Seeing that it’s almost Halloween and the latest season of The Walking Dead has already started, my thoughts are obviously drawn to thoughts of zombies. Right now, it’s simply the most popular (or most overused, depending on who you are) type of monster in movies and television. But I’ve noticed a lot of misconceptions about “zombie media” as a whole or people having their own ideas how the plotlines for movies and TV shows with zombies should play out.
Well, I’d like to give my own opinions regarding how “normal” people think about zombies and sort of debunk their new fangled approaches to them. In fact, these new ideas regarding zombies actually contradict or go against what makes them popular in the first place. And, first on that list would be…
1) Zombies are scarier if they can run
No. Zombies shouldn’t be able to run! Even from a biological standpoint, they shouldn’t be able to run! Think about it for a second. When they walk, they shuffle around and pretty much limp around. You know why? The mere act of stumbling around can cause their bones to break or have their muscle snap like brittle rubber bands. Now, if they try to start running fast, that just increases the chances of them crippling themselves a thousand fold!
But, okay, it’s just a movie/TV show, right? A horde of zombies that can run isn’t a zombie horde anymore. In fact, they could be easily replaced by aliens or other monsters. The simple fact is what makes a zombie horde scary is the fact that they’re everywhere and there’s no escaping them! They don’t need to run to a location since they’re already there!
I’m fine calling “running zombies” infected people, though.
2) The heroes should look for a cure
I actually heard this when the remake of Dawn of the Dead was shown in theaters and I was actually pretty appalled about how these people just didn’t get one of the biggest reasons why zombie media works. The “heroes” or main protagonists are usually ordinary people and don’t have the know how or “intelligence” of going about finding a cure.
When the zombie apocalypse hits the general population, what do you think you’re going to be more concerned about? Finding a safe place and survival or trying to find how the outbreak happened and create a cure? I don’t think many of us will choose the latter.
But, speaking of finding the cause of the outbreak…
3) The movie/TV show needs to reveal the origins of the zombie apocalypse
Once again, this came from the same Dawn of the Dead viewers and, once again, that’s not the reason why you go and watch zombie media. You have to think of the zombie apocalypse like it’s a natural disaster; it doesn’t really matter what caused it. It just happens! Not only that, it doesn’t matter how it all started!
Let me put it this way: Imagine you’re in a luxury liner and then the captain of the ship announces over the PA system that the boat is sinking. Do you really care as to why the ship is sinking? No! You make your way to the nearest lifeboat and hope to get on board one.
The “ship is sinking” scenario is the same as the “dead rising from their graves” scenario. Screw finding its origin! You’ll only have time to do that if you survive the damned event!
4) It’s stupid for the survivors to fight among themselves!
Actually, this I sort of understand. In times of crisis, the best way to survive is to band together. I would like to think that, when a disaster strikes, we all cooperate to live. But this isn’t the point of zombie movies and TV shows. These programs suggest, once all hell breaks loose, individuals will look out for themselves and the only reason why people behave like they’re “good” people is because that’s what society dictates.
In fact, you see it in everyday life. You’ll see people commit crimes if they feel they can get away with it. The trolls on the Internet try to antagonize others because they feel their anonymity will protect them from any repurcussions. There are more examples but I think you get the picture.
Zombie films and television shows tell us society only functions because of the rules and, when the rules are thrown out, it’s anything goes.
I guess the reason why people say a lot of these things is because, even though zombie media is everywhere, people don’t understand the hidden messages they tell. Now you know.
Oh, by the way…
Do you know any other misconceptions about zombie media? Please leave them in the comments section below!