Quote notes (#23)
Zonbi Diaspora schematizes the ‘evolution’ of the zombie, noting that beyond its ‘Haitian Folkloric’ definition:
The next and ostensibly “revolutionary” stage occurs after the release of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) which introduced, in spectacular fashion, the Apocalyptic Cannibal zombie. This version of the figure is so radically different from its predecessors that it is more like a fundamental bifurcation point (or species-break) within the complex. No longer a remotely controlled agent-without-autonomy, like the Haitian Folkloric and Classical Cinematic zombies, the Apocalyptic Cannibal zombie gains a new and massively insurrectionary force (in representational terms at least). There are many differences between the AC zombie and its predecessors but one of the most important is that in this form it becomes an (almost) entirely fictional entity (i.e. there is no assumed ‘real’ zombie lurking in the basement of a mad mesmerist or labouring mindlessly for a bokor on some Haitian plantation). As such its social and political meanings become less a way of rehearsing conflicting world views, “uncanny” belief systems or inter-cultural epistemes than a way of representing the terminal ends of “humanity” (or the human being as species).
(By the time we reach Max Brooks, this phase and even its ‘Post-Millennial’ successor — in which the theme of contagion is accentuated — have been resiliently consolidated as cultural tradition.)