Editorials,  Movies/Entertainment

Sorry Romero, the "Zombie Genre" Has Gotten Flawed

Over the past few weeks I have been becoming re-acquainted with my favorite zombie films. My personal un-holy trinity of “zead” flicks has to be the original Night of the Living Dead, the Zack Snyder remake of Dawn of the Dead and Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead. The three together showcase the simultaneous fun/fear factor of Zombie films, the advancements (and liberties taken) in the genre and they each have something for nearly every fan, both casual and die-hard. As much fun as the films are, I thought I’d bring to light some nagging problems I have with my guilty pleasure, namely signature elements of entire zombie movie genre itself.

Recall if you will, the many times we’ve seen someone get attacked by a zombie. You know, that’s the small brawl that usually proves to much for the character in question and they are finally overcome by the zombie (or horde as the case may be). Then at the climax of the struggle, there is  an immediate cut away. Well, crafty screenwriters or directors then think it’s cute to show that same character sometime later now as…get ready for it…a walking stalking zombie himself (or herself as the case may be…I’m an equal opportunity subject blogger).

My biggest problem is that we never get to see the so-called “change” take place. Now, I know what you’re saying, “Marc, there’s all kinds of movies where a character turns into a zombie!!”…Well, I know that and agree with you, but that’s usually the case when they show the character who got away from above mentioned horde and is, like a time-bomb, slowing progressing into a  Zombie. What I want to see, now bear with me, is at that singular point during an attack where that one character who can’t get away is still fighting, then (my guess) he (or she) dies from the bites. Then, instantaneously the change causes the attacking zombies go “ok, you’re one of us now”. The horde dissipates and then that newly appointed “zead” commando takes off to find his friends…or just wander aimlessly.

One thing I really want to know is why don’t zombies finish the job?? I mean if someone just died from the bites, I would think they are still fresh meat right? Take for instance, the scene in Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead. In it, the character Tucker is overtaken by Zombies in the sewer, and in 3 seconds he’s destined to become a zombie with Olympic sprinter speed (even though his legs are busted). I’d bet that he’s probably still more or less human…as far as the whole “he’s not decaying rapidly yet” point of view. What’s to keep the zombies from continually taking bites out of him?

Another thing that never gets answered is, how long will zombies live? What length of time does it take for a Zombie to deteriorate? That’s what I’d like to know if I had to wait out a Zombie Apocalypse. I like how 28 Days Later (although not a Zombie movie) hinted at the fact those infected with “the Rage” would, in fact, run out of gas and then die. Also Snyder’s remake showed a progression of Zombies. Seems like they’d eventually fall apart after a decent amount of time. So how long is that?? (Until that’s answered, have a look a great post our friend Kai has written on How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse)

And while I’m at it, who thought zombies coming out of the grave would be possible? Do you know the weight of dirt when piled on top of a coffin? Neither do I but I bet it’s a hell of a lot! So, that said, how could a zombie, who (in some cases) really doesn’t have the strength to hold on to someone very well have the ability to dig their way through 6 feet of earth?? Boy I bet John Landis and Michael Jackson (on the technical side) feel a little silly about the Thriller video now huh?:P

So those are the questions I have been pondering for this editorial post. I’ll probably never get the answers I’m looking for unless I meet George A. Romero…or this guy. Also I’m not holding Romero accountable for the derivation (and bastardization) of the genre he helped flourish. But let me make one thing clear, just because this seems like I am blasting the zombie genre for not explaining what I think are necessary plot devices, doesn’t mean I don’t like these movies. I do immensely enjoy Zombie flicks as opposed to a singular unstoppable stalker horror film heavy (i.e. Friday the 13th). It’s just that when you like something, you aren’t content to just “go along for the ride“. I’m a fan and so I want more…sure zombie flicks are brainless (no pun intended) entertainment but how about a slight bit of technical exposition for all us hungering fans (yes, that pun was intended).


  • Kai B. Parker

    hahaha… this is a great post, dude. And you’re right so I really can’t help you!
    As far as getting out of the grave, I imagine they just do it like the Bride in Kill Bill!

    • Marc

      One day I hope to meet Romero, and if I’m lucky get some good answers out of him. Although somethings are better left without answers and to the imagination (cough, Star Wars prequels, cough):P

      Funny, I thought of the same thing…good old QT, he’s got a solution for everything;)

    • Thom

      Uhh? Zombies are just the walking dead. All of those questions can be answered by observing any dead person. A zombie will decompose at the same rate as any other non-walking corpse, not accounting for external factors such as maulings, shootings, intestinal-tug-of wars etc. Not to mention the fact that we saw someone turn into a zombie right before our eyes in the original “Dawn of the Dead”. Maybe if you did not spent all your time watching remakes, and actually learned the canon, you would know this.

      • Krom

        Yeah get all emotional from a guy who watches ONE remake. The Dawn remake is so much better than the original anyways.

        • Thom

          The main problem is that your argument for why the genre is flawed does not take into account many films which are crucial in popularly defining the zombie genre. You point out many valid flaws in the films you mentioned, but you cannot claim that they populate the zombie genre as a whole.

          Synder’s “Dawn” was good, but has nothing on Romero.

          • Marc

            Agreed Thom, I should have celebrated the things that really do work and make Zombies as popular as they are. Say that gives me an idea for a future post:) But in response to your comment, you’re absolutely right, I shouldn’t hold the genre accountable for some films that a.) took liberties or b.) ignored convention. Good point, thanks for the comment!

            Also, glad that not everyone objects to Snyder’s film.

    • Marc

      Thanks for stopping by Brock! Yeah I guess the same can be said for anything that is make-believe: Aliens, The Matrix, Transformers, etc. But like I said, when you’re a fan you want to know more than just what’s on the surface.

      As far a being fellow a zombie fan you might appreciate this. Our friend did write this pretty sweet post about How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse…maybe we should get him and Romero together:P

    • Marc

      While fast is far more intimidating, I think I’m a purist and have to say that Zombies are better slow. It’s like a “you’re dead…how the hell can you keep pace with the living??” mentality that I think most film fans can respect and relate to. I know things in film have to change to keep the audience’s attention, but like 3D, I think “Olympic Sprinter” Zombies are a fad.

      Say this gives me an idea for next week’s Which One Are You? poll…thanks for the inspiration Kai;)

  • Kai B. Parker

    Actually, I’m a fast Zombie fan so I was thinking maybe I’d have you on for a post and we could debate… What do you think?
    I’m off to bed for the night but drop me an e-mail or something and we could try it if you like!

  • Richard

    Nice post Marc, I too love a good zombie flick (although the resultant recurring zombie dreams aren’t always such a pleasure) and I too would like to see that moment of transformation.

    In a lot of zombie films however, to my mind at least every Romero zombie outing, you do see a lot of zombies feasting on stray corpses so there are definitely instances where the newly infected doesn’t get a chance to come back and start eating their friends. I’m curious to know if the zombies can make the distinction between which of it’s victims are injured beyond repair and would therefore make rubbish zombies and which have only had a little chunk taken out of them and will make a good addition to their undead army. Y’know?

