You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Opinion

CARLO ROTELLA

Vampires are the 1%, zombies the 99

You might expect that after being repeatedly overrun by hordes of the undead in recent years, we’d need a break. At some point, vampires and zombies will have been bled dry as a cultural resource. But the undead are notoriously hard to kill off, in part because they’re useful tools to think with.

Vampires tend to be elite, foreign, rich, queer, and intellectual. Zombies, by contrast, tend to be lumpen, local, poor, gruntingly conventional in their desires, and stupid. Vampires are cartoonish one-percenters, in other words, and zombies are cartoonish ninety-niners. If whenever you see a vampire you think “elite” and whenever you see a zombie you think “the masses,” even splatter-by-numbers genre exercises can get more interesting.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week