Have you guys noticed how much zombie mania has taken off? I mean, one minute it’s Dawn of the Dead this, Night of the Living Dead that, and then BANG, you’ve got Sean of the Dead, Max Brook’s World War Z, and you’re off. A friend of mine in publishing pointed me at a number of books coming out soon where zombies star as the protagonists, ranging from such improbable setups as high school prom queens to winsome loners who are misunderstood. Misunderstood zombies? WHAT IS THERE TO MISUNDERSTAND? Even given the fact that most of these zombies are really just vampires by another name, it’s ridiculous. Truly, the genre has taken off.

For example, some ten zombie films are being released in 2009, ranging from such hilarious fair as the Norwegian ‘Dead Snow’ where Nazi zombies reanimate and attack eight friends in their holiday cabin, to more somber and Autumn, Canada’s offering in which a group of friends are forced to survive a winter in the zombie infested north. Take a look here at all of the currently scheduled movies–it’s an eye opener.

So why the sudden craze? George Romero got started in the late 60’s, and while there’s been a steady drumbeat of enthusiasm ever since (see Dead Alive, the great remake of Dawn of the Living Dead), things seem to have hit an exponential curve that has sent releases sky rocketing.

General fear engendered by the Bush years? Lack of security in the post-9/11 world? Have vampires and werewolves been worn out, causing the masses to look for the next ghoulish thing to fixate on? I’m not sure. But one thing is for certain: expect more undead shamblings to come your way.

And in my book? That’s a good thing.