In her 1970s and 1980s essays, Susan Sontag wrote about the metaphorical meanings associated with diseases, including AIDS, their influence on human consciousness, and the fact that they are commonly identified with punishment and otherness. Kylo Patrick R. Hart observed in 2000 that classic Hollywood conventions have been used in feature films dealing with HIV/AIDS. Although cinematographers exploit this theme, they present it as a historical moment associated with the last two decades of the 20th century. Furthermore, it is virtually impossible to find actual depictions of any infectious diseases apart from those which are not real. In this article, I am combining and complementing Sontag’s and Hart’s theories to show that the popular figure of zombie depicted in World War Z (dir. Marc Forster, 2013) copies negative stereotypes about certain communities associated to them in connection with the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Keywords: HIV; AIDS; disease; metaphor; zombie; science-fiction; horror; cinema; film