Zombies - The next "soccer moms"
Or not. It does appear, however, that zombies have entered the sphere of social commentary, as a modest horde (15 is a pretty modest horde) stormed American Idol tryouts recently to protest the rotting influence of television and a group of Canadian zombies wandered around Montreal early last month. It was unclear what statement they were making. I expect a throng of zombies to assail Bush's vacation home in Crawford next.
These and other zombie-centric public displays are apparently part of a "zombie renaissance" sweeping the nation. I imagine it can be traced back to 28 Days Later, followed within the last couple of years by several other higher profile zombie movies. I bought the four-disc Dawn of the Dead Ultimate Collection recently and have been watching the different versions of the film with audio commentaries, including mentions of zombie mischief by extras during filming. One of my favorites: while shooting in the Monroeville Mall at night, zombie extras amused themselves by taking photo booth pictures of themselves in full makeup, then replacing the sample photos on the side of the booth with their own to be seen the next day when the mall reopened.
The Gorillaz can also be counted among the latter-day zombie enthusiasts, explaining the frequent zombie references on their albums in this interview with Wired.