    Oh, one last thing – definitely slow zombies, I’m a purist, although Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead was terrifyingly awesome. And the creatures in 28 Days Later… and it’s sequel(s) aren’t zombies, they’re Rage-infected humans.

    • Marc

      Yeah Richard, good point, there are those that just are a mess after the brawl. But damn good question yourself on the “distinction” issue you wrote! Guess you can’t really call it an army with out a chain of command though:P

      The one scene that really inspired this whole post was from Resident Evil. One of the soldiers was COMPLETELY consumed by zombies and then 20 minutes later, he’s back, with very few bites…he should have been ripped to shreds! So that go me thinking, at what point does his death trigger the “hands off” signal to zombies?

      Also, just like you, I’m a purist. Slow is the way to go. Kind of like the old school is the new school, would’t you agree? Thanks for the comment!

  • Gavin Kantz

    I’m guessing you’ve missed most of Romero’s movies then when he addressed every point that you’ve mentioned. Most of them were actually addressed in Day of the Dead. The projected time frame where zombies would be able to remain functional was 10-12 years. They devoured the humans many of which were torn to shreds and ceased to move. In Dawn of the Dead, blasphemy that you thought the remake was better, shows Stephen attacked in an elevator where he turns while the doors are closed. They clawed at the doors until they opened saw he was a zombie and then walked away. In the same movie we actually get to watch the progression as Roger turns into a zombie as his health slowly ebbs and he die. Dig a little bit deeper into Romero’s world and you will see most of the answers you seek.

    • Marc

      Yeah Gavin, maybe I should have done some more extensive homework before writing this but I did kinda write it on a whim one day. I actually don’t remember the elevator scene but you writing about it, I can now vaguely recall it. Probably saw it too many years ago to make a solid impression on me. That said, the scene sounds quite brilliant.

      As far as Day goes, I mostly recall the slow reclaiming Bub’s motor skills, and the discovery that zombies, whether they have a stomach or not, feed because it’s like a hardwired (and subconscious) mechanism brought about by their death. Pretty awesome scene that I do remember quite well. Since I’m not a huge fan I admit I don’t know everything but that’s kind of why I wrote this – to call out the fans and see what they think and also find out things I just didn’t get from the films.

      Awesome comment Gavin!! Thanks for the info:)

  • Felix Vasquez Jr.

    It’s a common device used to create drama. In the case of Flyboy being turned, it’s a big surprise twist to depict the tragic fate of a character, in the Dawn remake it’s a cheap ploy because the movie is crap, in the case of Roger, he is not eaten because he gets away and is only really bitten on the legs and arm,

    And in the original DAWN, we do see the zombies approach the elevator, go to attack flyboy, and when they notice he’s one of them, just goes “aw screw it, he’s in the club now, let’s move on.”

    With the zombie lifespan, a lot of it is just common sense. A lot of zombie fiction has addressed it stating the zombies eventually rot out and stop being a threat, while other fiction just doesn’t talk about it.

    The zombie genre is very flawed, but the whole zombie thing is based around three pillars:

    A character is bitten and gets away to turn in to one later. This is for drama and tension.
    A character is eaten and fails to turn. This is used for gore and shock factor.
    Or their fate is left mysterious. Usually for ambiguity or leaving the plot open.

    It’s the bad zombie movies that ruin it for us. The Dawn remake, The Resident Evil movies, et al.

    • Marc

      Wow Felix, awesome comment! Yeah Gavin just reminded me of the elevator scene…gotta watch it again to fully appreciate it. Oh, nice internal zombie monologue btw:)

      Also, I like the three pillars…kind of like it’s expected and predictable but you still can never be entirely certain of the outcome. That’s the surprise factor I gather.

      I think the Resident Evil movies are diluting and making a mockery of the genre but I still think Snyder did a great job with his Dawn remake. Further I think I liked it because it had never seen the original until after the remake so I had no comparison.

  • Derek

    Alas, the greatest piece of zombie fiction isn’t a movie (well not yet). World War Z!!! The book has a rich history for its version of zombies and explains just about anything you could want to know about them.

    • Marc

      I’ve talked to countless people telling me how awesome it is, I just haven’t gotten around to it. But trust me, it’s very close on my radar. Thanks for reminding me Derek!

  • Gavin Kantz

    I’m sure that the movie when it is made will end up ruining the story though. However that being said I am looking forward to it when it does get filmed and made, then again I am looking forward to watching Survival of the Dead on Demand this coming week.

  • Milwaukee Meg

    Great article! I’m not much of the zombies fan, but I noticed those things too! I can help you with the weight of the soil, provided the coffin’s lid measures 0,5×1,8 meters, it’s 2 meters (~6 feet) under and it’s sand&clay soil … it’ll weight about 3 tones.

    Yup, a piece of cake to move!

    • Marc

      Hahahahahahahaha…well that’s definitely going to help out in the future and good piece of info to keep in the old noggin. Boy, am I going to be a hit at all dinner parties from now on:) Thanks a bunch Meg!!

  • Smurfy Andi

    No mention of Zombieland? My vote would be on slow zombies and that was the biggest flaw in zombieland but to add my two cents to your post..
    In Shaun you *kinda* see shaun’s mom turn, she dies and then wakes as a zombie but we do get the impression she was bitten quite a few minutes before. Although zombies seem to be solitary creatures, I’ve always assumed they bite others to increase their numbers but keep going when they are hungry.

    • Marc

      I actually really like Zombieland (and that “cameo” made the movie for me). While I like it I don’t love it (yet), I think I need to see it 2 or 3 more times…but even so I don’t think I can knock off one of the above mentioned films from my trilogy. Maybe I’ll make it a quadrilogy…keep you posted:).

      Yeah, Shaun’s mom does *kinda* turn but hell, I wrote the post because I wanted to have some fun poking at the genre and it seems the masses (thanks to IMDb) felt like chiming in as well. Thanks much for the comment Andy!

    • Marc

      Damn Phil, thanks ever so much for letting me know about this!!!! Simon Pegg just went up 11ty billion more points in my book!!…and as a referral bonus, you went up 50:)
      My favorite line, after he says ZOMBIES DON’T RUN! is when he says its “a bastardisation that diminishes a classic movie monster”. Sure would like to see Pegg, Romero, Synder and Boyle in a room together!!

  • Scott

    I think Mythbusters did an episode on getting out of a coffin buried under a ton of earth — although I think it was based on a scene in Kill Bill. Same problem with the concept, though.

    As far as zombie life-spans, I just caught the Norwegian Nazi zombie flick, “Dead Snow.” Those zombies had been “alive” for 60 years, since WWII. Of course, they were under snow, so perhaps the cold weather helped slow the decomposition… 🙂

    • Marc

      Yeah I saw that one too. But Uma could actually maneuver and had rational thought. I figure a Zombie would just scrape til his hands wore away:P

      I haven’t seen Dead Snow (didn’t look that great) but I like your rationale. Kind of like if Zombies were on a WWII cruise ship or sub that sank and it took them 80 years to reach land? The lack of oxygen and sunlight would keep them well preserved too right?

