Wednesday 10 – Thursday 11 October 2018
In the lead up to Halloween, one of the TV stations is taking the opportunity to broadcast horror movies every Wednesday, as well as on their on-demand channel. To be precise, they’re broadcasting zombie movies, and we all know how I feel about a zombie movie. If you haven’t read any of my blog posts about zombies and zombie movies, here’s the short version for you – I love zombie movies, but zombies are the one horror character that freak me the sh!t out. I’ve never had a nightmare about werewolves or vampires or mummies or any number of other horror character, but zombies, on the other hand, have the ability to freak me out. I blame that on George A. Romero and his Night Of The Living Dead . . . more the ending of it than anything else. I always felt disgusted at the futility of Ben surviving a terrifying night of the zombie apocalypse only to be exterminated by the armed men at the break of day. Anyway, I digress . . .
I started thinking about how I would construct a zombie movie, if I ever decided to face those creatures and create a piece of cinematic zombie sh!t. And believe me, I have thought about it quite a lot over the last week, the catalyst being a screening of World War Z, which I happen to think is one of the best zombie flicks around. So, I thought I’d whip up a blog post about some essentials of my zombie movie.
- Fast moving zombies: this is a necessity. Gone are the days of the lumbering, uncoordinated brain muncher. Today’s zombie is speedy, calculated, persistent, physically coordinated, and almost capable of structured thought. They are a force with which to be reckoned. In fact, I might even have my zombies evolve into thinkers. Not genius level creatures, but ones that are potentially capable of formulating basic combat or feeding strategies. Just a lil something to throw the cat amongst the pigeons.
- Into the fray: I’d set my flick in the midst of the zombie apocalypse. We don’t necessarily need to see the situation from the point of patient zero. We need to get into the action, sort of like 28 Weeks Later or Land Of The Dead. The characters in those movies have already seen the beginning of the infection and they’re now setting about trying to survive. I’d want my poor characters to be stuck right in the middle of everything.I haven’t, at this point, decided upon a location because I can see the benefits of setting the story in the city and in the countryside. In the city, you’ve got buildings and alleys, and all manner of strongholds and weak points. There are places to easily obtain food, medication, weaponry and items to prolong or ensure survival, assuming there is anything left. In the country, you can have almost complete isolation from the rest of the world, but at the same time, there can be pockets of civilisation, buildings and outhouses. You can have safety with the constant threat of not knowing whether there is an infestation of the infected hiding in barns or farmhouses or silos. Oh, the possibilities.
- No starving here: In many zombie movies, after a period of time without access to their food source, the zombies expire. They starve. I’m not sure I want my zombies to be limited by that. I want mine to just go the hell on tormenting, and eating, the living. I think that’s a much more terrifying future to consider than having the zombies starve to second-death if they can’t get food. *Insert evil laugh here.*
- Traditional methods of eradication still work: Oh, come on . . . did you really think I wouldn’t rely on the tried and tested methods of killing off zombies? There are some pieces of character mythology that you don’t mess with, and smacking he cr@p outta zombie heads is one of those things. Where else can my living characters get a few kicks in the midst of this horrible zombie apocalypse if not for shooting and belting zombies in the head? Don’t spoil the fun of the living. And, of course, there’s fire. Set a zombie on fire and hope for the best.
- Pass it on: As with the traditional methods of eradication, I’d keep the way zombies pass on the infection – bodily fluids (as in the 28 Days/Weeks franchise) and the Bitey McBiteface method would have to stay. Gotta love the Bitey McBiteface method. Om nom nom nom . . .
- Bodies are piling up: High body count means more zombies, and I’m sure that more zombies in a zombie flick can only be a good thing. Unless, of course, you’re one of the living who are trying to survive. Then it’s a really bad thing. Mind you, if you wanted to get rid of someone, you could always throw them to the zombies. The thing is, you’d run the risk of that person joining the zombie pack and coming back to get you. Hey, there are pros and cons with everything.
And those, dear reader, are some of the things I’d definitely use in any zombie movie that I wrote. Mmmmmmmmm, brains . . .