Simon Pegg blames Michael Jackson for ruining zombie movies
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Simon Pegg has an, um, interesting theory about zombie films, stating that they were ruined by Michael Jackson.
The 53-year-old actor made the tongue-in-cheek comment when discussing modern horror films, claiming that the genre bit the dust after the Eighties because of Jackson.
However, we hardly think this is fair given that Shaun of the Dead wasn’t released until 2004 and is arguably still one of the best zombie films ever made.
Made on a shoestring budget of only $6.1 million (£4.9m), Pegg wrote the film with his long-time collaborator Edgar Wright about struggling electronics salesman Shaun.
Together with Nick Frost as Ed, the trio would create the hilarious horror about the flatmates surviving the unthinkable: the zombie apocalypse.
Facing certain death, Shaun must overcome the odds to rescue his ex-girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashford) and his mum Barbara (Penelope Wilton) from the ever-increasing undead hordes.
Part zombie film and part buddy comedy, the British flick became a cult classic and grossed over $37 million (£30m) at the box office.
Despite this, Pegg still claims that the zombie genre has never recovered after Michael Jackson released his iconic 'Thriller' music video in 1983.
The classic video features Jackson as an undead version of himself, complete with prosthetics and bright yellow eyes as he dances under the moonlight.
In a book about Shaun of The Dead’s production, Pegg says it’s this rather unthreatening version of the zombie which ruined the genre.
Writing in the foreword of You’ve Got Red on You, he tells readers: “They went quiet after Michael Jackson’s 'Thriller'. Everyone had seen zombies body-popping, and it took the wind out of their scary sails.”
The Mission: Impossible actor revealed that he turned to video games such as Resident Evil for the basis of the 2004 film.
He wrote: “They became something of a joke, and the zombie genre went a bit dormant.
"It came back to life, if you’ll pardon the pun, with the Resident Evil games. And that’s what inspired us.”
While we wouldn’t want to argue with Pegg over his area of expertise, we can’t help but notice that some of the best zombie films actually came out after Jackson’s music video.
This includes another iconic British zombie horror 28 Days Later, which was released in 2002 and was one of director Danny Boyle’s early films, and even this year's adaptation of The Last of Us.
Looks like the zombie genre has come back with a bite, eh Simon?