Phil Hall on Zombies
Published 10/18/2013 12:00:00 AM by Glenn Carter
Buffy dealt with horror in a fantastic and funny way, but I'm trying to rack my brains for a Buffy episode where there was proper zombies (there was one about an old mask that resurrected the dead, but, you know, it was one of the naffer episodes). And when I say proper I don't mean proper (Haitian zombies), I mean Romero-styled zombies and if there was one it's been forgotten about because it was that bad.
The thing is that zombies, although ingrained in our psyches as staple monster faire, simply aren't. Zombies aren't really monsters, they're someone's mother, father, sister, brother, friend, neighbour or lover. Zombie is a concept that humans can relate to; it's a kind of body horror; something impossible but a damn sight more feasible than a blood-sucker, a man who turns into a beast or demons with octopus faces or acid for blood.
I actually think the concept of zombies is a lame one and like all great fantasy creations you can drive a bus through the plot holes in their existing, alone.
For example, I hate the cold, but if the zombie apocalypse comes, I'll spend a few years inside the Arctic Circle, possibly Svalbard; a place that is sparsely populated and will remain very cold throughout the year. It’s ideal - zombies would be thin on the ground to begin with and, as they are dead and generate no heat, they'd freeze pretty quickly. Even if that didn't stop them they'd be stuck fast in the ice and snow, becoming easy to decapitate.
I think the craziest thing about the Walking Dead TV show is they choose to live in Georgia where it gets very hot and never very cold. It’s been a couple of years now and the heat doesn't seem to have speeded up the decomposition any. Presumably they either stop decomposing, despite having no circulation, or it slows down to a level that is barely noticeable.
Now that the zombie apocalypse has arrived and all but you and your harem of young women (to repopulate the world) are dead, what are they going to eat? And when all the available mammals have been eaten, what then? I mean, not only is the idea of a zombie apocalypse grim but it's not conservation friendly either.
I always thought that zombies ate brains to help them think again (if that's not the reason and it's texture only surely we could fool them with cod roe?), well what happens when all human brains are gone and they start eating cow brains; do they get urges to eat just grass and lactate? Or they eat the pet dog's brain and start peeing up every lamp-post. What if the only brain left was
You see zombies are great in confined rooms; you are definitely in trouble if you get stuck in the sauna with a zombie. But zombies and the tundra, it's like Marmite ripple ice cream, all wrong.
As for zombie films, well, I liked Day of the Dead because deep down it was a comedy, a very black comedy. I can see Return of the Living Dead getting a considerably bigger budgeted, worse 21st century remake. Strangely I actually really liked World War Z not for any other reason than its treatment of it as an outbreak of some kind.
I also think several stories in Zombre would make excellent films, even (especially) the one that looks and reads like it was written by a billion chimpanzees on acid. But there's not long before it goes to the printer, you’ll see for yourself!
So not long before you can hold a copy in your hand and go... 'WOW!'