First of all, who knew that George A. Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead was in the public domain? Cool!
Second, here’s an interesting but thin commentary from The Federalist, “Here’s What’s Behind Our Obsession With Zombies”:
The zombie genre is essentially conservative. Survival is always based upon the actions of individuals and small groups, and the government is either useless or an active threat (Max Brooks’ fascinating book “World War Z” is something of an exception, while the movie adheres to tradition). The survivors are not unlike the pioneers, trying to carve a life out of a wilderness while dodging Indians who take scalps not as trophies but as snacks. City slickers need not apply.
As conservatives do, the zombie genre likewise recognizes the necessity, even the obligation, to keep and bear arms. The people who refuse to use guns die; those who hesitate to pull the trigger allow their friends to die. Those who fight prevail. Interestingly, we have a generation of kids who attend schools where they are taught the lie that violence never solves anything and where they will be suspended for fighting back when a bully punches them. Yet on Sunday night they cheer a show that celebrates heroes who ruthlessly make gory headshot after gory headshot. Sure, the heroes wring their hands like liberals, but the ones who survive are the one who choose firepower over feelings.
The problem with political analysis of cultural trends is that it’s so damned malleable. I’m sure you could just as easily make the argument that zombies represent some sort of societal identification with liberal ideals, and that argument would be just as convoluted. And I sincerely hope there’s better support for the Second Amendment than the possibility of zombie apocalypse.
The real reason that zombies are so hot is probably that The Walking Dead was so popular, and pop culture tends to be quite derivative. Personally I’m not into the whole zombie thing, and I think it’s finally on the decline. If the Iran Nuclear Deal passes maybe we’ll get more Atomic Age entertainment: giant insects, 50-foot women, etc. Those movies were cool in a terrible sort of way.