The Zombie Blog

I am a fan of the supernatural. In fact, I pretty much believe anything and everything, mostly going on the idea that I have not seen and done everything in my life, so I have no reason to believe I can say, with 100% certainty, that something doesn't exist, particularly since humans have a limited range of senses. I am somewhat pragmatic about it, though; I don't believe a unicorn is going to show up and grant my wishes.

Anyway, of all the monsters and fiends in the Halloween pantheon, I probably come down in favor of zombies. I think it's their versatility that I like so much. You can go a number of different routes when it comes to the walking dead, from comedy to horror. I also like the fact that zombies are creepy, something which most modern day horror movies tend to gloss over completely. Creepy is something aspire to -- slasher flicks are not, and have never been, creepy, which is why they are boring and stupid.

Nicole is currently reading "World War Z," a book I very much enjoyed even if it did make me insanely jealous (although I got about two pages in before accepting the fact that I would never, ever have been able to write such a thing).

So, the other night, Nicole and I got to talking about zombies (do any of you wonder why I married this woman?) and I aired a few of my grievances on the matter. Now, gentle reader, I will share those with you.
  1. I don't want to know why they exist. The greatness, to me, of zombies is that there IS no explanation. Hell, Romero himself just gave one in passing and, honestly, I thought it was the worst part of "Night of the Living Dead." If the dead are rising from the grave, the last thing you have time to do is ponder their origins.
  2. I absolutely hate the idea that zombies are some kind of disease, and that they multiply by biting people and turning them into zombies. I hate it. I want my zombies to be the dead rising from the grave, not rabid dogs. If I commit suicide rather than face down the zombie apocalypse, I should then come back as a zombie. The whole "it bit me and now I'll become one" thing doesn't even hold true to the basic premise, considering that (and I'm just guessing here) all those bodies coming out of the ground? Probably haven't been bitten by anything. No, they're zombies because they're dead.
  3. If the "Dawn of the Dead" remake had one, great contribution to the zombie mythology, it's the idea that zombies are not inherently slow. Sure, some of them should be as slow as molasses. But if the idea is that you become a zombie as soon as you die, then you would turn before rigamortis sets in, in which case you should be able to run around just like you did before you died. It is understandable, though, that old corpses should not only be very slow, but pretty easy to knock down.
  4. Zombies are simply carnivores. The idea that zombies want brains (and, now that I think about that, where did that come from? I don't remember that coming from anything Romero did) is a bit on the nutty side. Why are they eating people when they're already dead and don't need sustenance? Well, that's working under the assumption that they're just dead, when, in reality, they clearly aren't. They are something else; they're the walking dead, the undead. They are re-animated corpses that have a different purpose than, say, a cadaver. I'm just as fine with them not having motivations for their actions as I am with not knowing how they came to be. In fact, I prefer it (and Bubba would like to point out that trying to determine any of this is a bad idea).
I'll end this on a bit that my friend Matt and I used to act out when we worked together. One of the better, recent "zombie" movies was "28 Days Later." It actually did a nice job of just acknowledging the idea of zombie-ism as a disease and taking it a step further, thus eliminating my usual complaints. But not all.

See, when the main character is rescued in "28 Days Later," one of his rescuers tells him that the outbreak started in England, and soon spread to New York. We have seen, however, that symptoms of infection happen almost immediately. So, how did this disease get to America? England's an island, for god's sake!

This, of course, led us to do re-enactments of the infected boarding airplanes. "Excuse me, sir, would like some peanuts?" "Gaaarraaah!" And then he vomits blood.

Good movie, though. The sequel was crap, because the same flaws were blown up really big (unless the infected know how to operate pass keys). Also, never put children in zombie movies. They ruin them every time.