By George Fenn
Framed as a lecture, complete with lectern and slide show, Zombocalypse delivers on its learning objectives and provides an alternative view of world history, popular culture and current events through the lens of worldwide zombie conspiracy. As a fellow self certified zombie academic I feel it would be appropriate to approach this response in the fashion of peer review to meet the show’s educational form.
This presentation ingeniously adapts to the saturation of zombie fiction in our entertainment, looking to popular shows such as The Walking Dead, Zombieland and World War Z as cannon and part of the international conspiracy to educate the population for the Zombocalypse.
However, referencing could have been clearer. As the concept of Black Zones is never linked to the source text, World War Z by Max Brooks, potentially leading the audience to credit it to the Professor. This being said the lectures extension of this concept and its application to the current political climate is well executed and brings insight on a local and international scale.
This is where the show shines, linking what we already know about zombies to real events. A very interesting concept is Historical Tragedy Denial through Zombie Conspiracy. These moments were successful in the novelty, however was a concept which did not require as thorough an explanation due to genocide being kind of a downer.
While the Humanities and Geographic parts of the presentation is well researched and cogent, the presenter may want to revise Nervous System Pathology. It is stated that the Z virus only reboots the motor functions of the zombified brain and the part of the hypothalamus controlling uncontrollable hungry. However it is stated that the zombies can see, hear, smell and sense pressure, which are all sensory functions, integrated in parts of the brain outside of the motor functions.
That being said I feel the greatest purpose of science fiction discourse is argueing, which this show nails on the head. I would have liked an opportunity to respond during the performance but like most arguments of this subject it will take place online.
To read more about Zombocalypse: Conspiracy, Trump and New Zealand the Super Power, head to the Nelson Fringe Festival website here.