Today is a historic day. On October 1, there was a massive government shutdown and nightlong terror as millions of citizens boarded themselves into their houses to await the horrors that might come, hoping beyond hope that the dawn light might yet bring the authorities rushing back to action and to their rescue. America trembled and nearly toppled to its knees.
Yes, today is that day. It is the anniversary of that terrifying night of the living dead–Oct 1, 1968–that still, in memory, makes us shudder.
The Night of the Living Dead, bestial and hungry grandmother of the modern zombie movie, was first screened on October 1, 1968.
This is the type of zombie story that I love — dark, deathly serious, brooding, with a healthy wallop of social commentary. And it is still (for me) one of the two most terrifying and fascinating films I have ever seen. I plan on watching it again in honor of this historic occasion.
By the way, if you’re looking for some dark and serious (as opposed to campy) zombie fiction with a healthy wallop of social commentary included — Romero style — then, aside from my own work with The Zombie Bible, I recommend:
- Kim Paffenroth’s Valley of the Dead: The Truth Behind Dante’s Inferno
- Jonathan Maberry’s Rot & Ruin
- Rhiannon Frater’s Fighting to Survive (my favorite in the As The World Dies trilogy)
- Max Brooks’ World War Z
- Roberto Calas’ The Scourge
- Hugh Howey’s I, Zombie
- Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth
These are the seven on my top shelf, and I hope you’ll give them a read. What better way to commemorate the unforgettable and unholy menace of October 1 than to open one of these novels?
Stant Litore is a novelist. He writes about gladiators on tyrannosaurback, Old Testament prophets battling the hungry dead, geneticists growing biological starships, time-traveling hijabi bisexual defenders of humanity from the future. Explore his fiction here. And here is one of his toolkits for writers, and here’s another book where he nerds out about ancient languages and biblical (mis)translation. Enjoy!