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The 2nd Most Important Zombie Question

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The 2nd Most Important Zombie Question

Old 11-17-09, 08:36 AM
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The 2nd Most Important Zombie Question

Of course the number one debate regarding zombies is whether you prefer the slow walking or fast running kind. The second question brought up when I’m around my fellow living dead heads is how exactly a zombie is created.

There is Romero’s version (and the one I prefer) in which all dead bodies in the world reanimate as zombies. Whether the earth is passing through the tail of a comet (Star Wormwood?) or hell is simply full, ALL corpses get up and try to feed on the living. Romero also established that being bitten by a zombie causes a normal person who would have normally survived such a small wound to die and become a zombie within a few hours. How this obvious infectious zombie bite ties into how they were reanimated I have no idea and really doesn’t make sense. Were I to make a zombie movie I would remove the bite aspect.

Then there is the newer trend (brilliantly written about in Max Brook’s World War Z) to make zombies “more realistic” and say it is caused by an infection. One must be bitten by a zombie in order to become a zombie. I don’t like this theory because it seems like it would be too easy to contain, requiring direct contact with zombies to create more. Also if you look at a movie like the remake of Dawn of the Dead (which I did like) the majority of the zombies were pretty fully intact but when zombies make their kill they generally tear apart and mostly devour their victims. Where are all of these whole and complete zombies coming from? The only people turning into mobile (and therefore dangerous) dead are those who got bitten but managed to escape before being too damaged. That would greatly limit the number of zombies you need to worry about.

That accounts for a vast majority of zombie movies but I figured for fairness sake I’d mention two others:

Because I love the Return of the Dead series (at least the first three) I’ll bring gas into the mix. Any dead (including animals) that came in contact with Trioxin gas became brain starved zombies. So here we have a case of taking Romero’s “everything dead reanimates” idea and limiting the effect over a small area. Although that area can be greatly increased through smoke from burning (or nuking) the zombies.

Finally there is that old chestnut that has been around Hollywood for ages (and done brilliantly by Lucio Fulci in Zombie 2): zombies are created by voodoo magic.

So, any thoughts on my favorite sub genre? Care to weigh in on the second most important debate of our age? The thing that makes zombies so terrifying to be is not just that they are dead, but that they are EVERYWHERE in overwhelming numbers

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