Did Someone Say Zombie Apocalypse?
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?