I’ve been watching a lot of zombie-related shows and movies lately.
I know that vampires are more trendy, but to me they lack bite. Twilight? No, thanks. I had a girlfriend who was into that whole series, and one of the low points of my life was the evening she
dragged me kicking and screaming persuaded me to go see New Moon with her at the local cineplex. Don’t get me wrong, it was lots of fun! If your idea of fun is being packed sardine-like into a movie theater full of thirteen-year-old girls swooning over “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob.” There’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back. I did get into True Blood for awhile there, and that had nothing to do with the copious onscreen nudity. OK, very little to do with the copious onscreen nudity. Alright, fine, it had everything to do with the copious onscreen nudity. But my interest waned by the third season, and HBO costs money. There’s plenty of copious onscreen nudity to be found elsewhere and for free. When it comes to vampires, I prefer mine darker. Less sparkly, if you will…and less conventionally Hollywood “pretty.” I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula earlier this year and loved it, and if you’ve never read Elizabeth Kostova’s excellent novel The Historian, you are missing out! Those are the types of vampire tales I really dig.
Zombies, on the other hand? Can’t get enough of them! 28 Days Later is an excellent film (be careful though, or you might inadvertently end up with a bummer of a Sandra Bullock film about some chick going into rehab…damn confusing similar titles!). I also love Zombieland and Shaun Of The Dead; both take a more humorous approach to the whole zombie genre. And I am completely hooked on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Great series full of action and drama and true human emotion.
Although I’ve gotta say, I don’t find zombies particularly frightening. Ugly, yes. Smelly? Most certainly, what with all that rotting flesh baking in the sun. But scary? Not so much. I mean, if they’re all up in your grill and about to bite – and infect – you, then yes, that’s going to be a tense moment. I just think zombies are easy to outwit. First of all, they don’t exactly tip the intelligence scales. Let’s just say Einstein’s got nothing to fear. (Ooh…a zombie Einstein…now, that would be a formidable opponent! And I think I’ve found an idea for my next novel). Zombies are dumb and easily distracted. All you’ve got to do is wave a shiny, blood-soaked object in front of them and they’re all ooh…pretty…bloody…must go fetch…
And another thing. Zombies are slow. They’re always depicted as shuffling around haphazardly, often dragging a non-functioning limb around – either a leg that won’t bend properly at the knee or a useless, dangling arm. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure I could outrun a horde of zombies. Unless that zombie Einstein was involved. He’d probably rig some sort of clever trap and lure me in with a Bloody Mary. (I bet a zombie would know how to make a really good Bloody Mary. I’m just sayin’).
If you think zombies are just a figment of our imaginations, you’re in for a rude awakening. There’s a great article (okay, it’s by Cracked magazine, but still) that explains why a zombie apocalypse could actually happen. It takes a scientific approach and talks about brain parasites, neurotoxins, Mad Cow Disease, neurogenesis, and nanobots. I don’t want to alarm anybody, but let’s just say after perusing the link I’m half expecting to encounter a mass of shuffling, groaning undead any day now. They’ll probably show up at a really inconvenient time, too. Like right after my pizza has been delivered but before I can take that first cheesy, delicious bite. And I’ve probably already tipped the delivery guy, too. Not that currency matters much in a zombie-infested America. If you’re Woody Harrelson, Twinkies are your new gold. I get that.
Even if I did get bitten by a zombie – is that such a bad thing? I mean, really? Everybody in the movies and on TV acts like that’s such a terrible fate, but I think they aren’t seeing the forest for the trees. If you’re a zombie, you’re undead. Emphasis on the UN part. Last time I checked, being undead is better than being dead. I might have a craving for flesh and walk with a funny gait, but again, I’m not dead.
A zombie apocalypse would be like the ultimate game of Survivor. I’m pretty sure I could outwit, outplay and outlast them all, but if I did get “voted off the tribe,” so to speak? It wouldn’t be the end of the world.
I already prefer my steak medium rare, after all…