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Better Off DeadThe Evolution of the Zombie as Post-Human$
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Deborah Christie and Sarah Juliet Lauro

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234462

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234462.001.0001

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Slacker Bites Back: Shaun of the Dead Finds New Life for Deadbeats

Slacker Bites Back: Shaun of the Dead Finds New Life for Deadbeats

(p.163) Chapter 10 Slacker Bites Back: Shaun of the Dead Finds New Life for Deadbeats
Better Off Dead

Lynn Pifer

Fordham University Press

This chapter looks at one of the landmark films that constitutes the emergent category of the New Millennium zombie, but, as is illustrated here, it draws on the ancient model of the hero's quest in order to capture the spirit of a new generation. The 2004 comedy Shaun of the Dead is part spoof, part serious zombie film, part romantic comedy, but it is mainly the story of an unlikely hero who represents the millennial generation's resistance to conform to notions of responsible maturity. As society crumbles all around the protagonists in working class London, Shaun, a man pushing 30 but still unwilling to “grow up,” must reconsider the way he has positioned himself in late capitalist society. The chapter draws upon theories of the monster and the hero in order to illustrate what this film says about contemporary understandings of each; and investigate the ways that Shaun, as Slacker hero, repositions the genre of the zombie film.

Keywords:   Hero's Quest, Slackers, Generation X, monsters, capitalism, zombie

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