I know I’m late to the party on this one (as it's already been discussed around the blogosphere) but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the (somewhat) recent controversy regarding the Dead Island trailer. This little trailer has managed to disturb and/or offend some and while I can empathize with them, they are all wrong. I know, I know. That’s an inflammatory, and somewhat egotistical statement and I agree. In that, you are right.
First, if you haven’t seen it (where have you been?), take a look.
Now what has put a lot of people off is the death of the little girl, and as Bronte pointed out this is the first time we have really seen zombie children and rarely do we see depictions of violence toward children in zombie films. That is has managed to unnerve some is completely understandable.
I once worked with a woman who had a very difficult time excavating the skeletons of young children who were near to her own children’s ages. It’s an old adage, but a true one none-the-less: people react differently to situations based on their past experience and current situations. In the above example I had no problem excavating the graves of children (from archaeological contexts) and did, in fact (to She Who Will Be Named Later’s horror) sing lullabies to them while doing so. This was one of my favorites to sing while excavating:
Before you tick the “he’s a monster” box next to my profile and delete me forever, let me explain. These children, who we numbered, cleaned, and then placed in plastic bags to be examined as a piece of scientific data (and then eventually put in boxes to sit in a dank basement in the Irish Museum) were once, well, children. They laughed, they played, they cried, and someone, sometime loved them. Why not treat them like past-people and sing them a song? It was my way of humanizing them and paying my respects to their life rather than being so focused (scientifically) with their death.
|Early Bronze Age Child Cremation Urn c.3850 BC, Co. Waterford, Ireland. Copyright Author.|
|I have been accused, upon occasion, of going "too far".|
Getting back to the trailer I see it as a wonderful piece of art which depicts a very human struggle during a horrifically frightening time. The CGI characters feel real. They feel human. I empathize with, and cheer for them during their brief struggle against that horror. I am touched and saddened when it ends with the child’s zombification and death. I am happy to see I am not alone in thinking this.
Conversely the trailers for Dead Rising 2 portrays this struggle as funny and we are treated to multiple zombies being mowed down in various, humorous circumstances. I don’t empathize with the main character and could care less what happens to him. The whole thing is treated as a joke, and that’s okay. I have no problem with that- it’s good fun and I get it. I am a fan of zombie comedy after all.
The Dead Island approach is one that is more human, and although it may be disturbing (for some) it is artistic, tasteful and takes the genre in a new direction. The game itself may turn out to be terrible (who knows, really, at this stage) but I will give them credit for a really good trailer. Bravo.
So, on to the point of the title of this post it seems that everyone loves chocolate. I don’t often look at these things* but I couldn’t help but notice that My ‘Milk Chocolate Gaming’ post last week was one of my biggest draws. I do love chocolate, and I also love zombies, and I especially like increasing page views (51 that day for anyone interested) so I started thinking.....yes, you guessed it, chocolate covered zombies!
I think one of the great fantasies of zombie pop-culture is that fans such as myself, at various times, think: what would I do if there was a horde of zombies roaming the land? Well, that’s a good question and other than the obvious (get some guns, lots of ammo, and some clean underwear 'cause mine would likely be full at that point) I don’t know. Maybe, like Simon Pegg, I'd head for the pub because really, can't all of life's problems be sorted at the pub over the Sunday's and a roast-beef dinner? I do know, however if the zombies were covered in chocolate, or, better yet, made of chocolate I can tell you that I’d be turning the tables on them fairly bloody fast.
The problem, of course, would be if they should happen to be dark chocolate zombies. I do love dark chocolate, but in fairness you can only eat a square or two at a time. That’s part of the built-in joy of it- you can’t eat a lot at one go and get fat (that’s what the booze is for). I’d be a terrible liability to our survival group if they were dark-chocolate zombies then:
Ya, sorry lads, I’d like to help but I’ve already had two...couldn’t possibly fit another zombie in just yet. I’ll be along tomorrow to eat a few more.
Now if those zombies were milk chocolate, or, god help them, hazelnut milk chocolate zombies, I can tell you that I’d have that infestation under control in record time. In fact I could predict I’d have it completely eradicated in no time at all. Zombie horde? What zombie horde? Damn- get my mate from Cork on the case and he’d have them finished off by 3 am that very night!
If you haven't seen Shawn of the Dead (again, where have you been?) the humor might be lost on you, but I couldn't stop laughing! Enjoy.
*By ‘don’t often look at these things’ the author may mean ‘obsessively stare at them and use them as a determination of his self-worth’