are increasingly depicted as little more than be-fanged, neutered teenage emos; the popularity of zombies
has risen to the point, according to some sources, that surpasses that of the traditional king of the undead. Zombies are certainly
more popular than most of their undead peers, including re-animated skeletons
or the Crow.
Although zombies rule right now, their reign may prove short. After all, no individual zombie has risen to the level of familiarity of a Dracula, Frankenstein's monster or Mac Tonight. What zombies possess in ability to strike fear into the hearts of living, they lack in the personality department. Their mythology is simple, borrowing from ghouls, vampires and mummies whilst adding few touches of their own. That may be why zombies still don’t have their own musical subculture like vampires do with Goth -- just a handful of musically dissimilar bands like The Zombies, White Zombie, and Fela Kuti and The Cranberries' songs, "Zombie.” Zombies can't be said to have truly arrived in the pantheon of monsters until one appears on General Mills' line of monster-themed cereal.
In real life, zombies are entranced or betwitched servants or thralls of a Vodou/Voodoo/Vodun bokor... or, sorcerer. They can be living or dead. In movies, however, zombies have gradually taken on a variety of aspects borrowed from other undead, mainly the aforementioned vampires and ghouls.
A NOTE ABOUT GHOULS
were originally from Arabia
and are an evil sort of desert-dwelling, shapeshifting Djinn
that eat children and the dead, afterward taking on the meal’s appearance, thus proving the truth behind the old adage, “You are what you eat.” In films, there had been relatively few attempts to depict ghouls. The British film The Ghoul
(1933) concerned an undead Egyptologist’s (played by Boris Karloff
) attempt to attain immortality and to kill his former servant. It had more in common with the previous year's Boris Karloff vehicle, The Mummy
. Other ghoul movies, like The Mad Ghoul
(1943), Nobody’s Ghoul
(1962), Boy Meets Ghoul
(1965), The Ghoul
(1975), Ghoul School
(1990), Ghoul Panic
(2000) and The Ghouls
(2003) are unlikely to ring many bells.