You know, as a teacher (a.k.a. kid-wrangler), working around today’s youth has put me in situations where I’ve been probed for answers to all kinds of random questions: “Where does rain come from?”, “Why do we need to learn algebra?”, “Why does my dad sleep on the couch?” Luckily, going through the public school system myself and attending the finest community colleges in town have prepared me for such questions. There is, however, one question that has eluded me all these years I am sad to say but the day awaits me when one of my kids will ask, “Where do Zombies come from?”
For many of us geek-types, the word zombie triggers an insatiable hunger for the apocalypse and an opportunity to brandish some sort of melee weapon (which everyone knows is the only way to go because there’s no loading, loud noises… but I digress). We owe it to today’s youth to educate ourselves with the necessary information needed for the apocalypse, and being aware of one of the most elusive answers of all time is a great start!
But where exactly did our favorite sub-human originate from? Fortunately for you, I am equipped with the research skills and social life that will enable me to bring this information to your doorstep! So don’t fret, I’ll prepare you for “the talk”.
Incoherent speech, lack of free will, the cognition of a guinea pig… no, this isn’t the perfect woman boys, it’s what Haitian culture has deemed to be Zonbi, and it is believed to be the origination of our undead friend. It seems that the Zombie did not start off as the carnivorous connoisseur we have all grown to love, but it was really a result of voodoo spells geared toward the All-American dream: sitting on your fat ass and letting someone else do the work.
Slavery was the intention of Haitian voodoo priests and Hollywood actually adopted the idea for a 1930’s film called White Zombie, (yes, this is where that band got its name). It’s really quite simple: You take away someone’s free will along with the brain capacity to know they’re being dooped and Bam! You got yourself a Zombie boys! White Zombie actually ran with this and based their movie on the idea that if you could simply take away a young girl’s free will, well… the possibilities are endless! No more tying her to the train tracks! This film was onto something!
All fun aside; there was actually a period where Haitian Law had to be put into place that prohibited the use of Zombies for one’s private use. No laying down on the job in Haiti friends! There’s actually a law written to prevent you from building your perfect woman. Now don’t let this get you down too much. You can still check out the 1932 film White Zombie and see how it’s really done! Did I mention that this film is not only awesome but “pre-code”? What this means, boys and girls, is that this film did not abide to any guidelines as to what appropriate horror in film should be. Although it was filmed after the induction of the 1930 code, there was little to probably no real way to make sure those creative-types didn’t film some crazy shit by 1932’s standards.