Zombies, Man, They Really Creep Me Out

There's not really any question that zombie movies reflect left-leaning politics. Still, this article by the The American Prospect's Paul Waldman leaves something to be desired:

But most important, what ensures survival in a zombie story are the progressive ideals of common cause and collective action. A small group of people from varying backgrounds are thrust together and find that they can transcend their differences of age, race, and gender (the typical band of survivors is a veritable United Nations of cultural diversity). They come to understand that if they're going to get out of this with their brains kept securely housed in their skulls and not travelling down some zombie's gullet, they've got to act as though they're all in it together. Surviving the tide of zombies requires community and mutual responsibility. What could be more progressive than that?

But the survivors rarely act as if they're "all in it together," as George Romero's movies make abundantly clear. The humans always turn on each other. By Land of the Dead, Romero was basically rooting for the zombies.

For a far more sophisticated and convincing take on the mostly left-wing politics of zombie cinema, look no further than Tim Cavanaugh's Reason classic "We the Living Dead":

From Night of the Living Dead to Homecoming (in which dead Iraq war veterans return from the grave to vote against the war), the zombie movie has been among the most consistently political forms in American popular culture. The politics tend to lean left, but zombie entertainment approaches a level of discontent more elemental than mere anti-capitalism or shopping mall burlesque. Apocalyptic and piously disdainful of the carnal realities of human life, zombie cinema is a shocking, uproarious meditation on the nature of death—on what, if anything, we owe to the dead.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Does this dumbfuck realize that most zombie movies end with everyone dying?

    Take Dawn of the Dead (remake) for example. CJ had the plan, and then Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames come in and fuck everything up.

  • ||

    I drove by the sign in the pic taking my kid and his buddy to school one day. We all had a good laugh.

  • ||

    I might as well admit it: I'm firmly anti-zombie and pro-human.

  • Flex Nasty B.I.G.||

    But most important, what ensures survival in a zombie story are the progressive ideals of common cause and collective action.

    The "progressive ideals" of common cause and collective action are possible within a libertarian context. The key requirement is that participation in them be voluntary.

    See open-source / free software as an example. Tens of thousands of programmers all over the globe have cooperated to produce software like Linux, Apache, and PHP. (Most of which undoubtedly power this web site.) They have done so of their own free will.

    So, it's entirely possible for *voluntary* socialism to exist within a free market context. It's probably even desirable.

  • ||

    So zombie movies are created to make a statement? Huh...and here I thought they were just zombie movies. Color me superficial.

  • Franklin Harris||

    Romero never knows what he's doing, anyway. Look at his original Night of the Living Dead. I doubt he intended it, but the white racist guy was right and the attractive black hero was wrong. How does the black character end up surviving the night? By hiding the the basement, which is what the white racist guy wanted to do in the first place! The black guy's cockamamie "plan" gets everyone killed.

    Now: Night of the Living Dead as metaphor for the Obama administration. Discuss.

  • ||

    They come to understand that if they're going to get out of this with their brains kept securely housed in their skulls and not travelling down some zombie's gullet, they've got to act as though they're all in it together. Surviving the tide of zombies requires community and mutual responsibility. What could be more progressive than that?

    Complete and utter bullshit.

    Ad hoc organization on a temporary and strictly ends-oriented basis is libertarianism, dummy.

    A band of "progressives" would be busily organizing the vote for Leader and hashing out a fair redistribution of supplies and possessions when the zombies came through the (still unboarded) windows.

  • ||

    Does this mean a zombie was elected President?



    ....or just the victim of a Zombie?



    I can't wait for the politicization of the Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th series...

  • ||

    In most zombie flicks guns are used to protect people, and we all know use of guns for any reason is wrong and not progressive.

  • Tricky Prickears||

    I think zombie movies, in general, are meant to explore human nature, if anything, not make a political statement. But I think Shakespeare, does a much better job at it. It's all artsy fartsy crap anyway.

  • Jim Anderson||

    After Shaun of the Dead, the serious zombie film is irrelevant.

  • Mad Max||

    'I think zombie movies, in general, are meant to explore human nature, if anything, not make a political statement. But I think Shakespeare, does a much better job at it.'

    Is this the end of Zombie Shakespeare?

    'Surviving the tide of zombies requires community and mutual responsibility. What could be more progressive than that?'

    I recently saw Night of the Living Dead again. The authorities were worse than useless - they were nowhere to be seen when the zombies were besieging the house. When they *did* come, they killed the lone survivor, mistaking him for a zombie.

    And I got the impression that the zombie plague was the government's fault in the first place, thanks to radiation from a NASA satellite.

  • ||

    is there any doubt this will be the most commented thread today?

  • Mad Max||

    From Shakespeare's suppressed play, Invasion of ye Zombies:

    O, that this too, too solid flesh would melt
    Thaw, and be boiled into a stew
    Or that the Everlasting had not made
    Our flesh so tasty!

    If brains be the food of love, play on.

    Methought I heard a voice cry, sleep no more!
    Zombies have murdered sleep . . .

    . . . a poor player
    Who struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And gets eaten by the third act.

  • Franklin Harris||

    More Romero doesn't know what he's doing: Dawn of the Dead is supposed to be a critique of "consumer capitalism" because it's set in a shopping mall.

    What I learned: You can fill all of your zombie-fighting needs at the mall!

  • freeforall232||

    Progressive/Liberal - "The zombies are coming! Quick! Everyone give me their guns and ammo!"

  • Xeones||

    I might as well admit it: I'm firmly anti-zombie and pro-human.

    RACIST!

    is there any doubt this will be the most commented thread today?

    None whatsoever.

  • alan||

    Surviving the tide of zombies requires community and mutual responsibility. What could be more progressive than that?


    Mutual responsibility? Is that what they are calling it these days.

