The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

The New Zombie Rights Campaign Rating System

Here at The Zombie Rights Campaign we have long striven to bring you in-depth analysis of the latest trends and threats facing the Differently Animated both here in America and abroad. A large part of that noble endeavor has necessarily constituted of the review of works in popular media and scholarship for their content as relates to the issues of Zombie Rights and Undead Equality. However, in recent weeks it has become apparent to me that the ZRC needed a simpler yet more objectively rigorous, systematic approach toward appraising these cultural works and objects.

Thus within the ZRC media labs we have been hard at work developing a new system to evaluate and communicate the relative Zombie Friendliness (or, unfortunately, the lack thereof) in a given piece of media, and to relate this rating to the public in a more digestible and timely fashion.

Have no fear, dedicated scholars of Zombie Liberation; the ZRC shall continue to provide lengthy critical analysis of many works, integrated into the new system. At the same time, though, our new and streamlined process will allow you, the reader, to obtain vital information with a mere glance, and us to place a given work in the greater cultural zeitgeist so as to appraise its relative appropriateness to The Cause with greater ease.

Now, on to the new ratings!

Zombie Friendly: The Way to Be!

The Zombie Friendly Rating is applied to works that meet the ZRC’s strict standards for portrayals of the Differently Animated in all regards and present a truly nuanced and empathetic look at the plight of the Differently Animated, to the extent applicable in the medium and context. A Zombie Friendly rating does not imply appropriateness for all ages and audiences; rather, it says that, on the issue of Zombies, you will get a fair hearing and a sympathetic ear from the creators of this particular work or product.

Notable Examples: Creepshow, Atomic Age Cinema 2: Atomic Boogaloo, Fallout 3

Zombie Tolerant: Beats a swift kick in the head!

The Zombie Tolerant Rating reflects a creative work where Zombies are treated without particular rancor, but with perhaps insufficient sensitivity or compassion. Minimal ignorance and prejudice might have filtered into the final product, or negative stereotypes incorrectly informed its plot or characterization, without actual malice being present. The people behind a Zombie Tolerant work tried hard, but still fell short of the goal somehow.

Examples: Deadpool Merc with a Mouth, George’s Intervention (a Dark Carnival 2009 Alumnus and pretty solid film)

Zombie Neutral: It could be worse (and often is)

The Zombie Neutral rating applies to both creative works that feature Zombies in neither a particularly negative nor positive light as well as those that lack meaningful Zombie participation, without going out of their way to avoid the Differently Animated (ala the absence of minority actors in 50s sitcoms) and thus becoming a whitewash of the problems in our society. Anything from a product with only passing mentions of the Undead to a nature documentary on rattlesnakes might fall under this classification, though in general we won’t go out of our own way to review media with no connection to The Cause.

Examples: Madworld (video game), The Loving Dead (short film at last year’s Dark Carnival)

Anti-Zombie: Not Friendly At All, Really

The Anti-Zombie rating is given to works that are truly offensive to the Differently Animated, featuring hateful stereotypes and rampant prejudice against Zombies (without becoming so grossly distasteful as to receive our LS rating) Tasteless jokes about brain-eating, casual violence against the Undead, an almost complete lack of empathy, cruelty and mockery are all present in your typical Anti-Zombie creative work. Anti-Zombie works are sometimes slightly leavened with a tiny amount of sympathy for the Undead, or the notion of a peaceful ‘separate but equal’ existence apart from the Undead.

The ZRC recommends avoiding an Anti-Zombie product; we specifically watch/read/play these things so that you don’t have to, after all.

Examples: Plants vs Zombies, Shaun of the Dead, The Littlest Zombie (comic book)

Living Supremacist: Uggh

Works rated Living Supremacist are, in regard to Zombie Rights, the very worst of the worst. Not just hateful, as in Anti-Zombie rated products, Living Supremacist media go beyond urging that you hate and fear the Undead into agitating toward their complete subjugation or annihilation. Common themes amongst items rated LS include the ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ full of unthinking, unfeeling automatons dedicated to your messy destruction, and/or the ‘Us or Them’ zero sum game where, by the very nature of Zombification, one side or the other must necessarily be annihilated. Zombies found in LS works are utterly inhuman and treated as being beneath contempt.

If something is rated LS then we urge you in the strongest possible terms to avoid supporting it with your time and money, but if you must, the ZRC implores you to please keep these dangerous works out of the hands of children and other impressionable individuals.

Examples: Any of George Romero’s ‘Living Dead’ movies; Return of the Living Dead 1 and 2; Resident Evil (all), Left 4 Dead, 28 Days Later and many, many others

Finally, for works that are yet to be rated, particularly those longer creative forms like videogames that the ZRC might wish to discuss while a review is in progress, we have the Pending rating, which indicates that the material being discussed is.. pending a rating. Pretty simple really.

Pending: We're getting to it!

This system is still a work in progress of course, but we here at The Zombie Rights Campaign feel that it represents a great step forward toward standardizing the process of rating creative material for its Zombie-related content, and hope to one day see it prominently used, in the manner of the MPAA or ESRB ratings, to help patrons make informed choices with how they spend their time and money.

To that end, anyone whose work has received an official ZRC rating receives from the Zombie Rights Campaign a waiver to use the applicable ratings image to promote the rated work to (or warn off) potential consumers; this necessarily includes commercial works.

Higher resolution images of these ratings will be posted soon for use in this fashion, and additional help is readily available upon request.

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


One Response to “The New Zombie Rights Campaign Rating System”

  1. Ena Linko says:

    Useful info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident, and I am surprised why this coincidence didn’t came about earlier! I bookmarked it.

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