Scary Motherfucker: The home of Vincent Stark.
Voodoo, a religion of many gods, is basically a mixture of African tribal cults, Christianity and a little classical Egyptian mythology. And even today for the people of Haiti, it is a very real religion.
It was from voodoo mythology that the zombie legend sprung. Voodoo was a major element in 1932's White Zombie directed by Victor Halperin, and it was this movie that first made zombies popular with cinema audiences. When viewed today the movie is a little creaky and Lugosi's performance is way too big, but nevertheless it is perhaps one of the most important movies in the development of horror's zombie sub-genre. And along with Val Lewton's I Walked with a Zombie and Hammer Films' Plague of the Zombies, the movie is one of the best remembered of the classic zombie movies.
Voodoo originally developed clandestinely, much like early Christianity, because of fear of persecution. In 1929 William Seabrook published the first real study of voodoo, The Magic Island. Seabrook was an American Occultisty, self-confessed cannibal, explorer and journalist. In this book he wrote about the culte des mortes (Cult of the Dead) and of Baron Samedi who is the spirit of the graveyard and controls the dead. This legend was used extensively in the James Bond novel and movie, Live and Let Die.
However it was in 1968 that the modern zombie was born - George A. Romero's, Night of the Living Dead not only revolutionised horror cinema but it rewrote the mythology of the zombie. Virtually every zombie movie, book, comic and computer game since owes a huge debt to Romero's updating of the zombie mythos. No longer were zombies steeped in the supernatural but were now the result of man - experiments, viruses, nuclear fallout have all been used as reasons for zombie outbreaks at one time or another.
These days zombies are everywhere - Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later, The Walking Dead are just three of the many modern zombie variations that can be truthfully called classics.
Later this year I, too, will take a bite out of the zombie genre with the publication of my novel, The Dead Walked. I've roped in the legendary artist, Tony Masero to do the artwork. I'm especially pleased with Tony's involvement since his work has graced covers of many a classic paperback - that's Tony's work on the novels pictured.
Check out his website HERE, and speaking of Tony, keep an eye on this website for an all new zombie based online comic strip drawn by Tony and scripted by myself in the very near future. And it'll be free to you lovely folks - it's all part of the build up to the publication of The Dead Walked...
The Dead Walked by Vincent Stark
Coming late summer 2011