  • Zak

    Everything you said is correct, except for “necessary plot devices”. I’d argue that almost none of the questions are necessary. One is something mildly cool you’d like to see. One is fairly unimportant to most zombie plots, but a lingering question nonetheless. And one is a logical fallacy, like people jumping away from explosions in action movies.

    Either way, good article.

    • Marc

      Thanks Zak…movies (any genre really) are like magic. If you know everything, it (in most cases) ceases to be entertaining. Romero is awesome, I like his movies. Also, I ask these questions but really I don’t want to hear or know the answers. I just like poking some fun and nagging. It’s also enjoyable:)

  • Samhain666

    Ive met both romero and tom savini, sad to say no answers to be found. I didnt push the issue, i got the impression rocks would be thrown in my general direction.

    • Marc

      Yeah, we common folk really can’t pester the Gods with our petty questions:P But seriously, that’s still damn cool you met them…you get pictures with them???

  • rtm

    Hey Marc, glad to see your name on IMDb Hit List, way to go, dude! Great post indeed, though I’m not exactly a zombie genre fan, I admit I quite like Shaun and of course 28 Days Later. I had the same question about the life span of a zombie and glad 28 Days at least addressed that… that movie is so much more than a spooky zombie flick, it’s got deeper meaning that makes it even more rewarding to watch!

    • Marc

      Thanks Ruth! Yeah big surprise coming into work today and seeing I made it. Check out some of the comments that people left. There’s quite a few fans who chimed in to tell me some things I didn’t know or missed in the movies. I agree, I totally dig 28 Days Later for it’s look at society as opposed to just a scare the hell out of you scarefest:)

  • Dude Abides

    I think the biggest flaw in the entire zombie franchise (for me) is why the hell would zombies work so hard just to get fresh meat? They’re supposed to be insatiably hungry… why aren’t they out there attacking and canibalizing each other instead of all pushing forward as one mass trying to get the one regular human left?

    Surely the insatiably hungry aren’t picky eaters, are they?

    • Marc

      Hahahaha, good point Dude! Beggars can’t be choosers right? 😉

      It think it’d be sooo interesting/funny to see them taking over a Wendy’s and sucking on frozen hamburger patties and chicken nuggets:P Hell, if you can’t catch a live human, why stay hungry? Visit your local grocer’s freezer!!

  • Russell

    Step out the movie box maybe and read World War Z, answers lots of q’s. Especially the preservation of zombies in snowier climates, and good advice on survival should we ever need it. Good book too. Romero style zombies not the shockingly fast new ones. Always saw the classic zombie as a metaphor for the slow inevitable approach of death…..

    Lifespan of a zombie? Depends on how much ammo you got :o)

    Oh and to Richard who posted earlier, glad someone else has zombie dreams, maybe I’m normal after all!

    • Marc

      Well Russell, thanks to you and Derek, I have just ordered it off Amazon. Looking forward to getting it, can’t wait to read it!!

      BTW, I like your metaphor…creepy but astute:) Also, I think your “ammo” comment will keep me laughing til the end of the day:)

  • Ross McG

    Marc, man you know your zombies..
    congrats on making the Hit List! youre higher up than us so you win
    im not a zombie movie fan at all but the Dawn Of The Dead is cracking – great opening scene. Ving Rhames… never made a bad film. except Mission Impossible 2 of course. And Striptease.
    yeah, we never see people change into zombies but you then you never see bruce wayne put on the Batman suit either
    thems the breaks

    • Marc

      Great comparison Ross! Thems are definitely the breaks:P

      Best part about the opening scene to Dawn is when Sarah Polley’s husband chases her then peels off after the neighbor. God, that’s great every time:!!
      And for a decent Ving Rhames, check out The Tournament, but stay away from the other zombie remake he was in Day of the Dead…sheesh

    • Kai B. Parker

      Ving Rhames also did the Day of the Dead remake with Mena Suvari which is horrible. The weird thing is he’s in both remakes but not playing the same character…WTFrack???

      • Marc

        I caught part of that late one night thinking “what’s going on here?” I guess he needed a paycheck:P You’re right it was horrible. Not even in a “we tried to make it this way” like Robert Rodriguez’ Planet Terror.
        I’m actually glad he didn’t dilute the part he palyed in Dawn by playing the character again…but if you watch into the credits of the Dawn remake, yup, I’m pretty sure they all died.

  • Kelso Horror

    You forgot to mention “Zombieland” in which Mad Cow Disease (which isn’t caused by a virus) is the reason people turned into Zombies.
    That in itself doesn’t make sense.
    I like these movies better when Zombies just apear for no reason except to kill, there’s no explanation who they got there, they just are.(ala, George A. Romero, with the exception of “Diamond Dead”)

    • Marc

      I need to see Zombieland a few more times before I start to rethink my Top 3, but it still is a great movie.. It’s the prefect combination zombie shoot em up/survival guide. Also, like you pointed out, is because of Mad Cow Disease so to me that makes it an interesting angle for the “how and why” of the film’s plot.

  • The Former 786

    I don’t know if I would consider that first one a “flaw” of the zombie genre – it just gives filmmakers an idea of something new to do. Also, in Shaun of the Dead, we pretty much do get to see Barbara become a zombie. She dies on camera and then rises as the undead on camera.

    The rest are very good points, though. Great article!

    • Marc

      True, but I am looking for a movie to show the change while the person is being attacked (maybe I need to rewrite the post to that effect). A few people have cited the elevator scene in the original Dawn of the Dead where someone changes and it cause the attacking zombies to lose interest, turn around and leave him be.

      But thanks for the comment 786…come back anytime. Plus if you’re a fan of Shaun, you’re a friend to us at G-S-T!

  • GinsuVictim

    Since most zombies in movies (particularly Romero ones) don’t rise from the grave, I don’t see the need to point that one out. Dancing zombies don’t define the genre.

    • Marc

      Actually you’re 100% right. In “Night” they explicitly say that the recently dead are returning to life. Not a single one came out of a grave (at least in any respectable Zombie movie that is). I guess my mind meant to poke and critique all those wretched knock-off zombie films from the mid-80s, and not Romero directly:) Thanks for the comment!!

  • Mike C

    One thing I liked about Zombieland that you usually don’t see in zombie movies, is that all of the main charcters survive. I want to see a zombie movie where the survivors know what they are doing. They may not be soldiers, instead movie and comicbook geeks. Who knows zombies better? As far as slow or fast zombies, I perfer slow. I know I would rather face the slow ones. Wouldn’t rigermortis set in and slow them down?

    • Marc

      Yeah I agree, that’s what I think made Zombieland work – the sort of self-made survival guide and the longevity of the entire cast. But in most films, no matter who it is or how well they think they are prepared, there’s always this lumbering lingering zombie to come out of the last place you’d look and…well that’s the end of that hero:( Kinda predictable that way.

      But I’m with you on the slow Zombies. I actually had a conversation with someone about their mobility and the limits of rigimortis. We decided that the zombie’s adrenaline will kick in and prolong the inhibiting effects of death…on the interior of course since you’ll still have the exterior decay. Kind of like a car that runs well but has rust on the body:P

      • Carrie

        I think you’re right there. You probably aren’t prepared to blow up a zombie when you are trying to use the bathroom. They don’t give a darn if that is a time to chill out.

