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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Slow vs. Fast The Great Zombie Debate

Eventually this blog topic was bound to occur. Best to get it out of the way now and leave the remaining topics a surprise to you my most beloved and loyal readers (all 6 of you).

Always a topic of debate amongst lovers of horror (probably argued as much as remake vs. Original) is the slow zombies versus fast zombies debate. While I won't give George Romero complete credit for starting the zombie genre he will be the basis of my slow zombie argument. I am a huge zombie fan and I will try to be as non-bias as possible in this debate. My personal preference is slow zombie but as I said I will do the best I can to be non-bias.

First up: Slow Zombies


Why they are scary:
Slow zombies are scary because no matter how fast you run or how well you hide your going to get caught and eaten. The same principle goes for the original Michael Myers and Jason characters (Jason being a sort of Zombie in his own right). Slow moving zombies are hell bent on one thing, killing and eating the victim. This does have rare exceptions like in Return of the Living Dead where the slow zombies talk and still have a degree of intelligence (opening doors, using radios to call for more food ect...)

Why they are not scary: Slow zombies survive off dumb luck and dumber victims. A look at any Romero picture always has that one shot of a zombie doing something out of instinct that enables the zombie horde to get to the victims. Hardly ever does the horde break down the door and eat everyone inside. Instead luck plays a large role in it, whether it a biker gang moving the trucks so the zombies get into the mall or the instinct principle that leads a zombie to stick a gas pump into a limo and throw in a zippo. As far as the dumb victim scenario it is never going to fail in a zombie flick (fast or slow) that one of the main characters is going to get bit and hide the fact until all of the other dumb victims get trapped with him or her. Sometimes the victims are smart enough to kill the friend in time (Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead) but most of the time it ends badly like Night of the Living Dead.


Secondly: Fast Moving Zombies


Why they are scary: The fast moving zombie is scary just because they move at inhuman speed due to the zombie not suffering from muscle fatigue or feeling the pain of a torn muscle. These are highly intelligent zombies capable of working as a team to get to the goal. Whether it be the zombies from the remakes of Dawn of the Dead to the infected Resident Evil all the way to the patriarch 28 Days/Weeks zombies, they are all bad ass killing machines that want nothing more than to kill every living thing on the planet.

Why they are not scary:
In my opinion (I'm still trying to be unbiased) Fast moving zombies are not scary because they have every strength and other than a head shot none of the weaknesses of the living human race. One only has to look to the opening of the remake of Dawn of the Dead to realize that the moment of death an infected human jumps to their feet and becomes a killing machine capable of running a mile in two minutes and will stop at nothing to bite and kill. That is sort of scary but many of the fast moving zombie films it is just that a kill, there is none of the gore that accompanies a zombie gang attack on a person. Nightmare City being an exception to this rule. In the zombie genre gore is an almost requirement and right of passage. Imagine what Day of the Dead would look like without the scenes where heads and torsos are ripped into, you don't have to imagine very hard pop in Day of the Dead's remake, the gore is almost non existent due to the desire to get a good rating from the MPAA.

As I stated earlier I have to go with Slow Zombies in this debate. While both are mindless killing machines the fact that slow zombies accomplish the same goal without breaking most known laws of physics and is more probably wins the debate at least in my mind. But have I done anything to put an end to the debate for the masses? Nope, nor would I ever even want too. I want the debate to continue it is a source of entertainment amongst most zombie fans. As long as the debate continues tinsel town will take notice and give us 3 or 4 zombie flicks a year. Great zombie movies such as Severed will be made that makes everyone take notice of a genre that is pretty much the black sheep of the horror community.

However, this is just the opinion of one movie fan, who is fired up and in love with a genre of movies that has always seemed to click with him and the rest of the audience. I would appreciate any comments anyone has, please don't let this be a one sided debate on fast vs slow. You've taken the time to read my rant, let me enjoy yours now.

2 comments:

  1. The big problem with fast zombies is that, should a fast zombie epidemic break out, we're screwed. Get caught out in the open unarmed against one fast zombie, maybe you have a chance. Meet two, and you're done. More than that, and you're so screwed it's not even funny, even if you're well-armed. That's a terrifying doomsday scenario, but for movie-making purposes, the heroes pretty much have to spend all their time barricaded behind something, which really limits the cinematic possibilities. I personally prefer slow zombies, since that takes the immediate pressure off and lets things build more slowly. But hey, as long as the movie is good, I'm fine with either species of zombie. I do draw the line at flying zombie heads, but those are pretty rare.

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I am 28 years old and will watch anything at least once. Love to review bad movies to prevent others from suffering.