Shoot it in the head! Shoot it in the head!
March 24, 2011 9:33 AM   Subscribe

It's funny, he's talking about the plague of Zombies in the context of medical epidemiology, but the movie clips are all from Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things, in which the zombies are the products of Satanic magic.

He makes a great point at the end about human responses to the Zombie Apocalypse©, however. It's the problem that all zombie movies have, that most horror films have, and that plagues thrillers in general: the plots are driven by the stupidity of the characters.
posted by clarknova at 10:33 AM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

I wished he would have said more about why the zombies never seem to want to eat each other. It would be easy to come up with a bacterial signaling hypothesis or something similar. Also, I was kind of surprised that there was no mention of the most plausible explanation for zombies IRL; tetrodotoxin poisoning. I suppose he goes into more detail in the book though.
posted by Demogorgon at 10:44 AM on March 24, 2011

@clarknova, I don't know what you're talking about. Every single clip is from George Romero's 1968 Night of the Living Dead. Now I know at one point NOTLD went out of copyright protection, which forced Romero to do a remake in 1989-90, so perhaps Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things used some of this footage without fear of infringement. But that stuff is Romero's, Every last bit.
posted by nj_subgenius at 11:17 AM on March 24, 2011

..One more point - it isn't stupidity, it's amped terror, cowardice and heroism, which may likely make people do heedless things. The stupid are already dead; some who survive, while a bit stupid, are not quite stupid enough to eschew big fricking guns and running in assassination packs. Man, get your zombie crap straight.
posted by nj_subgenius at 11:25 AM on March 24, 2011

All this does is make me wish The Walking Dead were back on TV
posted by jnnla at 11:27 AM on March 24, 2011

I thought everyone knew the zombie apocalypse will come about via a weaponized version of the rabies virus.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 11:57 AM on March 24, 2011

But that stuff is Romero's, Every last bit.

You sure of that? Even the guy with the torch and the old gas pump? Guess I have to watch them both again. Damn.
posted by clarknova at 12:41 PM on March 24, 2011

He's talking about a specific type of zombie, the rage virus victim type, and he's wrong about them anyway. He keeps referring to them as "corpses", but describes them as breathing and having beating hearts. They're not the (magical) undead, they're the (scientific) living dead.

In zombie movies etc that use undead zombies, they are animate corpses, and whatever causes that condition does not depend on living physiology to move the zombie about. For instance, they can move bones where the living form's attached muscle that would move the bone has rotted away. They can see and hear, or otherwise detect nearby (and only nearby) activity, despite having non-functional or entirely absent eyes and ears. In some cases, separated body parts such as hands crawl around on their own, and brain damage doesn't necessarily do much to the undead zombie.

The undead form is a puppet, animated by some malevolent force. It could as readily be a bundle of sticks. That this isn't the case, indicates a possibility that the magic of the animation requires a formerly living, sapient, ensouled body to animate. Alternatively, it indicates that the outbreak is caused by a thinking being, whose expectations are that zombies should be animated human corpses; a necromancer, or a supremely powerful telekinetic, perhaps one not even aware of his/her powers.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 12:50 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

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