the Dead — the list just goes on and on. Everybody seems to LOVE zombie films — but why? What exactly is so intriguing to people about the idea of being stalked by dead people who want to eat their brains after a worldwide apocalypse? Simple: zombie movies cater to a whole range of deeply rooted human desires. It may be an apocalypse for the world, but for the moviegoer picturing himself in the middle of it all, it’s finally his chance to shine.
1) You can plausibly be the hero. The problem with most action flicks is that the average person has trouble picturing himself as the hero. He doesn’t have special training or powers. He’s not a CIA operative, a Navy SEAL, a gunfighter, or a mutant. So the idea of taking on a gang of Die Hard-style terrorists or fighting with a sword against the medieval equivalent of Chuck Liddell in a film like Gladiator is completely outside of his reality.
On the other hand, zombies are most often portrayed as extremely slow and stupid, yet still dangerous. That makes zombies an enemy that the average restaurant manager or accountant feels like he could realistically handle. Every man, in his heart, wants to be a hero. He wants to be John Wayne, he wants to be Rambo, he wants to be Bruce Lee. In a world filled with zombies, that’s an achievable goal.