        As for fast vs. slow…I’m going with slow. I have nightmares about fast ones and they scare the crap out of me. Slow ones all the way.

  • chris

    It’s been a while since I’ve watched all of romero’s zombie films, but I remember that only the ones that got away after being bit became zombies themselves. The rest were totally devoured.

    • Marc

      Yeah, that’s usually how it works. Guess there’s no point to a movie if everyone that gets caught gets devoured. You have to have that, “oh no I/he/she got bit, so what do we do now” suspense to keep it interesting:)

  • Glenn

    I didn’t read the entire post, because it was stupid having the Dawn remake as one of your faves. But it sounds like you want a transformation a la American Werewolf in London. I approve that notion, because it would be very cool to see.

    • Marc

      That wasn’t really my intent of the post but now that you bring it up, yes I would like to see it done that way:) Thanks for the comment Glen!

    • Marc

      Thanks from all the people who didn’t know who he was in Romero’s universe. Tom Savini: Zombie make-up extraordinaire…and Sex Machine. I bet he’s got business cards that say that:)

  • CrazyRico

    Hey Marc, enjoyed your post. As a fellow zombie film fan I have to agree with a few of the points you have brought up here, questions I have been asking myself since a kid. But a few of them have been answered, or at least hinted at, in a number of different venues.

    Right off I have to admit, I have never found a satisfactory reason why the undead only attack the living – even to the point of the instant of transformation. Vampires and werewolves may have increased olfactory senses, but zombies have always been ‘less’ than they were in life – therefore unable to ‘smell’ the living.

    In so much as to how long they will last, conventional wisdom would dictate that they would only exist as long as tissue necrosis does not impede their ability to carry out their nefarious agenda. However, in his ‘Zombie Survival Guide’ Max Brooks suggests that a virus known as ‘solanum’ not only creates the zombie itself, but wards off any bacteria that would potentially decompose the corpse. And if you are a little more forgiving in your critique, 1985s Return Of The Living Dead would have us believe that 2-4-5 TriOxane could reanimate even as little the smallest body part.

    The all important transformation has not been lost on me, and I know I have witnessed a few. Perhaps the best one that comes to mind is from 2004s remake of ‘Dawn Of The Dead’. Matt Frewers character sustains an almost insignificant bite that is tended to, but to little avail. In front of everyone (including his daughter) he continually degrades until he ultimately expires under the watchful eye of Ving Rhames.
    Supercharged vs. Shambling. I can go either way here, but here is my take on this… Much like an injured animal in the wild a zombie would be oblivious to its physical limitations right to the grave (pun somewhat intended). They would run at you to the greatest extent of their ability without concern for further damage to themselves (broken limbs, torn muscles etc). A zombie that damages its legs would claw its way toward you until that were no longer an option.

    Reanimated Dead vs. Living Infected. Now here is the question of the genre, both have their pros and cons. Reanimated corpses (traditional) have a supernatural feel that plays into a lot of peoples deepest, darkest fears. Does destroying the brain ultimately kill them, or are they virtually indestructible? Lots of room to work there. Living infected, while more scientifically feasible, are significantly more finite and easily dealt with. They would be as physically vulnerable as the rest of us, but without logic and the ability to reason. For all intents and purposes, they would be a horde of large cannibalistic squirrels – that outnumber us by about a thousand to one. While this limits their individual danger their shear numbers make them the stuff of nightmares. Also (and this is more true of Reanimated Dead), if they never have to sleep how can you rest while trying to escape them?

    So Marc, I offer you this. The genre is perhaps not so flawed as our grasp on and interpretation of it. My only consolation on the subject is that we will never fully understand it and there will therefore never be an end to zombie movies. I think I can live with that. Thanks for your time, enjoyed the chat. -Rico

    • Marc

      Holy hell Rico, this is probably the best comment we’ve ever gotten. Thanks for your time and input. You should really have your own blog. In fact, want to join Go,See,Talk? You’d be a lot more productive than our current deadbeat writing staff:)

      I like the olfactory aspect you bring up, and definitely agree that zombies are far less advanced but that makes them more interesting. The whole “we have a real chance against them” angle. I actually, based on the suggestions of comments above, bought WWZ and it should be delivered next week but while I was purchasing it, I saw the Zombie Survival Guide. I think I’ll look into that too. The ‘solanum’ bit sounds intriguing.

      I think Matt Frewer’s scene worked better as a cut away since he was pretty much a zombie anyway…no need to show the turn. But that was the homage to the “turn”scene from the original and there, it showed (not in great detail) the transformation and rise.

      Liking your terminology with “shambling”, that gave me a good chuckle. Guess slow vs. fast is a battle like vanilla vs. chocolate. But it’s that deep seeded instinct for their most basic of needs (sustenance) that will let them do whatever it takes to find and get food. Also, I agree, the numbers of Zombies are the scarriest things about them. The idea that they can multiply and truly become an Army is in fact quite frightening.

      Well again, Thanks a bunch Rico…and let me know if you want to join Go,See,Talk! There’s no pay but you get to write about movies all you want. To me that’s a fair trade off as long as you have a supplementary job that does pays the bills:) Can’t write an online blog if the electric company turns off your power:P

      • CrazyRico

        Marc, if you think my (sometimes not so) humble opinion would be of benefit to your site, I would most happily provide it. I must caution you, however, that if you start me talking about movies, you assume all responsibility for gettting me to shut up. Having said that I will also add that I am not completely prolific in my writing, so I may not always have something to say. But I will never shy away from a directly posed question (I always have an opinion, I ain’t always right). I do, however, like to start discussions that involve the opinions of others. I like public forum. If this serves your purpose, if this is at all attractive – I accept your offer. Let me know what I need to do. Incidentally, this was my first response to any blog (ever), so I have no idea how this whole thing works. I might need a little guidance.

        • Marc

          Tell you what Rico, let’s do it this way. Keep visiting the site, visit the sites on our Blogroll and keep leaving awesome comments. But by all means, just like you said “start discussions that involve the opinions of others” and feel free to bring up idea in your comments here and elsewhere. Stay part of this community we’ve got here (provided you love movies of course) and that’ll be good enough for now. If you like it, I can tell you how to get your own blog started down the road. For now, hope our stuff will keep your attention. Savvy?

    • Marc

      Holt hell Rico, this is probably the best comment we’ve ever gotten. You should really have your own blog. In fact, want to join Go,See,Talk? You’d be a lot more productive than our current deadbeat writing staff:)

      I like the olfactory aspect you bring up, and definitely agree that zombies are far less advanced but that makes them more interesting. The whole “we have a real chance against them” angle. I actually, based on the suggestions of comments above, bought WWZ and it should be delivered next week but while I was purchasing it, I saw the Zombie Survival Guide. I think I’ll look into that too. The ‘solanum’ bit sounds intriguing.

      I think Matt Frewer’s scene worked better as a cut away since he was pretty much a zombie anyway…no need to show the turn. But that was the homage to the “turn”scene from the original and there, it showed (not in great detail) the transformation and rise.

