27 October 2012


Locus Focus: Take Eighty-Two!

Welcome to the Burial Grounds Challenge:
The Movie Edition!

Can you believe the month is almost over??? Let's look at where we've been . . .

I opened the Burial Grounds challenge with an ancient tomb, moved on to a newly filled grave, wandered into a cemetery where the dead are safe from sharks, and am now topping everything off with a graveyard where no one is safe from the dead.

There must have been a million movie burial grounds to choose from, even if I hadn't decided to limit myself to Horror films; but in the end, I knew I had to stay true to my roots. And I think I have the perfect cemetery.

Evans City Cemetery
Night of the Living Dead

"They're coming to get you, Barbara! . . . They're coming for you! . . . Look! There's one of them now!"

Of all the ironic pranks to pull in a graveyard. LOL!

Now that we are living in the golden age of Zombie Horror, it is easy to dismiss a cemetery setting as too predictable, or even too literal. We're experienced viewers; we know that zombies are the undead and don't need to have tombstones and gravesites shoved in our faces. Besides, it's a lot more edgy to have zombies in regular places. It's almost a Hipster thing. (Disgusting, I know.)

So now I'd like to stand up for the cemetery as a setting by referencing one of the most famous cemeteries in Horror cinema. You see, it's not just logical that a zombie outbreak would begin at a burial ground; it's also chilling. If there's one thing we expect the dead to do, it is to rest. And zombies defy that expectation more thoroughly than ghosts ever have. A ghost, you see, just has a bit of "unfinished business" that we the living can take care of for it, in order to help it "cross over." There is no similar mercy that can be shown a zombie. A ghost wants peace; a zombie only wants brains.

And for many of us, the second thing we expect the dead to do is to rise again to eternal life. But while one Resurrection is the great sign of our faith, there are other resurrections that send quite a different message.

Long after the novelty of zombies rampaging through an amusement park to the beat of the calliope music has worn off, all the frightening connotations of the undead walking past their own grave markers will still have its icy hold on our hearts.

Do you have a setting you'd like to share?
Link it up in the combox and I'll leave you a comment! =)

Read Belfry Bat's post about a "berryin' ground" from Bleak House by Charles Dickens!

Image Source: Night of the Living Dead screen cap


Belfry Bat said...

Here's one for you!
Where rests our departed brother.

Paul Stilwell said...

"...it's not just logical that a zombie outbreak would begin at a burial ground; it's also chilling."

The Night of the Living Dead gets across the scariness of zombies better than other in my opinion. The film just has a kind of evocation. I think Romero went wrong with the gore of Dawn and Day. Though I used to be a fan.

Enbrethiliel said...


Bat -- Thank you! =D

Stilwell -- I watched Day of the Dead again last year and inevitably ended up comparing it to the TV series The Walking Dead. Both are not so much Zombie Horror movies as Dramas set in post-apocalyptic worlds--a premise that must be fascinating for people who are in the most "advanced" (in a matter of speaking) civilisation in history. (I don't know, though. I think Atlantis could have given us a run for our money. =P)

A woman I know who grew up in the Dominican Republic said she is amazed at how many Americans think that if the entire power grid of the United States went down, the country would descend into chaos and anarchy. And a man I know once pointed out that even in the most "lawless" parts of the Old West, crime was so infrequent that everybody could name all the wanted men at any time. Compare that to how many people today can name all the senators or congressmen at any time. So the easiest way to make the post-apocalyptic fantasy stand up in its scariness is to throw some zombies into it.

But I don't think "hipster zombies" are the undead as much as they are other people. =P Which makes them the perfect counterpoint to the premise of actually having to interact with our neighbours instead of finding "ideal" friends on the Web. (Yes, I know I'm lobbing rocks from my glass castle.)