While vampires have been the more celebrated pop culture supernatural flavor of the past several years, popular interest in zombies never waned. With last night's premiere of "The Walking Dead" season two, "World War Z"--based on Max Brooks' chilling post-zombie-apocalypse novel--scheduled for a late 2012 motion picture release, and Seth Grahame-Smith's literary mash-up "Pride And Prejudice And Zombies" now in development as a movie, zombies are poised to take back over as BDOC (Big Dead On Campus). Whether zombies will slowly lurch or rapidly stalk back into the limelight is a debate for another time.
The modern pop culture zombie traces back to George Romero's 1968 black-and-white zombie horror film "Night of the Living Dead." Romero followed up the cult classic with "Dawn of the Dead" and "Day of the Dead" and some more recent films in the "...of the Dead" series. Other major pop culture zombie milestones include Michael Jackson's take on zombies in his video-movie for "Thriller" in 1983, the formation of Rob Zombie-led heavy metal band White Zombie in 1985, and the launch of the "Resident Evil" video game series in 1996 as a survival-horror challenge with zombies. But right now, we focus right on the past decade of zombies in pop culture. It's been busy.