Vampires have been the “it” undead for a while now – and why not? They’re smart. They’re really long-lived and mysterious. Needless to say, they’re dangerous – ninja-sneaky and super-strong all in one package. And in recent incarnations they ooze all sorts of sexual attraction as evidenced by so many victims going through the whole “No, no, no – yes, yes, yes!” arc while being exsanguinated.
But let’s move down the undead foodchain a bit. Actually, let’s move all the way to the bottom of it. To zombies. You’ve really lost the undead lottery if you end up as a zombie. Why? Because zombies are like the anti-vampire. They’re stupid. They’re clumsy. They’re slow. And zombies probably test the limit of Rule 34.
But I will say that zombies get an “A” for effort. I mean, the thing about zombies is that they are relentless. You can’t talk a zombie out of what it wants to do. And you’re going to tire and need to sleep, but they don’t. And unlike vampires, they don’t stop shambling when the sun rises, so no break there.
And if you’re not careful, there can end up being a lot of them – which is where zombies end up getting really dangerous. I mean anyone with an axe can take out one zombie, but 10? 100? 1000? Man, you got a problem.
Night of the Living Dead is THE seminal zombie movie. Made in the late-60s on a shoestring budget, it tells the story of a group of people that attempt to survive the initial appearance of “ghouls” – the recently dead come back to life, or unlife, such as it is. Being filmed in black-and-white with no real known actors gives it a sense of realism and the movie, which starts off seeming like a pseudo-comedy gets pretty ugly, pretty fast with some really gruesome scenes and some gut-turning “gnaw-gnaw-gnaw” sound effects. Despite all the remakes and sequels, it still works. 8 stars.
Zombieland, which came out a couple of years ago, is on the other end of the zombie-apocalypse – after the zombies have toppled civilization. In this send up, a nerd, a mercenary (wonderfully played by Woody Harrelson) and two sisters are survivors trying to make their way to some sort of safety in a zombie apocalypse. Poking fun and both people and the entire zombie-genre, these guys get it right – and with really one of the best surprise cameos in a long time. A lot of goofy fun. 8 stars.
So, maybe zombies are getting a little bit of due after all this vampire-love. In fact, AMC is producing an adaption of “The Walking Dead” – a series which will take place in a not-nearly-so-funny post zombie-apocalypse America.
Hmmm… now I’m hungry.