A Cuban Zombie Nation?: Monsters in Havana



This chapter analyses the animated film, Vampiros en La Habana (Juan Padrón 1985), and its sequel, Más vampiros en La Habana (2003), alongside Cuba’s first zombie comedy, Juan de los Muertos (Alejando Brugués 2011). Figures of the undead that trouble distinctions between presence and absence, zombies and vampires are also transnational cultural icons that are reanimated in a way that comments on Cuba’s particular relationship with consumption, production, capitalism, and survival. Paying attention to space, humour, and genre, this chapter argues that, although these monsters make visible the spectral threats of difference that haunt island identity, they also motivate the defensive reassertion of Cubanness. Far from being fantastic, then, monsters screen something very Real and ultimately inherent to Cuban national identity: a central void that structures and makes possible the very survival of identity itself.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Modern LanguagesNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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