      Liking your terminology with “shambling”, that gave me a good chuckle. Guess slow vs. fast is a battle like vanilla vs. chocolate. But it’s that deep seeded instinct for their most basic of needs (sustenance) that will let them do whatever it takes to find and get food. Also, I agree, the numbers of Zombies are the scariest things about them. The idea that they can multiply and truly become an Army is in fact quite frightening.

      Well again, Thanks a bunch Rico…and let me know if you want to join Go,See,Talk! There’s no pay but you get to write about movies all you want. To me that’s a fair trade off as long as you have a supplementary job that does pays the bills:) Can’t write an online blog if the electric company turns off your power:P

      • Gavin Kantz

        The problem is when you turn the zombies fast it isn’t their numbers that becomes scary it is their speed. Romero’s zombies were scary because they were slow, many and just didn’t stop coming at you. If I were in a world overrun with zombies how long would I last if they could sprint, climb, and jump like an Olympic athlete? Not very long, I would put a bullet in my brain and be done with it.

        • Marc

          In some way I think it might be manageable to survive a fast zombie attack out in an open area because it’s like the old joke – 2 guys in the woods, one guys ties his shoes and says to the other “I don’t have to out run the bear…I just have to outrun you”.

          Zombies seem to horde and focus on their closest victim, so if there’s not that many of them you might make an escape once if you’re lucky.

          In doors, you’re pretty much screwed either way, so you’re right Gavin, that bullet starts looking really tasty:P

  • Charlie Goose

    Forgive me if this has been mentioned, but in the book “World War Z”, about the zombie infestation, it is mentioned that the same phenomenon that has created the zombies has also strengthened their bodies so they don’t rot and fall apart as if they were regular corpses, even underwater. That would suck. There is also a flaw in “28 Days Later”. It was mentioned that the infected will die of starvation in (natch) 28 days. However, wouldn’t it be a lot quicker? If the rage within them is so strong that they do not eat, then logic goes that they also do not DRINK either. In that case, they would die of dehydration long before starvation. A body can live without water only for a week to ten days. Also, what about exhaustion? Do the infected sleep? If their natural instincts force them to sleep, then why wouldn’t they eat & drink? Even the simplest organisms in nature sustain themselves.

    • Marc

      Totally agree 28 Days is a long time to go without food…they should be dead a lot sooner than that:P Seriously, great angle with the dehydration. Now that’s some MENSA type thinking there. My bet is that the Rage virus probably suspends certain functions of their metabolism and digestive system allowing a prolonged lifespan without food, but pumping their bodies with constant adrenaline. That’s all I got…man I need those books to get here. I am so missing out on good conversations with you readers who are “in the know”:)

      But huge thanks to you for your comment Charlie! Come back anytime:)

      • Gavin Kantz

        The oddest thing about the Rage virus though is when they are puking blood and bile on people, I understand it is almost like a method of procreation probably the virus controlling their actions, however biologically that would cause them to dehydrate sooner.

        • Marc

          Again Gavin, great point! Man, come back and give us some of your ideas on our other posts. We could use your ideas around here if you’ve got some more time to spend at Go, See,Talk!:)

  • Princess Sparkle Pony

    Great post, and all of your observations are more or less correct.

    That’s one of the reasons I enjoyed Max Brooks’ two books so much, as some above have already mentioned. In both “The Zombie Survival Guide” and “World War Z” he totally irons out all the kinks in the zombie idea.

    • Marc

      Thanks for the comment Pony! OK, now it’s official, now I am getting The Zombie Survival Guide:) I guess I really can’t be prepared for the end of the world unless I’ve read both books huh?

  • mike

    great post, marc, though i’d also like to add what happens if you become one of the “hot wax zombies”. since the chemical h-73 was secretly developed during the spanish-american war to demoralize the enemy by causing advanced hair loss and increase lima bean build crop yields, sinister forces soon learned it had another secret – turning unwitting people into lifeless, hairless, sex-crazed zombies. so when “yvonne wayne” (think a blonde “elvira”-type on a harley) roars into the sleepy fishing village of daneport, oregon and opens up a waxing salon on the outskirts of town, all sorts of shiny-skinned, carnal mayhem ensues as everyone is freed of their “pesky body hair”. it’s only when the town’s barbers realize that it’s the pacific yew tree that contains the cure and, when blasted with its shavings, these horny zombies go through the low-budget, cinematic, harrowing transformation of re-growing their hair. most people who’ve watched this film sit back with their jaws opened and say “wtf?!?”, sometimes including me, the guy who made it. but it certainly has its fans with the 420 crowd, as well as people who never take things too seriously – which we’re especially appreciative of. itm, all the best for a great weekend!

  • Adam

    I got half way down the comments when I realized not one had mentioned the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. Then a streak of posts to that turned the spotlight to that book. In the ZSG Max Brooks elaborates on everything zombie. After I read the ZSG I couldnt think of any questions. I think if Brad Pitt’s production company doesn’t drop the ball of the movie version of World War Z then Max Brooks will definitely become the zombie story master of our generation. His writing is excellent and does not disappoint. Also, if you have the resources I strongly recommend getting World War Z on audio book. Its about six hours long and hearing the characters instead of giving them my own voice made it very chilling and truly frightening. I listened to it in one sitting on a long night road trip. It was a really powerful experience for me and having read the ZSG previously it made so much sense.

    So, in conclusion read the Zombie Survival Guide before starting on World War Z. I recommend getting WWZ in audio book format because it adds a sense of reality that the zombie genre lacks at times. After you burn through those books ,which are very hard to put down for a die-hard fan of all things undead, you will have the answers you seek. Being prepared for the zombie invasion is your best chance at surviving. Good Luck and happy reading.

    • Marc

      I had heard it brought up that Brad Pitt was interested in this ( I think his production company is called Plan B). If he does focus on this that means he probably won’t worry about the Dark Void game adaptation which is fine by me. WWZ sounds like a much cooler idea to bring to the screen. Could be epic like LotR…but I’ll know more when I read the book:)

      But since I’ve ordered them both, I’ll certainly take your advice and start with Survival and then go to WWZ.

      Thanks very much for the comment Adam!!

  • randy

    The thing i never understand about the movies that show people torn apart by Zombii’s (this is the original spelling) is how come there are so many Zombiis walking around? Wouldn’t most of them be destroyed BEFORE they turned? I do think that they could survive quite awhile by digesting their own bodies from the inside out.

  • Howard Casner

    My biggest one, as you mention here, is the idea of how long can zombies exist. If they don’t get nutrition (and zombies don’t eat animals or other zombies), then their bodies must decay. Even 28 Days Later, which actually takes place over a longer period than 56 days doesn’t really make sense. But another to consider, and an idea ridiculed in Shawn of the Dead and other movies, is how can a zombie really tell the difference between a zombie and a non zombie.

    • Marc

      That was a pretty comical scene in Shaun. I really liked that street scene where they all pretended to be Zombies to get to the Winchester:) But good point, how can they really tell. Love to hear the answer to that. Thanks for the comment Howard!

