I don’t get it. Maybe I’m just not able to sufficiently commit a willing suspension of disbelief, but I’ve never been frightened by zombies as presented in later movies.
Repulsed? Yes. Frightened? No.
Zombies, by the original definition, were mindless meat puppets, utterly will-less free-labour slaves of their masters — it was their psychopathic masters that you had to watch out for. If zombies ever invoked anything in me, it was pure pity:
Now, however, they’re willfully diabolical and nigh unstoppable cannibals.
My friends who are into this kind of stuff, zombie flicks and such, don’t grok why I don’t get all worked up over it the way they do. Now, maybe if I were the sort to turn a blind eye — or had no curiosity about anything — I might be gullible enough to fall for it. But I’m not, so I don’t.
You see, it all has to do with the human brain. The human brain requires quite a lot of different things just to keep the body functioning at a mere minimum. We’re not even talking about the higher functions here, just the mechanics of getting the limbs to move and for the equilibrium to establish and maintain itself for the sake of locomotion.
The brain has to have oxygen. Oxygen is just as necessary to the brain as it is to fire. Oxygen gets to the brain via blood. If the heart ain’t pumping, then no blood is going anywhere.
The brain needs fat to maintain its mass, and as a medium for synapses and neurons and all those nifty little blood vessels that bring all the other nutrients in, like calcium which is required for the synaptic jumps, like salt whose deficit can bring about paralysis as well as promote dehydration.
This isn’t about brain malfunction, this is about brain failure. If the engine dies, that car isn’t going anywhere. No oxygen? Brain death. No artificial life support — lungs and heart both pumping — for the body housing the dead brain? Body death. And body death is immediately followed by decomposition.
Trying to bring a fried hard-drive back to life is an exercise in futility, and it doesn’t even decompose. It just sits there, collecting cat-hair and mocking your dependence upon it, with its ghost laughing at you because you are so going to miss that scheduled chat.
So if some of the ‘zombies’ in current fiction and movies eat nothing but the brains of the living — going for human brains only, because supposedly lower animals are too smart, too quick, and know to obey instinct — then those zombies are not going to get enough water to maintain the solubility that muscles need just to keep moving, nor to keep the blood thin enough to get to its destination.
And what’s with the super human strength that these zombies exhibit? Dehydration also saps muscle strength. And the calcium the brain needs? The bones need that, too. Weak bones snap all too easily, and teeth fall out. And what’s that toothless zombie going to do to you? Gum you to death?
Once decomposition has set in it doesn’t stop for anything, baby. The stuff that requires the most water goes first, and the brain is in that group. And the speed with which some of these zombies move? Nuh-uh, no way. All that, and you can smell their approach, as the reek of rotting flesh is not discrete. There is no stealth mode for zombies.
Speed, strength, endurance, and quick-jerk reflexes are among the first victims of a failing body — just ask anyone with a head-cold.
Oh, and that [un]dead dude you want as a lover? First, just squick. Second, don’t get excited, honey, because that isn’t arousal,… it’s just rigor mortis.