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The Politics of Zombies, An Indie Filmmakers Guide

by Jeff Steele

"Fido"

The independent filmmaker is far and away the preiminent purveyor of Zombie lore in global mass culture; we have raised them, shaped them, permanently imbedded them into the human psyche, and even kept them as pets.

As reliable as zombies have been for us, it’s now time to step-up our game beyond the small town zombie, beyond the contained 28-day UK outbreak — it’s time for zombies to take their place in the international political arena.

Here are two landmark studies of this global menace that continue to elevate the level of discourse on the mostly dead.  I encorage all indie filmmakers to familiarize themselves with these epic tombs…they could save your life (or career.)

It started last August with the publishing of the University of Ottowa’s landmark scientific paper, “When Zombies Attack!: Mathmatical Modeling of an Outbreak of Zombie Infection“, which was first picked up by the BBC

This caught the attention Foreign Policy magazine’s uber-wonk Daniel W. Drezner, whose seminal posting The Theory of International Politics and Zombies has gone on to become a must-read book of the same name (an excerpt of which can be found in the latest issue of Foreign Policy).

As society’s go-to metaphor for its Pandora’s “box o’ phobias” (genetic testing, big pharma, pandemics, rogue comits, religeon, communism, terrorism, and any other anti-Americanisms), zombies have, for decades, plagued the streets of small towns everywhere.  It was only a matter of time until they clawed their way out of such pedestrian constraints and stormed the halls of international relations theory. 

Here’s the table of contents:

INTRODUCTION…. TO THE UNDEAD                                                                          

THE ZOMBIE LITERATURE                                                                                             

DEFINING A ZOMBIE                                                                                                       

DISTRACTING DEBATES ABOUT FLESH-EATING GHOULS                                              

THE REALPOLITIK OF THE LIVING DEAD                                                                  

REGULATING THE UNDEAD IN A LIBERAL WORLD ORDER                              

NEOCONSERVATISM AND THE AXIS OF EVIL DEAD                                            

THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF ZOMBIES                                                              

THE SECOND IMAGE:  ARE ALL ZOMBIE POLITICS LOCAL?                               

BUREAUCRATIC POLITICS:  THE “PULLING AND HAULING” OF ZOMBIES    

WE’RE ONLY HUMAN:  PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO THE UNDEAD       

CONCLUSION…. OR SO YOU THINK

  • http://nompco.com Stan Gill

    Just the comments section alone on Drezner’s “Theory of International Politics and Zombies” would be great starting points!

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  • Scott Hillman

    I wonder about the international scandals when diplomats realize that zombies are just a variation of basic vampire movies.

    WHAT THEN!!!!

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  • Cotty Chubb

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We already know the destruction caused by zombie banks in Japan in the 90s. My one significant criticism of the Obama administration’s Treasury Department is that they have failed to protect us from zombie banks here. If the infection spreads to foreign policy, God help us.

    CC

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    • Robert Phillip

      Another present/looming menace is the huge number of zombie computer systems which have already been taken over for nefarious purposes. Read Richard Clark’s CYBERWAR and your fear of zombie zombies will recede back into the realm of background free-floating anxieties.

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    • Jeff Steele

      We also recently witnessed the influx of zombie gap funds, which fed on the brains of hedge funds, and then (true to their zombie nature), ultimately ended up cannibalizing themselves.

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      • http://nompco.com Stan Gill

        Ohmigawd! O.M.G. THAT is funny!

        Sorry for squealin’ like a teenage girl at a zombie movie.

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  • http://www.odethemovie.net BrianMathewKowalchuk

    I started to write a zombie script the other day, and every time I wrote the word ‘zombie’, my Final Draft Pro spell check corrected it to ‘self’.

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  • http://www.cca.ukzn.ac.za/durban_International_Film_Festival.htm Monica

    “…influx of zombie gap funds, which fed on the brains of hedge funds, and then (true to their zombie nature), ultimately ended up cannibalizing themselves….”

    Thanks for the smile and I hope someone makes the movie version soon!

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  • BenL

    The Ottowa paper draws an eloquent conclusion regarding zombies,” the most effective way to deal with the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often…” This axiom seems to be so perfect for all the challenges in life!

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  • WONDREFUL WANDA

    I am creative….. my nightmares become scripts. I often thank God for all the abuse I incountered as A child. I write some very funny, sick, stuff. I love Zombies you got ta understand them
    moving from cable TV I content seems to be to strong fro the locals I am learning to main stream. Thank you all for the insight
    At times i feel so overwelmed At this time my film makeing has ben solo aabout 4 years on RTN raleigh,3 in Chapel Hill,2 in durham…Thank you agin for the mental energy

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