  • captrhodes666

    If u watched day of the dead u would know zombies can function from 10+ years depending on the rate of decomposition

    • Marc

      Damn that is quite a while though. So if I’m going to wait it all out, I better pack a lunch then huh?:) I just put Dawn and Day on my Netflix queue. Can’t believe I missed so much the first time watching them…

  • orion

    Something to consider about the slow vs fast zombie debate:

    The reasoning behind slow moving zombies is usually based on rigamortis setting in leading to a very stiff rambling movement we’ve come to expect from zombies (shuffling thier feet without bending thier kness etc..).
    Well rigamortis doesn’t start developing until 2-4 hours after death (ideal condiitons could push this to as little as 10 minutes), peaks at about 12-48 hours (again dependent on conditions), and then goes away entierly in about 3 days.
    So what I expect you would actually find is a mixture of both slow and fast moving zombies co-existing based on what stage of rigamortis they are in. The ones who have been dead over three days would have no problem running (even sprinting) after thier victims. While ones dead about one day might not even be able to stand back up if knocked over and would be slow to move.

    • Marc

      Very good call Orion. That’s an awesome concept. A veritable cornucopia of zombies in various stages to contend with. That could make for one of the most interesting (and confusing without exposition) Zombie movies ever. I’d so like to see that!

      Did you think of this concept by yourself?? Are you a med student by chance…or are you writing a sweet Zombie screenplay?:P Thanks for the comment!

    • Felipe Veiga

      Couldn’t disagree more. I’ll use the same argument Simon Pegg wrote in his manifest “Why Zombies Shouldn’t Run”:
      Have you ever been sick? Say, an ordinary cold. While being sick, have you tried running? I bet you didn’t have the energy even to go to work, much less work out. Well, Orion, don’t you think that an impairment like, for instance, DEATH wouldn’t cause a similar lack of energy? I’d understand if the zombie limps a bit faster, but running? No way Jose.

  • Frank Acosta

    Indeed a great post but as flawed as the zombie genre is they’re still great. Up on Youtube and myspace we have “The Zombie Tapes” up. Its a cross between The Office and and zombie movie made. The first three episodes are up and running and getting good reviews and keep in mind the 1st three don’t have zombies in em but the 4th one is going to be intense!! So please people check them out

  • Felipe Veiga

    You see, apparently you haven’t seen that many zombie films, or you haven’t paid attention to them, because some of your points are simply silly.
    1. A zombie transformation of a corpse has never been shown. WRONG. There’s a (very) small budget film called COLIN, which was made just last year. It follows freshly-turned zombie through the streets as he looks for food. And his transformation is shown, at close range. I’m sure there are more, but one is enough to blow up your argument.
    2. Zombies don’t have the strength to dig through a tomb. OF COURSE, but you’re forgetting one thing: ROMERO HAS NEVER SHOWN ANY ZOMBIES DIGGING THROUGH A GRAVE! The whole thing started with “Return of The Living Dead” a more comedic take on the zombie genre, where they also would go about saying “Braaaains!”. Ridiculous. And while I’m at it, they wouldn’t have the strength to run either. I love Zack Snyder’s take on DOTD, but have zombies running is ridiculous. And mind you, quoting 28 DAYS LATER is dangerous. Technically, not a zombie movie. They never died in the first place. Read the zombie manifest written by Simon Pegg, writer and star of one of your favourites.
    And 3. Zombies don’t finish eating a corpse so that the victim can be seen later as a zombie. EXCUSE ME??? Have you actually seen SHAUN OF THE DEAD? Don’t you remember the character of David, who gets his whole stomach ripped to shreds right in our faces?

    Anyway… Sorry if my comments sounded a bit harsh or angry. It was supposed to be humorous. But if the genre is flawed, as you title it, don’t blame it on Romero. Blame it on others who tainted the genre.

    • Marc

      Well Felipe, I don’t claim to know it all and sometimes I can “armchair quarterback” without having done all my homework up front. The post was simply a conversation starter (written by a casual Zombie fan) and I don’t ever claim to know all the answers. Also, very true, probably should have titled the post something a bit more accurate, as Romero’s work does handle the points I’ve brought up…it’s the other Zombie filmmakers who have taken liberties and, by dabbling, kinda ruined the mythology of the genre. Just like Twilight did with their “sparkly” vampires.

      Small responses to your points:
      1. Again, maybe I didn’t write it correctly, but I want to see the point where someone dies *while* they’re being bitten and then, for whatever reason, the zombies stop eating the guy/girl because they have, in fact, now turned. Based solely on a scene in the poorly executed Resident Evil film.
      2. I brought up 28 Days Later in my post but cited it as the RAGE, never calling it a Zombie movie. But when thrown in among that paragraph it looks like I’m not clear about the distinction. Either way, while not a Zombie movie, I still liked how the film eluded to an end of the crisis depicted in the film. I like that better than dealing with an on-going apocalypse:)
      3. Yeah, “Four Eyes” getting dismantled was quite a clear case where the Zombies finished the job. But on the whole, it seems that most people you see living in a film get bitten a few times, disappear off screen, die, then come back. Take Barbara’s brother in Night, and Steve the Snyder DOTD as a few examples.

      But thanks for the comment. This is the reaction I was aiming to get – either get answers to things I didn’t know, or have people tell me what I didn’t know or have right to begin with:) Come back anytime Felipe!

  • Josh

    As some others have mentioned the Zombie Survival Guide answers a lot of questions pertaining to the origins of zombies. As it’s explained in that book, the virus reanimates a person upon their death (either from infection, or bleeding out). The reanimated corpse then becomes essentially a vehicle for transmission of the virus (i.e. it compels them to bite/feed upon the living). It also wards of decomposition, which keeps them going indefinitely.

    Some other points I thought about in reading your post and the comments:

    – In the remake of Dawn of the Dead, you see the little girl bite the Sarah Polley character’s husband on the neck. He bleeds out and springs up about 30 seconds later. So that is an example of a transformation that is shown caused by fatal bite, instead of the slow-to-kill infected bite.

    – Regarding slow vs. fast: I like both. But i have to say, there is a certain logic to a fast zombie (and let’s be clear, no one said they would have super speed or strength… they simply have no inhibitions and no pain threshold). If a zombie moves slow because his muscle control or strength is compromised because he’s dead, then how would he possibly have the jaw-strength to bite into a victim’s flesh with any degree of speed. More importantly, how could they overpower a victim. Even more importantly, how could they tear a person apart with their bare hands (which you see in Day and Shaun of the Dead). You and I couldn’t do that, and we’re alive! It’s at least more plausible that a zombie who has the strength to attack and bite with lethality, should also have strength to pursue its victims (i.e. run after them).

    – Regarding emerging from graves: As someone else mentioned, you almost never see this in any zombie movie that takes the genre even somewhat seriously. In fact, in the original Night of the Living Dead, they point out that it’s the “recently deceased” that are reanimating (in other words, those in morgues and funeral homes, who can get up and walk away without 3 tons of dirt to worry about above their heads).

