Did Someone Say Zombie Apocalypse?

Double Tap.

Sorry, I just had to put that out there. But it’s Tuesday, and Tuesday means…Monsters! (Or mayhem…and in the case of this blog post–both).

Zombies, for some unfathomable reason, are all the rage these days. And why not? Zombieland was one of the funniest horror flicks I’d seen since the original Scream. “I hear Tallahassee is nice this time of year.” *Snort* — my inner twelve-year-old was satisfied on a number of fronts.

We’re not just obsessed with zombies themselves, though, are we? We’re obsessed with the idea that zombies will someday take over, turning the world into a post-apocalyptic brain-munch-fest. Like The Road, except with the Undead. And seriously, what could be more terrifying?

But…zombies? Why do we think they’d be able to take over? They’re slow (usually), they’re not that smart and they’re bound to lose a limb if they try to make a sharp turn. That’s what cracks me up about this. Assuming you don’t get infected during the outbreak of zombie flu, you have a pretty good chance of survival, if you keep your wits about you. The idea of zombies is pretty darn scary…but zombies themselves? Stay in shape and tote a pump-action shotgun, and you likely won’t become dinner. Now, if you’re being chased by an unrelenting mob of zombies and you’re backed into a corner, yeah, you’re toast. Or…lunch. But outrunning just one, even slow as I am, doesn’t seem insurmountable. Then again, I tend to be more scared of the alien in Aliens than a zombie. Mainly ’cause that could totally happen.  Even Stephen Hawking  warns against alerting extraterrestrials to our presence. And he’s a freaking genius. Just sayin’.

Okay, okay, I hear you. Zombies have freakish strength! Zombies never stop! Zombies can run! That’s true, but let’s think about this for a sec.  The United States military has gas masks, containment suits and all the firepower you’d need to mow down legions of zombies. Assuming the “virus” is short-lived, i.e. isn’t airborne and can’t be contracted again later, the Zombie Apocalypse would be pretty short-lived. Although, I still think it’s completely awesome that a firearms company sells zombie-repellant bullets. Double Tap! (Nor does my skepticism dampen my enthusiasm for a good creature-flick. It’s escapism, y’all.)

So where did this legend of brain-eating undead come from, anyway? There are a lot of myths about flesh-eating monsters, vampires and such, but the notion of a true zombie–a reanimated corpse under the influence of a master (Bokor) originates in African and Haitian myth. Zombies aren’t created by some mysterious illness, but by a combination of drugs and powerful magic, being enslaved to the “witch” who created them. In other words–if we’re talking about true, mythical zombies–there isn’t much chance of an apocalypse. An army? Maybe, but that would depend more on the badassedness of the witch, right?

I might still buy some of that zombie-slayer ammo, though. You know, just in case.

(Disclaimer: The CDC told the Huffington Post that “Zombies are not real.” Derive from that what you will. )

So, what’s your favorite zombie flick or book? I have a very fond spot in my heart for Night of the Comet.  What others should make the list of Undead Entertainment?

7 comments

  • I’ve got to go with Zombieland on this one. I laughed my backside off! I can’t say as I’ve read many books with zombies in them, but I do enjoy the video games. Love the Left 4 Dead games and Call of Duty: Black Ops zombies. And the zombies run in those games. Much more scary when a pack of the undead are sprinting in your direction. When the zombie apocalypse comes, I’ll be ready–as long as someone loads my gun for me. 😉

  • Becca–I thought of you when I wrote the post. Does Addie’s phobia of the undead stem from your gleeful zombie slaying on the X-Box? 🙂

    • Nah, she comes by that phobia honestly; dead things creep me out. And if said dead things were to get up and walk around…bring on the gleeful slaying. 😉

  • I don’t know if it’s Zombies, but your “army” comment made me think of _Army of Darkness_. We also watched _Shaun of the Dead_ – that was pretty entertaining. I’m easily freaked out, so you won’t catch me watching too many zombie movies. I think that pretty much exhausts my experience with them.

    Great post, and very interesting. Your bit about where the idea came from creeped me out just a little. Well done. 🙂

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  • I just read This Dark Earth, very scary seriously intensely real scenario! From beginning to end. It was creepy but totally made sense. Actually there are some viruses that attach to certain creatures that turn them into a sort of zombie thing. Rats that get this virus will lose their fear of cats and actually run to them! Then the cats get to eat the rats and the virus lives happily ever after!!

    I know most of this is silly but my fear is if something were ever uncovered like this, I think we would be able to run. If we died and come straight back none of our tissues would be damaged (depending on the death), so why wouldn’t we be able to chase after those yummy smelling brains? 😀

    Ok, I’ll take my nerdiness home now. I do love Stephen Hawking by the way!

    • It’s not weirdness — but I might not sleep well tonight after your description of This Dark Earth 🙂 I’ve heard about the “zombie flu” stuff, too. It’s almost too horrible to imagine.

      And nerdiness (geektastic, choose your handle) is always welcome here!

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