I don’t see that many zombie children in movies. Most of the zombie movies I’ve seen have one or two token kids, but what about a whole schoolhouse filled with them? Something must have happened to the children. Something must have made them all disappear. Or is it that film producers shy away from such a scene knowing parent groups may rebel against such a movie?
My Monday Mayhem series wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t talk about such a controversial subject as children in zombie movies. I say controversial because of the ramifications a film may possess if kids became the focus of a zombie apocalypse.
If the opening scene of 2004’s Dawn of the Dead is any indication, I can see why movie studios would repel ideas depicting children as undead corpses craving human flesh. Although the producers presented the notion in a tasteful matter (no pun intended), the fact of the matter lies with the question posed, “What do we do with the kids when they’ve completed their task?” Of course, the answer to that dilemma has more to do with the answer to the same question exchanging the word “kids” with “adults”. And we all know what happens to zombies when their turn is up.
I’m sure the decision not to include more zombie children in movies has to do more with child labor laws than creative license. For instance, hiring a child in a movie involves having that child work limited hours, whereas adults can work round-the-clock. Also, there’s the moral question that would come into play portraying kids in a bad light. Would it benefit or detract from the production if a child has blood dripping from its mouth?
Again, if the production has one child to work with, the director could utilize some creative means in order to not represent the scene in a most brutal and gruesome way. Dawn of the Dead does a good job at that.
What if, though, it wasn’t one child? What if the script called for a whole schoolhouse filled with them, as I had mentioned? What kind of logistical problems would that pose for the production?
Given each child actor would probably have to sign a contract, the parents or guardians would probably do their best to ensure their child does not commit something that would present them in a unfavorable light. This would otherwise pave the way for a lawsuit, should any of the children do anything beyond their stringent agreement with the studios.
And the schoolhouse filled with children, what happens to them?
It’s an idea that may never come to fruition, given the legal nightmare such a scene would present.
Therefore, we may never see that schoolhouse scene in the theater. Or anywhere else, for that matter. But at least we have zombie movies that can still cause heads to turn (no pun intended).
What do you think of a group of children attacking an unsuspecting victim on the street? Do you think it’s something you’ll like to see in a movie?