Saturday, September 27, 2008

Running zombies

Let's talk zombies, shall we?

I'm a zombie fan, there's no denying it. Romero, Russo or even Resident Evil, doesn't matter, if it used to be dead, but isn't quite so any more, it's fun. It must be said that I prefer Romero zombies, but as previously mentioned, it's all fun. Actually, not everything, there's a snake in zombie paradise. I am talking about a trend in recent zombie movies that doesn't fit at all well with what made older zombie movies so awesome. I am talking about running zombies.

Why is this a problem? A slow-moving foe can't possibly be all that much of a threat, and no threat equals no scares, right? I get that line of reasoning a lot, but I can't say I'm convinced. Yes, one slow zombie is not even close to a threat, but that's kind of the point. One zombie isn't a problem, one zombie is a joke. To quote Seth Grahame-Smith, author of "how to survive a horror movie"
A human being killed by a zombie is the equivalent of a F-16 being shot down by a nerf dart.
This, to me, sums up the entire charm behind zombies. One zombie, no problem. Two zombies, you beat up one with the other. Three zombies, clobber away. A parking lot full of them, now it's getting dangerous. Zombies all over the place, you're screwed. Zombies don't feel fear or pain, so if there's enough of them, they will drown any opposing force in a sea of decaying flesh. Doesn't matter how much ammo you've got, it won't be enough, and all it takes is one bite and it's all over.

Modern zombie movies want to be 28 days later, which in itself isn't a bad thing. 28 days was an interesting entry in the horror genre, and showed the world that the UK still was capable of scaring the living daylights out of the rest of the world. The sequel, not so much, but I'll get more into that at a later date. 28 days, however, was not a zombie film. Although some aspects of it, the contagious killing disease, turning men against men and generally just FUBARing the world up, certainly was borrowed from the zombie genre, the rage infectees were still technically alive.

Apart from moving away from the general philosophy of zombies, these 28 days later-wannabees annoys me for a different reason, namely that it cheapens the scares a lot. An example, Dawn of the Dead (Remake.) This flick is filled to the brim with jogging corpses, and quite frankly it's not very scary, at all. Dawn of the Dead has little to offer in the land of scares, and the little it has is mostly based on the whole "OMG, dead people running, gonna catch meh"-thing, ending up with a fairly infantile attempt at spooking the audience.

Despite my harsh words against sprinting undead, it can't be denied that my all-time favorite zombie movie, Rec, features zombies that are quite good runners, but I'll get into that tomorrow

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