    – Regarding feeding: The Zombie Survival Guide, again, would have you believe that the virus is simply seeking to be transmitted and therefore spread and survive. Therefore (and this is mentioned in the Dawn remake) zombies seek out “warm human flesh”. Once the victim dies, their flesh becomes undesirable. That is why there are so many zombies still largely intact. Those who are attacked in mobs and ripped apart quickly will also come back to life, but will likely be unable to move (think of the zombie head during the end credits sequence of the Dawn remake). The Survival Guide also points out that Zombies do no feed because they’re hungry. It explains that they don’t even digest what they eat. It simply collects flesh in it’s digestive system until there’s so much it’s forced out its ass, or its guts tear open and spill out.

    – Here’s a question I’ve often thought about during zombie movies: if it’s bad to be bitten, why wouldn’t you wear something that reduced the odds of that happening. Bikers wear leather in case they crash… if a leather coat can help protect your skin in a motorcycle crash it sure as fuck would protect you against a bite. A neoprene wet suit would likely do the same. Or better yet, the chain mail divers wear when they swim with sharks. Obviously, that sort of stuff might limit your mobility, so you wouldn’t want to wear it all the time. But there’s always that scene where they have to rescue that person, or get that thing they need, and they put themselves in “arm’s reach” of the zombies. So yeah, take your guns and your machete, but for goodness sake, could you at least wear something with long sleeves too?

    Sorry for the long reply. I guess I just like the topic.

    • Marc

      Wow Josh, good call on the “muscle strength for the jaw” point! And yeah, I’ve always had a problem with the ripping people apart. Their hands are 5 fumbling decrepit fingers, not Ginsu knives. Just how do they slice through someone so well?:)

      True, Night did spell it all out about the “recently deceased” in the news reports. Love that move for the exposition and laying the ground rules while still keeping the characters scared and ill equipped to deal with the situation. Like Meg and you pointed out, 3 tons is a lot!

      Also I like your point about leather or neoprene. My guess is that in these movies, the outbreak has recently happened, everyone is still running scared trying to figure out what’s going on. Further there’s not many places to go get a chain mail suit or run don to the Harley Davidson dealer for a leather jacket and pants if you don’t already own a bike:) But once I read Survival Guide and WWZ, I’ll be so much more in the know. I never knew this genre was so defined and thought out:P Thanks for your comment Josh!!

  • Steve

    The problem is the difference between the “science” zombie and the “supernatural” zombie. Zombies originate from the supernatural but recent movies have attempt to rationalize them with diseases, nano-bots, alien parasites, whatever.

    Supernatural zombies are driven by unearthly forces. They don’t need to breath and are unnaturally strong. I can imagine something like that digging it’s way out of a grave. They stop attacking when someone dies because they have no interest in the dead. Maybe they move slow because the animating force is imperfect.

    Science zombies is where it all falls apart and the problems you describe start to surface.

    Bottom line – zombies are not science, don’t even try.

    • Marc

      I like your point Steve but can you refer me to movies where Zombies are supernatural? I can’t think of any…and don’t recall having seen any.

      • Steve

        Sorry, I’ll have to turn in my cinephile club membership card. I can’t think of any movies (besides the mentioned Evil Dead) either, but I’m sure I’ve seen some. Maybe I’m thinking more of literature when I say zombies originate from the supernatural.

  • Larry

    I think zombies can hone in on a heartbeat. This would explain why they don’t attack each other and stop attacking after the death of the victim. However, “Night” is the only film of the Romero series that shows the victims being eaten, i.e Tommy & Judy getting parted out and consumed after the truck explosion and Karen Cooper eating Harrys detached hand. The other films show the attack and kill but no ingestion after the death. Actually, “Day” shows Bub being fed parts of the dead soldiers. I think the concept is, is that zombies will eat until the heart stops and if a zombie bites someones head, that [itself] destroys the brain rendering that body incapable of returning.

    While I was reading the topic, I was very surprised that there was no mention as to why in “Dawn”, Roger physically changed. His face got all leathery where none of the other zombies had that characteristic. That’s been bugging me for decades.

    • Marc

      Hadn’t seen the original Dawn in a while, but I do remember that scene. You’re totally right, he’s the only person that happened to. Weird. Maybe since it took him a while to die, the physically draining nature of passing on affected him because he had to die out. Other people probably died a lot sooner from the bites therefore they were better “preserved” so to speak. Or maybe Savini thought a main character deserved a bit more attention and quality of make-up as opposed to the other Crayola (or Paas if you prefer) colored Zombies:P

  • sandy robb

    I’m a great lover of zombie movies much to the dismay of my wife who hates them and moans everytime I watch one. A couple of things always made me wonder. In some movies I’ve seen zombies growling, how can thay do that? To make a noise means you’ve got to have air coming out of your lungs. As zombies are dead, and therefore not breathing, how is this possible? Also I presume they can’t digest food (or go to the toilet), what happens if they gorge on flesh? Do they eventually explode? Just wondering.

  • James

    I haven’t read all of the posts, but has anyone even mentioned the Evil Dead Trilogy? Granted the cast is limited so the whole option of turning vs. dying isnt really an issue, but you do most definitely see people turn as they become infected. For the most part the undead mythology was pretty consistent, but I do question myself wether or not it can be included with zombie genre or just “undead”. The third one can probably be thrown out all together considering its complete deviation from the original two.

  • Ben

    So I am a completely random, 1st time visitor to the website, but I’m glad I stumbled onto this post. Being a big zombie movie fan myself, I found this rather intriguing. I do have one point to offer (and forgive me if someone already said this in a comment, because I didn’t read every one.)

    What if the zombies killed humans not to feed, but merely to kill those that are living? That would (in most movies, at least) explain a lot of these situations that you talk about. If the human getting mauled/attacked/disemboweled just succumbs to their injuries and are then not taken apart piece by piece, but just left to rot, they would simply, over some course of time, turn into a zombie and go about their merry way, right?

    I know some people may have a problem with this, especially since in the older zombie movies, the zombies always chant “Brains!” or something to that effect, making it seem as though they needed to feed. I attribute this to a pre-CGI or special effects driven movie production era where the directors had to get a little more shock and oomph out of what limited resources they had, so they gave the zombies “motivation.” That never really made sense to me. Since zombies were at one point human, they are made of the same things humans are. If they were hungry, why wouldn’t they just eat themselves? Food is food, especially to the very limited mind of a zombie.

    I like to think of their “motivation” in the terms I explained earlier: they simply want the living to not live anymore. It also satisfies a secondary need of propagating the species, but that’s another argument for another time. Anyway, just my 2 cents. I welcome any feedback.

    -Ben S.

    • Marc

      So their “motivation” is kind of like ghosts and spirits haunting the living because deep down they’re jealous that they’re not alive anymore. Not sure I agree with you but I like the creativity. Kind of Communist in a way…everyone on the same team, no individuality…and “no religion too”:) But the propagating has some merit I think!

      Thanks for the comment Ben!

