“All of Us are Dead”: Human apathy vs. zombie greed

M. H. Noman, Staff Writer

The message in the first zombie apocalypse movie, Night of the Living Dead (1968), is that zombies are greedy and hungry while humans are compassionate and sympathetic. Many movies worldwide were made about zombies and Korea’s new TV drama, All of Us are Dead, is competing. This drama has caught the attention of the crowd not just solely to the fact that it’s about zombies, but it’s clear emphasis on how kind humanity is and how humans can stand against any danger if working hand in hand. 

With raw physical and mental violence, this TV show is a beautiful and tough exploration of the vulgarity hidden in humans when decisions are based on the choice to be made between life and death. The show takes place at Hyosan High School, when a girl is bitten by a rat infected with a deadly virus. This virus transforms humans into horrifying human-eating machines. 

After the girl gets bitten, she is then held captive in the school science lab by the science teacher who’s behind the creation of this virus. As the entire school and the whole city starts turning into a zombie land, the students are put in a position to try to survive this zombie outbreak. 

Although the drama has elements of  zombie horror, there is a devastating story behind all of the violence that touches on personal loss and death. The choice of life and death is often left to a humanity system built on rules and procedures. Throughout time, humans have been placing each other in little categories to see how each fits in their favored hierarchy and then treat them accordingly. High school students tend to stereotype each individual based on their academic and social abilities. 

Labeling people and prioritizing them can be seen in multiple episodes throughout the drama. The smart girl was saved by the handsome guy, but the teacher was neglected by the students. These examples show how humans, usually unconsciously, treat others based on their category. 

This show parallels actual events happening in real life. The virus portrayed in the series is actually there to tackle a systemic problem that we face as a society: bullying. The virus spreads throughout the school as bullying spreads throughout our society with no mercy. This goes on showing that a small spark can ignite a large fraction of fire that ruins us as humans. And, by working together, we can put this fire out just as the characters in the drama are trying to achieve. 

All of Us are Dead presents devastated characters in the middle of a crisis working together to go back to a normal life. Combined with the horrifying graphics of zombies, this drama employs the setting of a zombie apocalypse to create a sympathetic folklore of loss and grief. With that, the storyline is layered with jealousy, romance, suffering, hostility, and lastly a wave of drama engineered around to achieve quick bursts of comic relief. To simply state it, life isn’t complete nor perfect but gradually gets better with humans standing together. This show truly makes us realize that at the end, life for just a moment is actually very sweet.