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Zombies, there back again.

A new version of the zombie, distinct from that described in Haitian folklore, has also emerged in popular culture in recent decades. This "zombie" is taken largely from George A. Romero's seminal film Night of the Living Dead, which was in turn partly inspired by Richard Matheson's 1954 novel
I Am Legend.
The word zombie is not used in Night of the Living Dead, but was applied later by fans. 
The monsters in the film and its sequels, such as Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead, as well as its many inspired works, such as Return of the Living Dead and Zombi 2, are usually hungry for human flesh, although Return of the Living Dead introduced the popular concept of zombies eating brains. 
The "zombie apocalypse" concept, in which the civilized world is brought low by a global zombie infestation, became a staple of modern popular art.

Modern fiction In film and television
See also: List of zombie films

Films featuring zombies have been a part of cinema since the 1930s, with White Zombie (directed by Victor Halperin in 1932) being one of the earliest examples.
 With George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead(1968), the zombie trope began to be increasingly linked to consumerism and consumer culture. Today, zombie films are released with such regularity (at least 55 titles were released in 2014 alone) that they can be viewed as a separate subgenre of Horror film.

Voodoo-related zombie themes have also appeared in espionage or adventure themed works outside the horror genre. For example, the original "Jonny Quest" series (1964) and the James Bond novel and movie Live and Let Die both feature Caribbean villains who falsely claim the voodoo power of zombification in order to keep others in fear of them.

Romero's reinvention of zombies is notable in terms of its thematics; he used zombies not just for their own sake, but as a vehicle "to criticize real-world social ills—such as government ineptitude, bioengineering, slavery, greed and exploitation—while indulging our post-apocalyptic fantasies".
 Night was the first of six films in Romero's Living Dead series. Its first sequel, Dawn of the Dead, was released in 1978.

Lucio Fulci's Zombi 2 was released just months after Dawn of the Dead as an ersatz sequel (Dawn of the Dead was released in several other countries as Zombi or Zombie)

1980s and 1990sThe 1981 film Hell of the Living Dead referenced a mutagenic gas as a source of zombie contagion: an idea also used in Dan O'Bannon's 1985 film Return of the Living Dead
Return of the Living Dead featured zombies that hungered specifically for brains.

The mid-1980s produced few zombie films of note. Perhaps the most notable entry, 
The Evil Dead series, while highly influential are not technically zombie films but films about demonic possession, despite the presence of the undead. 1985's Re-Animator, loosely based on the Lovecraft story, stood out in the genre, achieving nearly unanimous critical acclaim, and becoming a modest success, nearly outstripping Romero's Day of the Dead for box office returns.

After the mid-1980s, the subgenre was mostly relegated to the underground. Notable entries include director Peter Jackson's ultra-gory film Braindead (1992) (released as Dead Alive in the U.S.), Bob Balaban's comic 1993 film My Boyfriend's Back where a self-aware high school boy returns to profess his love for a girl and his love for human flesh, and Michele Soavi's Dellamorte Dellamore (1994) (released as Cemetery Man in the U.S.). Several years later, zombies experienced 
a renaissance in low-budget Asian cinema, with a sudden spate of dissimilar entries including Bio Zombie (1998), Wild Zero (1999), Junk (1999), Versus (2000) and Stacy (2001).

2000s and 2010s
The turn of the millennium coincided with a decade of box-office successes in which the zombie subgenre experienced a resurgence: the Resident Evil movies (2002, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012), the British films 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later (2002, 2007) the Dawn of the Dead remake and the comedy/pastiche Shaun of the Dead (both 2004). The new interest allowed Romero to create the fourth entry in his zombie series:Land of the Dead, released in the summer of 2005. Romero returned to the series with the films Diary of the Dead (2008) and Survival of the Dead (2010).
Generally, the zombies in these shows are the slow, lumbering and unintelligent kind first made popular in Night of the Living Dead. Motion pictures created within the 2000s, however, like the Dawn of the Dead remake, and House of the Dead, have featured zombies that are more agile, vicious, intelligent, and stronger than the traditional zombie. An alternate take on the zombie was 2013's film (and book) Warm Bodies, where the zombie has consciousness and some intelligence.

In 2013, the AMC series The Walking Dead had the highest audience ratings in the United States for any show on broadcast or cable with an average of 5.6 million viewers in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic.

The New Era - Smombie

A "smombie" is a walking person using a smartphone (or mobile phone) and not paying attention as they walk, possibly risking an accident in the process.

The term is derived from a combination of "smartphone" and "zombie". 
The word has become popular in Germany. It has been used as a hashtag on Twitter.
 The phenomenon has led to the creation of a "mobile lane" for mobile phone users walking in the city centre of Chongqing, China.

Zombie apocalypse
Intimately tied to the concept of the modern zombie is the "zombie apocalypse"; the breakdown of society as a result of an initial zombie outbreak that spreads. 
This archetype has emerged as a prolific subgenre of apocalyptic fiction and has been portrayed in many zombie-related media after Night of the Living Dead.
In a zombie apocalypse, a widespread (usually global) rise of zombies hostile to human life engages in a general assault on civilization. Victims of zombies may become zombies themselves. 
This causes the outbreak to become an exponentially growing crisis: the spreading phenomenon swamps normal military and law enforcement organizations, leading to the panicked collapse of civilized society until only isolated pockets of survivors remain, scavenging for food and supplies in a world reduced to a pre-industrial hostile wilderness.

Due to a large number of thematic films and video games, the idea of a zombie apocalypse has entered the mainstream, and many fans have begun making efforts to prepare for the hypothetical future zombie apocalypse.
Such efforts include creating weapons and selling educational material informing people how to survive a zombie outbreak; while most of these are tongue-in-cheek and do not represent an authentic belief that a zombie apocalypse in the near future is likely, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have used the fictional scenario to demonstrate survival and emergency-preparedness techniques that may be useful in a "real-world" setting. Likewise, "Death and Taxes and Zombies” is a "playful examination of serious tax-code issues from a refreshing perspective."

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