Have Cheetah,Will View #72 – “Zombies: A Living History” (2011)

It’s 5:30 pm


So I ventured out to the library again to see if they had re-stocked after their huge bag sale from last week. I had made one trip already but the little store was closed,they didn’t have a volunteer to open it. I waited for a bit and then went my way.
But I went back on new day Wednesday for the first time and this time they had new titles. Not very many by any means but enough to make you take a look.
I found three DVDs this trip and that included TWO documentaries! This was pretty exciting because I haven’t had the best of luck finding any thing were in good shape.

One of the documentaries I grabbed was a History Channel DVD-R called “Zombies: A Living History”. At first I thought it was going to play out as a faux documentary about the zombie genre in general. I was prepared to see some usual faces pop up and talk about where the zombie started amid the national craze for “The Walking Dead” which had started its run in 2010 on AMC.
But while this special had some fun with talking about how to fight a zombie horde,the thoughts behind zombies have been rooted in history in more ways then one might think.

This special talks how massive events like the fall of Rome to the Germanic tribes,mainly the Visigoths in 410 AD would have seemed like a zombie apocalypse back then. Under siege,dwindling resources,sure death outside the walls of Rome by an overwhelming force with no mercy. Countless of thousands died,just like we have seen in the vast majority of zombie films.

Inter mingled with the various stories are commentaries by experts like Max Brooks,Jonathan Maberry,Dr. Lawrence Kobilisky,horror writer Rebekah McKendry and zombie fighter/writer Roger Ma offering different viewpoints on we as a society would handle a real like zombie outbreak.

Other true examples that could be equated to the terror and dread of such an event in our history included the Mongol invasion of Europe under Genghis Khan,the Black Death or the bubonic plague as we know it today. The black plague wiped out about half of Europe in just two short years,very much like a real zombie outbreak would do.
The parallels continue with The Spanish Flu and the rise of Nazi Germany (along with communist Russia and China) as millions died in a relatively quick period of time.
The special also noted how Jesus died and came back…in today’s world would he be seen as a savior or a zombie? Of course popular zombie of all was covered as well in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and how this was perhaps the genesis of every single fictional story told afterwards.

Its a good question because I don’t think a lot of writers never even considered historical and worldwide events when they sat down and started writing stories.
But in hindsight,zombies have always been around,we just never have really noticed until very recently.
We thought “Zombies: A Living History” was a lot fun and very educational in the way it parallels historic events with one of the greatest of mankind’s fears,a zombie outbreak. The commentaries were solid and thoughtful,no one hammed it up or belittled to topic which could have been easy to do.  The voice over by actor Peter Outerbridge was strong and easy to listen to as well.


This is a DVD-R which means you can order it on demand from The History Channel website. Currently the online store is being revamped,you’ll have to send them your email addy so the History Channel can let you when it goes live again.
It has no extras and its run time is app. 80 minutes.

The cheetah and I gave “Zombies: A Living History” a thumbs/paw up.

Drop a comment below and let us know what you like or dislike about zombies!!



2 thoughts on “Have Cheetah,Will View #72 – “Zombies: A Living History” (2011)

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