This was brought to my attention just this week but, apparently, the debate’s been going on for years: Is the 2002 film “28 Days Later” a zombie movie? I always assumed “yes” because the plot is “infected people start attacking/biting other people, which turns them into zombies (or whatever the infected are).”

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This question came up recently because the screenwriter was asked and HE says it’s a zombie movie.

28 Days Later (2002) Official Trailer - YouTube.com
28 Days Later (2002) Official Trailer - YouTube.com
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In an interview with Empire Online screenwriter Alex Garland says, “I’m aware for years and years of the debate; it’s a zombie movie”.  But, director Danny Boyle is in the “not a zombie movie” camp.  I’m sure Mr. Boyle views it as more of a social commentary which, of course, all GOOD horror movies ARE.

But, people in the “Not a Zombie Movie” camp say that the cannibalistic biter's AREN’T zombies because they aren’t reanimated corpses. They’re living humans who have a disease that makes them ACT like zombies.

Three local zombie experts (or, at least, enthusiastic fans) weigh in.

28 Days Later (2002) Official Trailer - YouTube.com
28 Days Later (2002) Official Trailer - YouTube.com
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Joanna Barba, horror super-fan and MoSho producer:

“Of course, they’re zombies. They do all kinds of zombie s#%!.”

Good point. Also, they don’t do anything BUT zombie s#%!.  When they’re not killing people, it’s not like they’re having picnics or organizing neighborhood watch committees. They’re basically LOOKING for people to kill or they’re kind of shuffling around aimlessly. Classic zombie s#&!.

Photo by Yohann LIBOT on Unsplash
Photo by Yohann LIBOT on Unsplash
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Buzz Adams, MoSho host, and zombie aficionado:

“I don’t buy into the “zombies have to be reanimated dead” argument because that version is only about 50 years old. The corpses coming to life and stalking the living only goes back to the 1968 George Romero classic “Night of the Living Dead”.

Most of what we think of as “zombie canon” originates from that movie. Before that, “zombies” were usually living people who had either been drugged or had a spell cast on them by a voodoo practitioner. The voodoo priest might make it APPEAR that the person had died, but early zombies weren’t typically resurrected corpses.

 

For a GREAT exploration of this theme and possible real-life science behind it, check out the 1988 film “The Serpent and the Rainbow” directed by Wes Craven and based on a non-fiction book by an ethnobotanist who did actual field research. Of course, when I say “original zombies” I’m referring to pop culture of the last 100 years or so. Tales of the dead rising to torment the living go back as far as the ancient Sumerians”.

28 Days Later (2002) Official Trailer - YouTube.com
28 Days Later (2002) Official Trailer - YouTube.com
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Kevin Vargas, Townsquare Media Exec. and HUUUUGE Horror Fan

“ Though it falls into the zombie genre, you could only consider them zombies if it’s a sub-category where infected living people take on zombie-like characteristics. I give the question a subjective “yes” because I put “28 Days Later “ in my box of zombie movies.“

That’s right. Kevin has SO MANY horror movies on tape and DVD that he organizes them by genre…and he put “28 Days” in the zombie box.  Let’s see Danny Boyle argue with that kind of logic!

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