This morning, as I stumbled along with other blank-eyed early morning commuters, I realised that it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything about zombies. It’s funny how the mind works isn’t it?
Halloween is almost upon us and there’s no better time for me to warn you about the perils of a zombie apocalypse. If you see just one zombie coming towards you then you’ve probably got time to go and have a couple of pints before it gets close enough to be a threat. However, if zombies take over your city then things are bound to get a little more complicated…
As I’ve said before, I know exactly where I’ll be going in the event of a zombie infestation in London. Seeing as you folks are kind enough to come and read my blog I thought I’d help you out by going through a few zombie films and pointing out some do’s and don’ts…
Night of the Living Dead.
There were zombie films before ‘Night of the Living Dead’ came along but this one is rightly regarded as a classic that breathed new life into the genre. One of the few films that is scarier for being in black and white, it still gives me shivers whenever I watch it! A group of people hide in an old farmhouse while zombies try to get in, will any of them survive? I don’t think it’s spoiling the film to say that none of them do and we can learn a lesson from this. “How so?” I hear you say. Think about it, if you were attacked by zombies in a graveyard would you try and get as far away as possible or hide in the farmhouse next door? I thought so… However, these hapless victims weren’t thinking at all and probably deserved to get eaten for displaying a remarkable lack of foresight about their situation. Learn from their mistake, get well away from the zombies first and then hide somewhere!
Dawn of the Dead.
I’m talking about the original version (from nineteen seventy something or other) and probably the best zombie film ever. It’s that good. It’s not so much the zombies that scare you; it’s more the creeping sense of fear coming out of a small group’s isolation in a world that is slowly collapsing. The way that radio and TV broadcasts gradually die out only serves to reinforce this. Our intrepid band of survivors decides to drop out of humanity’s overall struggle and strike out on their own. This is a good move as small groups of people will escape zombie notice. Then they go and hide out in a shopping mall, very bad move indeed. Why? I’ll tell you why… Despite ‘Dawn of the Dead’ being the first film where survivors hide in a mall, the concept was already so well worn that within a couple of hours (of film time) another band of survivors break into the mall and bring the zombies with them. Our remaining survivors are forced to flee in a helicopter that has hardly any fuel. If only they’d come up with a more original idea then they wouldn’t be this situation. Learn from their mistake, your hideout has to be one that no-one else would think of using.
Land of the Dead
We’d all been waiting years for Mr Romero to give us another quality zombie film, what he eventually did was decide to make us wait a bit longer and give us ‘Land of the Dead’ instead. This didn’t do very well at the box office; poor distribution was blamed but the fact that it looked like a hastily done TV movie surely didn’t help either! What is interesting though is the way the zombies exhibit learning behaviour. They still shamble around and eat people but they can do lots of other cool stuff (for a zombie) as well. Zombie ‘evolution’ is something we’re all going to have to consider if we don’t want to end up being eaten and this is apparent in ‘Land of the Dead’. Once a zombie works out that it doesn’t need to breathe then your handy moat isn’t so special anymore. The same goes for your plate glass windows once a zombie discovers the value of a blunt instrument… To be honest, I’m not sure how to counter this one although it does make a good case for the introduction of floating sky castles… ;o)
That’s all from me, on the subject, for now. Just remember, if a zombie smells of booze it’s very likely that it’s just a common drunk. Check before hitting them on the head….