Winner of the silver medal in popular culture for the 2006 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards. This volume connects American social and religious views with the classic American movie genre of the zombie horror film. For nearly forty years, the films of George A. Romero have presented viewers with hellish visions of our world overrun by flesh-eating ghouls. This study proves that Romero's films, like apocalyptic literature or Dante's Commedia, go beyond the surface experience of repulsion to probe deeper questions of human nature and purpose, often giving a chilling and darkly humorous critique of modern, secular America.
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Kim Paffenroth (Ph.D. Notre Dame) is Professor of Religious Studies at Iona College.Review:
A fascinating, insightful tribute to the man who started it all. --Max Brooks, author of The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
Finally, a scholar who takes zombie movies seriously. In his nonfiction masterpiece, Gospel of the Living Dead: George Romero's Visions of Hell on Earth, Kim Paffenroth explores how legendary filmmaker George A. Romero uses the living dead to criticize American society, covering topics from racism to materialism, from individualism to theology. Paffenroth describes and analyzes each movie in separate chapters, and makes comparisons to Dante's Inferno. But most disturbing, he indicates parallels between Romero zombies and humans; I've long known the sharp teeth that can undercut our hearts and consciences, but nothing has exposed our fangs quite like Paffenroth's deft scalpel of analysis. A must read for zombie fans and for those elitists who demean horror movies as thoughtless escapism--Paffenroth has taken a huge step in proving these critics wrong. --D.L. Snell, Editor/Contributor, The Undead: Skin & Bones
The author provides terrific insights into an underexamined facet of American popular culture: the zombie films of George Romero. His grasp of the zombie myth and his analyses of the films should inform all future work on the subject. --David Wellington, author of Monster Island: A Zombie Novel
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