Unearthing the undead: What the zombie stands for
Of course, the zombie is a metaphor.
It starts with the church, because it has to, a symbol of Christian morality and order. The film is ‘Dawn of the Dead’ (there are two, and I refer to both) and a grim faced preacher proclaims the famous line, ‘When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.’ It’s 1978, and a film has established the zombie’s tie to religion, something that will both develop and change over the years. This is important because the origins of the zombie has everything to do with religion.
This is important because what the zombie actually stands for is dissent…
Zombies are inherently born of a culture where the church has dictated Theology and how it shall be dictated further, which is why the creatures have an inherent link to Christianity. India has never enjoyed a Christian majority, and thus the zombie is always out of place here; it is a creature our cultural consciousness will never accept, an explanation for why zombie films don’t work in India (Go Goa Gone, Rise of the Zombie and Miruthan come to mind).