Note: Next month is supernatural month! All discussions in October will be about supernatural creatures in celebration of Halloween!
Zombies: The Weakest Link
Zombies. The Undead. The Walking Dead. The Living Dead. Whatever you wanna call them, they’re supernatural creatures that have died and, by some arbitrary means, are still able to move as if they were alive. Basically, reanimated corpses with nothing but an insatiable urge to devour brains (and yet many series don’t even have them eat brains… >.>) And perhaps it’s this ambiguity that feeds my distaste for them. (‘Feeds’. Get it? :p)
That, and the serious number of inconsistencies within zombie lore. Granted, there are multiple genres and mediums that utilize zombies, but even within the same genre or medium, the lore is different. Whatever you believe, whatever genre you read in, whatever world you prefer, there are some serious discrepancies among origin, creation/spread, and destruction. None of the books, none of the series, none of the movies seem to follow the same logic for any of this. Nor do they keep to the same page about how new zombies are made. Let me explain.
I mean, where do zombies come from? Well, this depends on the lore and the genre of the story. For example, a paranormal/fantasy-based story will use witchcraft for zombies. However, these usually are limited to a few individual persons and doesn’t result in a plague or horde.
Yet, the science fiction/apocalypse genres are known for their raging, world-eating zombie apocalypses. Even here, though, there are discrepancies for their origins. I’ve heard some absolutely absurd sources such as ingestion of expired food. -.- (<– judgement face) Or the more likely, overly scientific version of a biological weapon gone awry and released into the general populace(H20/air borne/vaccines). From there all it takes is a bite (or more accurately a transfer of zombie saliva to human blood which creates more zombies[if you follow traditional lore]).
- Zombie comes to ‘life’.
- Zombie craves brains(because this is basically the point of a zombie’s existence).
- Zombie attacks human and eats brains.
- Brainless human can’t become zombie because killing the brain is how one kills… a… zombie… >.> Wait…
Do you see what I’m saying? So what is it that makes new zombies? Is it an airborne pathogen that has actually infected us all and only takes over when we ‘die'(such as in ‘Z Nation‘). Or is it in a zombies saliva and we become zombies if we’re infected by a bite (not to the brain?)
Still, if all it takes is a transfer of saliva to blood and a full-body infection, are we sure they can even be called ‘Undead’? There’s no guarantee that the humans die before they’re turned. Given the lack of verified death before the zombies turn, how can we actually verify the zombies aren’t simply a mindless human who’s still alive with a virus running through their bodies? Like mad cow disease? Are they still zombies? Or is this a whole different supernatural species altogether?
*Sidetracked! Back to topic!*
And if zombies only crave brains(as classic lore demands), why’re they always munching on everything but the brain! I mean, in the TV show ‘Z Nation‘ the zombies bit Murphy eight times… in the torso… >.> Later in the series, they bite people’s necks. I’ve never once seen them actually bite a person’s head and try to eat the brains.
Another great example of this is in ‘Zombieland‘ where the zombies are seen eating ankles, torsos, and even drinking the bone marrow of their victims. But not the brain. Never the brain.
DOESN’T ADD UP
But wait, I’m still confused. These people who are being feasted on by zombies (with their brains still in tact) are now dead. Whether it’s an airborne pathogen or saliva infection, shouldn’t they suddenly be all like ‘Poof! I’m a zombie! Stop eating me! Let’s go find more humans to eat!’ But that just leads to them biting more humans and turning them into zombies. So, the zombies aren’t actually really eating anyone because everyone they bite turns into zombies… >.>
It doesn’t make any sense. Unless you’re about to tell me that the person stays dead and doesn’t turn into a zombie if the zombie eats (insert random organ here) before the zombie virus/pathogen/whatever turns the dead person into a zombie. Because that’s BS! Zombies are shot in EVERY place possible and still stay alive(minus the brain). Zombies are chopped in half and still stay alive. They don’t need hearts, livers, kidneys, stomachs, gall bladders, lungs (though they make an awful lot of gasping and moaning sounds), intestine, or any other organ. They only need intact brains to stay ‘alive’. So, why doesn’t EVERY person turn into a zombie? How do some of them actually die before going Z?
Disregarding how people become zombies or what part of humans the zombies eat, there is a new phenomenon in zombie pop culture we need to address: zombie decay. While zombies are undead, they’re literally rotting flesh. They fall apart. Their skin slides off. They lose limbs left and right. After a while, the elements will wear on these zombies, which leaves… nothing.
So… how long does the zombie apocalypse last for? It can’t be forever. Zombies aren’t immortal, right? They’re still subject to natural bacteria slowly eating away at their dead cells (yum yum :p). Following that, wouldn’t we eventually reach a point where the original horde of zombies is… gone?
Now, we’re still likely to see new zombies popping up based on the form of creation (such as virus infection activated upon death), but wouldn’t the population dwindle? Wouldn’t it become sustainable? Wouldn’t we reach an equilibrium with the zombie population in which it’s small enough that we could actually return to normal society? I dunno. It seems plausible to me. Yet, no one really ever talks about it, except for in ‘28 Weeks Later‘.
Frankly, there are just too many inconsistencies for me to accept zombies as actual, threatening supernatural creatures. Not only that, but they’re pathetic. They’re literally the most pathetic supernatural threat. Even ghosts have more power than zombies.
For example, zombies chase people. Sure, they run fast, but in most lore they can’t open doors, they can’t talk, they aren’t intelligent (obviously), they can’t climb. They’re just mindless, eating machines. How is that really a threat? Following that logic, velociraptors are more threatening than zombies… and they’re extinct!
Perhaps I should stop my spiel before I hurt someone’s feelings (or make them see the light about zombies :p). Rather, let’s hear your thoughts. Do you like zombies? Why do you think they are (or aren’t) threatening?
What do you think about zombies?
Let me know in the comments below what you think about zombies.
And check out my discussion from last week: