If war, as one wit famously observed, is “God’s way of teaching Americans geography,” then environmental disasters such as the BP oil spill seem to be the primary way that Americans learn about ecology.
In the absence of environmental disasters we watch zombie movies. Consider their key ingredients: extreme violence and number of casualties, crazed fight over or race for the few remaining resources, collapsing civilization and often an outbreak of man made disease.
I already mentioned The Happening along with a couple of non-zombie movies. This one isn’t really a zombie movie though and the threat is at most indirectly caused by humanity.
28 Days Later… is a real classic. Human made disease released by misguided animal rights activism. Its sequel isn’t as good though.
Also, I have to mention Dawn of the Dead and Zombieland although they are a bit stereotypical and doesn’t explore any natural resources conflict or any other deep theme as far as I remember. But they are quite entertaining and has some canned food and survivalism.
While also technically not a zombie movie the recent The Road takes place in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where human flesh and hidden stashes of canned food are the only resources available.
And in The Crazies we follow a group of uninfected running from both government extermination and crazy slaughter in the aftermath the army spilling a plane-load of a biological weapon compounds into the drinking water of a small town.
As the user “K J E” writes in her Flixter review:
In this day and age, the true horror of The Crazies is in the fact that any of us could find ourselves in a similar situation. This is definitely a film which should make you think, and think hard and long about this world in which we live.
I’ll have to watch The Book of Eli some time soon. (Hope it’s better than The Road!) Which zombie movies would you suggest? Please comment!
Perhaps you have been sceptically reading my blog for some time and now wonder if I finally lost it? But zombie movies are, sadly, perhaps more efficient at
educating scaring people of the frailties of society than any rationalist blog preferring solid research and eloquent essays.