Zombies versus Vampires: Battle of the recession monsters

In 2009, the fangs are bared. Everywhere you look, it seems like a vampire flick is either in pre-production, post-production, or a theater. New Moon, the long-awaited sequel to 2008's Twilight, is scheduled to come out around Thanksgiving, and the third movie in the series, Eclipse, is already being shot for a 2010 release. Meanwhile, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant is in theaters, and HBO's True Blood is reviving discussion of societal prejudice, along with Anna Pacquin's career. Not counting short movies and direct-to-video releases, 43 vampire movies and TV shows are slated for release this year.

It seems like only yesterday that zombies held the top spot in the pop-culture pyramid. With Shaun of the Dead's shambling undead parodying the mindless grind of modern life, and 28 Days Later's quarantined safe zones offering a thinly-veiled criticism of the military, zombies were the go-to metaphor for pop culture junkies. Now, however, they are fighting for position against an army of big-screen bloodsuckers.