Zombies, Vampires and fiction characters have poked and prodded at our imagination for quite some time. We as a society have gone from imagining ruthless blood-thirsty vampires, to shiny loving vulnerable sickening creatures. Zombies seem to be heading that route too. Our society seems to have a sick fascination with romanticizing even the most disgusting beings.
The concept, or the beginning ideas of zombies came from the ancient practice of voodoo. Making a home-made zombie is actually possible believe it or not. Just sprinkle a bit of tetrodotoxin in the circulatory system of a human.
The modern zombie film owes an incalculable debt to George A. Romero, who reinvented the genre with Night of the Living Dead in 1968. The look and feel of the zombie is based on Romero's model — not to mention that persistent hunger for flesh. These were zombies as antagonists.
While controversial among zombie fans, Day of the Dead — Romero's 1985 sequel to Dawn of the Dead — has also had significant influence on the genre. In particular, the character of Bub (Sherman Howard) introduced the idea of a domesticated zombie. Bub was calm, curious, and remembered aspects of his past life as a human.
When did zombies get funny? There's humor in the Romero movies, to be sure, but that was taken to a whole new level with 1985's Return of the Living Dead. The film was based on a novel by John Russo, who had co-written Night of the Living Dead with Romero. Fun fact: when the team went their separate ways, Romero was allowed to make his own sequels, but Russo had the rights to the "Living Dead" title.
Something important happened in the early 2000s: zombies started to run. Suddenly the idea of a shuffling, flesh-hungry creature wasn't scary enough — movies like 28 Days Later (2002) and the Dawn of the Dead remake (2004) gave us zombies who were really, really fast. Not only that: they were agile, crafty, and otherwise smarter than their predecessors.
Which brings us to Warm Bodies and R, its zombie protagonist. The film is based on a book by Isaac Marion, which in turn was based on his short story "I am a Zombie filled with love." Welcome to the new genre: zombie romance.