Of Zombies and Heroes

Hey all, I hope you’re having a wonderful time. I would like to start this post with two disclaimers: 1) this post will be rather theological, so if you don’t like that stuff, don’t get offended; and 2) I will be talking about the movie Warm Bodies a bit, so if you don’t want to know the ending, stop reading now. 

I can see that I’ve thoroughly confused you. What does theology have to do with Warm Bodies? It will all make sense, dear readers. I promise. 

So, you have probably heard of the term, living dead. It’s used to describe things like zombies and vampires and sometimes Ringwraiths (for the purposes of this blog post, I will mostly be focusing on zombies). But you may not have heard the term used to describe people. Now I’ve really confused you. Let me elaborate.

We are broken creatures. Nobody is perfect; we are all given lives that will take us through failure and pain. It’s just a fact of life. And from a theological angle, we may be physically alive, but most of us are spiritually dead. We are the living dead. And you can take that in a lot of different directions, but I’m going to shoot for zombies.

Why do we have such a fascination with zombies? Because we see our spiritual selves reflected in their physical bodies. Of course, zombies lend themselves to many different venues, so they also make for excellent creators of suspense or points of conflict in movies and books and even haunted houses. But what gets us the most is that “living dead” characteristic. It’s a paradox. We love paradoxes. We love anything that messes with our minds. And when it’s a paradox buried inside of our souls, it becomes almost irresistible. 

“Cool,” you say, “but what about all the other things we like? What about superheroes, and hobbits, and all of our childhood heroes? They don’t have that paradox.”

You see, we’re fascinated with zombies because we see ourselves in them. But we love heroes because we long to see ourselves in them. We want redemption. We want to be good and true and loving. We want to be soon for the good creatures that we are, not the broken ones. 

That’s what makes Warm Bodies such good literature for this blog post. Because Warm Bodies isn’t just a zombie movie. It’s a beautiful picture of redemption of those that look as if they have no hope. Most of us probably focus on the adorable love story in Warm Bodies (did you notice all those Romeo and Juliet allusions?), but it’s really about the liberation of those in bondage to a condition that they did not choose. 

So, we may be fascinated with zombies, but we really want to be modeled after the heroes. We want to know that good triumphs over evil, that justice reigns, and that all will live in peace. After all the blood and gore and suspense, we want to rest, knowing that all is well.

Epylle Spydre

p.s. here’s a really cool song to go with the post. Jonathan Thulin is way underrated, so you should check out more of his stuff (the “Bombs Away” and “Babylon” music videos are particularly fabulous). 

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