What is the big deal about Zombies???

There are lots of things in life I do not understand. I ponder some of them, the others I leave to MYSTERY. One cultural phenomenon that bewilders me currently is the prevalence and popularity of Zombies.
The idea of Zombies is centuries old. There are legends and folklore in many (if not most) cultures concerning the ‘undead’ or ‘walking dead’. But my question is, “What is the big deal about Zombies?” Why is our American culture so fascinated with the ‘undead’?
I see them as disgusting ‘things’ with body parts falling off and obsessed with eating humans (which is gross). But others are attracted and fascinated by them. Why???
I read a paper lately that gives much insight to me about this topic. The thesis in a nutshell is: our culture sees themselves as mindless, will-less, creatures who are controlled by capitalism and not having individual thoughts. The paper says capitalism has driven us to the brink of an apocalypse because we have lost our individuality and our independence. We are in essence ‘the working dead’ not expected to do anything but mindlessly walk around and produce for ‘the man’. Simplistically our culture sees the portrayal of Zombies as symbolic or metaphoric for their ‘hum drum’ lives.
This somewhat helps explain the attraction, so I understand our culture just a little bit more. I need to do a little more sociology and see how the entertainment in our culture is a reflection of our angst.