The LibraryThing Blog kindly--or unkindly, take your pick--points us in the direction of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a reworking of P&P with...yes...zombies. (The write-up promises "the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action.") I believe that zombification might be just what English departments need: a sure-fire strategy for revivifying (so to speak) the canon! For example:
Oliver Twist. This workhouse conceals a deadly secret: it turns innocent orphans into rampaging zombies. When little Oliver arrives and asks for "more," he doesn't realize just what's in that gruel. But the zombified Oliver remains irresistibly adorable--so much so that he manages to suck out everyone's brains before they can say "awwww."
Jane Eyre. We all know that if you get in Jane Eyre's way, you die. However, this new take on an old classic reveals the awful truth: Lowood School incubates a virus that transforms young girls into the ravenous undead. Although Jane Eyre thinks that Helen Burns died of consumption, Helen actually spends the novel magically attracted to Jane's vicinity. Expressing her love for Jane in the only way she now can, Helen devours anyone who ever insults, assaults, or otherwise disses her one-time school chum. Notably, the grand climax offers us a very different reason for Mr. Rochester's missing hand.
Middlemarch. Young Dr. Lydgate arrives in Middlemarch after being alerted to a mysterious outbreak of the walking dead. Unfortunately, he is too absorbed in his experiments to notice that his lovely new wife doesn't just appear brainless. In the meantime, the Rev. Casaubon, worried about the progress of his scholarly work on mythology, concludes that a new infusion of brains might be just what he needs.
He Knew He Was Right. In this sensitive novel about obsession, a young man becomes convinced that his new wife is actually a zombie who desires nothing else than to rend him limb from limb. His wife and family all try to convince him of his error, but to no avail. Meanwhile, he fails to notice that his best friend's conversation has become suspiciously monotonous, turning as it does on the best method for preparing brains. (Fricasseeing? Frying? Baking?)
Dracula. Vampires meet zombies! It's a true gustatory treat when the Count comes face-to-face with a newly-zombified Mina Harker: he sucks her blood, she slurps his brains. Needless to say, they wind up making beautiful music together...much to the consternation of Jonathan Harker.
"My Last Duchess." That portrait doesn't just "look" alive--it really is alive. Sort of. Not content with murdering his wife, the Duke issues "commands" to have her transformed into a mindless, undead hulk. The purpose of displaying this zombie portrait? In order to prevent her from devouring him for lunch, the Duke brings her regular tributes. Like the poor emissary in the poem, for example.
"Mariana." This classic poem of romantic longing and increasing depression looks much, much different when the reader realizes why Mariana is trapped all alone in the moated grange. Outside, zombies have overrun the idyllic English countryside, ransacking villages for human food while crying for brains in perfectly turned iambic pentameter. Poor Mariana, perfectly aware that her beloved has succumbed to the curse, can only moon about while wishing for her own undeath...