I’m sure someone has already noted this, and far better than I can here; but since I don’t have an editor, I can write what I want.
Back in the ’50s many of the science fiction movies were based on the predominant cultural anxieties. Atomic bombs yielding giant creatures, “aliens” among us (communists).
I was wondering why zombies and vampires are so popular these days. They were all rather quaint and not very frightening when I was growing up. But I think they reflect the dominant cultural anxieties today.
Vampires reflect corporations. They’re “undead” - they’re “people” but they don’t “die” like real people do. They need our blood to feed themselves. They’re sexy and romantic because we’re still enamored with capitalist culture of gleaming corporate offices, expensive clothes, expensive cars, the best restaurants. Plus, sex sells.
Zombies I’m not sure about. Either they’re mindless corporations, chiefly banks, that aren’t sexy and want to eat our brains and are relentless in pursuing us (I’m thinking of people undergoing foreclosure here, or afraid of foreclosure).
Or perhaps they’re a fear of the swelling underclass as the middle class is consumed by the vampire corporations above.
Either way, zombies and vampires are a manifestation of the current cultural anxiety and it’s chiefly economic, not political or scientific.
I still don’t like zombie or vampire movies. Give me a giant bug or lizard anytime.