  • CrazyRico

    It may just be the way I am taking these posts in, but there doesn’t seem to be much support for referring to the living infected as zombies. Am I the only one who is willing to extend the classification to these creatures as well? I realize that a lot of filmmakers have stayed away from classifying their films with the z word, but does that necessarily keep them from being, in fact, zombies? Of course, we have to take into account the fact that no current permutation in cinema (that I am aware of) actually stands by the traditional definition of a zombie (recently deceased enslaved by a voodoo priest/ess).

    In case you have not seen them, two movies that offer interesting takes on the subject would be 1988s ‘The Serpent And The Rainbow’ and 2004s low budget ‘Zombie Honeymoon’ – the latter suggesting that the zombie-ism being an affliction wherein a hunger possesses the sufferer to the point where they can no longer resist. Once they have ‘fed’ the sufferer then returns to their normal self, mostly. Well worth checking out.
    – Rico

  • James D

    I’ve been a big zombie fan for a long time and have seen MANY movies on the subject. I’ve also read all of the Max Brooks tomes on the subject (“tomes” sounds more eerie than “books”). Any true zombie fan needs to read them.

    I’m an old-school person and have always subscribed to the slow zombie philosophy. I’m also open-minded, so I’m willing to accept a world of sprinting and climbing zombies (I’d want to be heavily armed though).

    I read this whole post (yes, I’m that much of a zombie geek), and there was no mention of this site:
    They cover the whole fast/slow debate; their logic has some flaws, but it makes things a bit more plausible.

    Last, I am very glad to see that this post has not degenerated into a flaming bed of “So’s your Mother” insults and rants. I’ve seen too many blogs turn into that. It’s nice that we can have mature discussion on cannibalistic walking corpses without acting like one.

    I could say more, but enough for now. That’s my two-cent’s worth, would you like some change?

  • Herald

    Good points, but what I always wonder is how the zombies eventually take over the world. I can image that the fast zombies would be able to overrun humans, but the slow walking creatures? How could they possibly be any problem for the military? In the original Night of the Living Dead every redneck was able to kill a zombie. In Dawn it was possible to trow pies in their face. How can they not be stopped then?

  • Jim

    I am reading this post thinking, has this guy even seen Romero’s original trilogy? Trying to write an article asking questions using the Dawn remake as research is your first mistake.

    • Marc

      I did fail to properly see Romero’s trilogy again before writing this but while his name is in the title, I wasn’t lambasting him for the faults I’ve been noticing. The genre itself has expanded and changed over the years. So while the title of the post isn’t really supposed to be taken as “Hey Romero, answer my questions, and btw I think you got a lot wrong” it was more like “Sorry bud, the work you created has been bastardized and become flawed by recent films”…or something like that.

      Also I wrote this very quickly and was a way of clearing my head of some thoughts that had collected. I’m not claiming to know it all and I wasn’t writing this as a “hey I’ve done all my homework and I am now declaring these are all the problems I’ve found”. This was just a topic to get some conversation started. I am by no means an expert on any of this…

  • James D

    While I do agree the the first version of Dawn is far superior to the remake, I feel that the second one does have things to offer the genre.
    I’m assuming that he saw the remake first. So, physiologically, whichever one that was seen first would probably be your favorite. I, being a bit older, saw the first one when it first came out; so, naturally, it’s my favorite of the two. If you watch it closely, it’s about more than zombies. It is, at its core, a very dark comedy that deals with many issues that were prevalent at the time (and some still prevalent today). The most obvious of which is racism.
    Last, the original, while a great flick, had its share of flaws. It is not a “pretty” film by today’s cinematography standards. Grindhouse’ish (if that’s a word) movies of this type from the 70’s, by their very nature and film quality, are dated. It’s grainy and dark, with cheesy special-effects, and mediocre, over the top acting.
    Zack Snyder, while not the storyteller that Romero is (few are), does know how to make a “pretty” film. Look at his work on 300, probably one of the most visually stunning movies ever.
    Today things like substance and story take a back-seat to CGI effects and large explosions. It would be hard for a movie like the original Dawn to complete with that.
    Once again, just my opinion.

    • Marc

      Yup, you’re right James, I saw Snyder’s remake first so I really had no basis for comparison. I try to catch the original of anything before seeing the remake but I missed that one. Seeing it backwards (so to speak) I did become clouded by Synder’s stylized film which really did make it difficult to get past the “look” of the original Dawn. I am going to watch the original Dawn and Day very soon to see all the things people have been saying I’ve missed. Probably should have done before I wrote this but I just wrote this on a whim/rant one night and it was just a collection of some off the cuff thoughts. Not a thesis of my findings by any means.

      Btw, I agree with your comment on 300 and I personally just love Snyder’s films. Thanks very much for the comment!

  • Thomas Stockley

    It’s the same reason they don’t attack animals in alot of the movies, once the character is reanimated, the meat goes bad. Supposedly it’s not just the virus that makes the meat to go bad, but once the character is fully reanimated, the meat “tastes bad”.

    In most Romero flicks, if a man is attacked by a horde, they won’t have time to reanimate as the zombies tend to tear them apart with their hands prior to biting them. You’ll notice that in most of the movies. Therefore, only SOME zombie movies are flawed.

  • Marc

    One thing I’m seeing is the abundant love for Dawn and Day, which I’m glad all of you leaving comments are so endeared to.

    But while some have written about the love for “Romero’s trilogy”, I’m curious about 2 things:
    1. Does anyone enjoy “Land”,”Diary” and are you excited about the upcoming “Survival”? Do you find the advancements on his social commentary as good as the statements he was making with “Dawn” and “Day”?
    2. While he’s the Stan Lee of the genre, done think he’s gone too deep in his own universe, kinda like George Lucas? Would you like to see something slightly different from him?

  • James D

    Yea, that seems like a valid point (and a somewhat scary comparison). Like most filmmakers that founded or continued a popular genre, they can occasionally lose sight of what their core audience wants. Lucas is obviously the biggest example of this done by a founder. Another one that comes to mind is when Joel Schumacher took over the Batman franchise and nearly killed it. I can see Romero falling into that same trap. Hopefully he does not dig himself too deeply into that grave where he cannot come out. However, if he does, there’s plenty of others out there that would be willing to be the next “Zombie Master!”

  • Adam

    I just finished reading all the posts from where I last posted.

    I was just thinking of the zombie film that had the most impact on me as an adult. Diary of the Dead. Hands down, the rest I saw as a kid and didn’t get the full effect. The sheer horror of being along with that group of college kids and them trying so hard to make you feel like you’re there. The actors weren’t supposed to be great, they were a bunch of young film makers. I know I have diverged from the main article but I believe that Diary of the Dead is worthy of comparison in any zombie movie debate. Just to see how much the character’s change in just a few days in pretty enlightening. If you’re a true zombie flick fan I recommend you at least give it a chance.

    And since I already went off topic then I also recommend The Walking Dead graphic novel series. Another zombie story where the undead are more of an atmosphere or background than a villain(A lot like diary of the dead). It brings more than just a shock value but a real sense of dread and horror that these people are going through.

    Marc, if your amazed at how many people are quite well educated on the subject you might be surprised at how many people have a “what if…?” plan. I don’t mean anything written and notarized but most zombie fans have an idea as to what they would do if the dead begin to walk the earth.