Event Title

Domesticating the Monster: Conforming Cultural Identity in Warm Bodies

Location

Edwards 103

Document Type

Oral/PowerPoint Presentation (10 minutes and 5 minute Q and A)

Description

Zombies have been a popular horror creature for years because they are capable of representing anxieties over foreign cultures, the impoverished masses, or even anxieties of death and mortality. Although traditional representations of zombies portray them as slow moving and manageable, modern zombies are fast and ferocious, making them much more dangerous. Johnathon Levine’s Warm Bodies depicts two variations of zombies, the traditional slow moving and the fast swarming zombie. This film’s unique twist is that it features zombies that are slowly regaining their humanity. The distinctions between the two forms of the undead (zombie and boney), combined with the slow transformation of the zombie back into a human represents the desire to conform other cultures into an Americanized identity, while annihilating other cultures that are incapable of assimilating. I read Warm Bodies in context with theories of cultural otherness. In this essay I argue that the zombie returning to a human form is a manifestation of the American desire to condition other cultures to become more Americanized while reaffirming the fear of the other.

Start Date

26-4-2014 2:20 PM

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Apr 26th, 2:20 PM

Domesticating the Monster: Conforming Cultural Identity in Warm Bodies

Edwards 103

Zombies have been a popular horror creature for years because they are capable of representing anxieties over foreign cultures, the impoverished masses, or even anxieties of death and mortality. Although traditional representations of zombies portray them as slow moving and manageable, modern zombies are fast and ferocious, making them much more dangerous. Johnathon Levine’s Warm Bodies depicts two variations of zombies, the traditional slow moving and the fast swarming zombie. This film’s unique twist is that it features zombies that are slowly regaining their humanity. The distinctions between the two forms of the undead (zombie and boney), combined with the slow transformation of the zombie back into a human represents the desire to conform other cultures into an Americanized identity, while annihilating other cultures that are incapable of assimilating. I read Warm Bodies in context with theories of cultural otherness. In this essay I argue that the zombie returning to a human form is a manifestation of the American desire to condition other cultures to become more Americanized while reaffirming the fear of the other.