question of the day: Why are zombies so popular?

The hilarious zombie royal wedding procession Sci-Fi-London staged at its parade the past Sunday got me thinking — again — about zombies, and why the heck they seem to be dominating pop culture at the moment, to the point where it starting to take a more mature turn. Sure, we’ve had all sorts of horror action movies in recent years — the Resident Evil flicks, 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later — and zombie comedies: Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland. But now we’re getting zombie dramas, like The Walking Dead, which is a huge hit on TV on both sides of the Atlantic. World War Z is in production with a projected 2014 release date: the book it’s based on actually made me cry.

Why are zombies so popular?

Apocalyptic tales are always popular, for many reasons, but is there something particularly appealing about zombie apocalypses? Do zombies represent an atavistic desire to hurt other people (it’s okay to shoot zombies in the head, for instance, because they’re not really people anymore)? Something else?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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