"Zombies, man. They creep me out." - Dennis Hopper, Land of the Dead
Of all the horror monster movies I've seen, zombie movies are the one that scare me the most.
I remember when I was a kid how we would rent a lot of Betamax tapes from a local video store in the '80s. My brother and I would go through the tape shelves and come up with a load of cartoons for one-week's worth of watching.
Unfortunately, local practices of Betamax rentals here involve using old tapes and recording over the previous movie with newer stuff. So chances are, after you've finished watching the movie you rented, you're liable to see what had been recorded over once the credits were done.
So one evening, after my brother and I had finished watching several black-and-white episodes of Felix the Cat, we came across a scene from George Romero's original Dawn of the Dead involving two men trying to hot-wire a couple of trucks while ducking the attention of roving zombies. Suffice to say, that scene scarred me for the rest of my life.
Afterwards, I've always had a love-scare relationship with zombie flicks. Oh, I could sit with people and watch zombie movies (or near-zombies like 28 Days Later). However, I could never stand (or sit) still watching them because half the time I'd be freaked out. Hell, I had to watch Shaun of the Dead in two viewings because nobody else would watch it with me.
Still, I like watching horror movies and I had sworn to myself that I'd get over my phobia of zombies. So whenever I got a chance, I'd go and watch one by myself or if with friends. Obviously, I prefer watching them in a home environment rather than at the moviehouse. I'd also prefer to go home while there's still daylight rather than night.
And then the first-person shooter video game Left 4 Dead came along.
As someone who wanted to self-treat myself to deal with zombies (or in the case of the video game, zombie-like monsters), Left 4 Dead was the perfect way to do it. You get to placed in a situation wherein you have to deal with the bastards but you also have the power to do something about them, i.e. shoot them, blow them up, set them on fire, etc. In other words, if before I was only a passive observer trying to learn how not to be afraid (or at least de-sensitize myself), now I could actively kick butts with a Benelli shotgun or a Carbine.
So how am I now? Well, I recently just saw the advertisement for the upcoming Left 4 Dead sequel, Left 4 Dead 2 and man, it's a relief to say now that I'm really excited to play a zombie video game:
Oh, and just in case you people think that it would be funny to play a zombie joke on a lil' ol' cat, just remember what happened to Bill Murray in Zombieland! *rawr!*