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Beyond Good and Evil
by James Shafie

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When the dead walk, they demand to be unionized!

When the dead walk, they demand to be unionized!
The other day, my brother-in-law told me about a movie with an interesting take on the zombie genre. The movie was called LES REVENANTS, or in English, THEY CAME BACK. The basic plot was that the dead of a French town come back to life, but aren't looking to eat brains and mutilate the living. They just want their old lives back. A cool twist on a genre that is somewhat limited in terms of creativity.

This got me thinking on how a family of one of these "zombies" must feel. Would they invite them back without any hesitation, or be wary of what they have become? What if it wasn't zombies, but a brother that becomes a werewolf or a vampire? How does morality and family values work with such horrific qualities?

The film 28 DAYS LATER portrays a very realistic image of family and horror. A disease goes around turning people into ghastly killing machines. Do you kill them? Could you is the better question. The need to kill a loved one is, to many, the worst position one could be in. A lot of people would rather die themselves than have to go through the agony of that.

Also, the question of right and wrong comes into play. Is there such a thing as "Good" and "Evil"? To ones who believe so, answers should be relatively easy to come by, if relatives start gnawing on their various bodily components. If such a thing, even if it was at one time a family member, is evil, it needs to be destroyed. But what of those who aren't too sure? The question of what to do
Plans are pointless. Staying alive is as good as it gets.

"Plans are pointless. Staying alive is as good as it gets."
is beyond daunting, it's a matter of life and death. They might have kill them just survive. Think of the aftermath though, the guilt, the emotional distress. Could a person cope with that?

Perhaps killing isn't necessary. In SHAUN OF THE DEAD, a character keeps his friend who has turned into a zombie as a kind of pet. In DAY OF THE DEAD, Bub, a zombie, is trained like an animal, and learns basic right and wrong. With werewolves though, the person become a savage animal, a beast who kills without hesitation. Do you risk trying to keep them contained when they turn, or do away with them?

And what if YOU become something horrible? Would you want to be kept alive, with a chance of hurting the ones you care for? Or would you want to be put down, so as to not cause others harm? This is much like the debate over euthanasia, whether it's right to let people choose when they want to die if they have a terrible disease.

In life, the ones who mean the most to us are the hardest to let go of. But it is inevitable that one day we must. To let go might seem easy compared to these questions I've posed though. And I make these questions, but I don't give the answers because, well, I can't answer them. I don't think anyone can. Not yet at least. The questioning of our morality means nothing until a situation arises where our values and principles are put to the test.

Evil might exist in human nature, but does it even matter if the person embodying it is you love?

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The Lair of the Mad
Every other Tuesday

'The Lair' discusses the many aspects and qualities of the horror genre. From actors, to make-up, to music, James Shafie explores everything the "cult" genre spews up.

Other Columns
Other columns by James Shafie:

Speaking Out

Yearn For Change

Queen of Night

Too Close Enough To Touch

The Time of the Beasts

All Columns

James Shafie
James Shafie is an avid watcher of movies of all sorts, but the horror genre is closest to his heart. He loves to read and is addicted to music, mostly metal and itís thousands of sub-genres. He was once fired by Blockbuster, which we see as a strong character trait.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to James Shafie by clicking here.

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