Rape-Zombies, Because Why Not?

Just stumbled across this story, which reveals an important plot point of the in-development, Zack Snyder-produced film ARMY OF THE DEAD–specifically, that the zombies reproduce by raping human women. And while I don’t think that alone is enough to qualify it as “the most vile zombie film of all time,” it certainly makes me wonder about the movie’s intentions.

Verisimilitude notwithstanding, this concept sounds like a desperate attempt to be “edgy,” confusing shocking, borderline offensive storytelling with genuine narrative audacity. I’ve defended rape as a plot device before, and will continue to do so in the future, but this article suggests a further flogging of the monster-as-rapist/woman-as-victim cliche that’s thoroughly run its course.

Of course, there could be a legitimate reason for this story twist, and no information is given as to how the sexual assault will be presented; it could be handled with delicacy and restraint, and although the film sounds like it could use RAPE-ZOMBIES THAT RAPE as an alternative title, it may not even be a significant plot point. (Just now it occurs to me the whole thing may be a scheme to generate internet buzz to spur the film into production–in which case, good work, fellas.) But given filmmaker Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s handling of THE THING prequel/remake, which overlooked thematic depth and understanding of its source material in lieu of fawning fanboy recreation, and Snyder’s propensity for slick, fetishized portrayals of female characters, I’m not especially optimistic.

I’d like to see this hoary trope take a nice, long break. At least the zombie baby in Peter Jackson’s BRAINDEAD was the result of consensual zombie sex.

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