  • Mad Max||

    Pieces of my heart are on my sleeve
    For daws to peck at - at least if the zombies don't get to it first.

  • Stretch||

    "There's not really any question that zombie movies reflect left-leaning politics."

    I question that.

  • ||

    is there any doubt this will be the most commented thread today?

    At least until Balko clocks in...

  • ¢||

    Does this dumbfuck realize that most zombie movies end with everyone dying?

    You'd think he'd mention that. It's the best evidence that they're leftist.

  • ||

    Zombie movies reflect progressive politics all right, but the other way around. Hordes of people who don't produce anything but live off the flesh of regular people, until everyone dies in the end: that's socialism for you.

  • KipEsquire||

    What a Randroid would say, not entirely incorrectly, is that zombie movies celebrate reason over mysticism. Ever read Rand's West Point commencement address with its brief "science fiction" introduction?

    Besides the obvious anti-religion backdrop required in any zombie movie, the people who survive are invariably the ones who think, reflect, reason and act. The ones who just sit, hope --and eventually scream -- are the ones who perish.

    A better question would be why so many movies have anti-Romanticist endings these days (i.e., the protagonists perish in the end anyway).

    "Cloverfield" comes to mind, as does "Alien 3," "The Happening," "Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978 version), as well as the cut-away endings of the video games "Dead Space" and "F.E.A.R."

    Leaving an opening for a sequel is one thing, but there's something disturbing and unfortunate about the popularity of gratuitous, existentialist, "it was all for nothing" endings in zombie and apocalyptic fiction.

  • redbeardrum||

    I recently saw Night of the Living Dead again. The authorities were worse than useless - they were nowhere to be seen when the zombies were besieging the house. When they *did* come, they killed the lone survivor, mistaking him for a zombie.

    LOL
    ATF/FEMA to the rescue.

  • Xeones||

    When they *did* come, they killed the lone survivor, mistaking him for a zombie.

    I don't remember, did they kill his dog first?

  • Mad Max||

    Zombie, or not zombie--that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to shoot first
    Cast slings and arrows first and ask questions later
    To take up arms against a sea of zombie
    And by opposing end them. Or be discreet -
    To look--but not to shoot if there's a risk
    Of shooting someone who is not yet dead
    Through a mistake. 'Tis a dilemma
    Devoutly to be solved. To shoot, or wait--
    To wait - perchance to scream: ay, there's the rub,
    For if we wait to see if it's a zombie
    Then we might shuffle off this mortal coil,
    While we do pause. There's the respect
    That makes calamity of this zombie plague.
    For who would bear the jaws of undead demons,
    Th' undead throng, the colleague's contumely
    The pangs of despised advice, the law's delay,
    The insolence of office, and their tendency
    To mistake you for a zombie yourself,
    When he himself might his quietus make
    By shooting everything that moves? Who would AK-47s bear,

    [here the manuscript mercifully ends]

  • Hugh Akston||

    What places zombie movies firmly in the field of lefty politics is the juxtaposition of the undead-lurching about aimlessly, engaged only in mindless consumption, weak individually but threatening in large groups-with the survivors-rational, racially and sexually diverse, primarily concerned with meeting basic needs of everyone in the group, and often victims to the unthinking mobs.

    If there is a better presentation of the Progressive worldview, I doubt it is more entertaining.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "Zombie movies reflect progressive politics all right, but the other way around. Hordes of people who don't produce anything but live off the flesh of regular people, until everyone dies in the end: that's socialism for you."

    PapayaSF,

    You are my Hero of the fucking Day!!! That is a GREAT line. Bravo sir, bravo!

  • Zombie||

  • ||

    Well, these zombies are definitely pro-business.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXs78MASeR4

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Hugh, you done good too.

  • ||

    You don't have to rewrite Shakespeare to find zombies:

    Tis now the very witching time of night,
    When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
    Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
    And do such bitter business as the day
    Would quake to look on. Soft! now to my mother.
    O heart, lose not thy nature; let not ever
    The soul of Nero enter this firm bosom:
    Let me be cruel, not unnatural:
    I will speak daggers to her, but use none;
    My tongue and soul in this be hypocrites;
    How in my words soever she be shent,
    To give them seals never, my soul, consent!

    Hamlet (Act 3. Scene II)

    Note in particular the first half: "[C]hurchyards yawn[ing]" clearly refers to graves opening, and the part about hell breathing out contagion, well, that's obviously zombies or some other form of undead. Drinking hot blood is all part of the zombie lifestyle, as they munch their way to the brains (note that while a modern audience might think "Vampire!", vampires were not a part of the Elizabethan mythos).

    So, in conclusion, Hamlet is hoping that he won't become a zombie and eat his mother.

  • hmm||

    It's somewhat ironic that the movies are somewhat left leaning and the right side "gunnut" crowd typically embrace the zombie theme.

    Like the:
    Missouri Undead and Lychenthrope Liquidation and Eradication Team.

    Two to the head will make it dead, again

  • ||

    Surviving the tide of zombies requires community and mutual responsibility. What could be more progressive than that?

    Getting picked off one by one through carelessness and infighting is progressive? OK.

    What I've learned most about zombie films is that douchebags love to project their politics on them.

    Next up: project your politics onto Dario Argento films! Suspiria is about atheism, or something! Tenebrae is about animal welfare!

  • Xeones||

    Tenebrae is about animal welfare!

    Incorrect. Tenebrae is actually a critique of cultural imperialism.

  • ||

    The main sources of failure for most groups in zombie films attempting to survive are also the main failures of left/progressives: destructive altruism and Utopianism.

    When do the protagonists get into trouble? When they try to help other people who are "less fortunate" than they are. Take the Dawn remake: They are perfectly fine in the mall, fucking, making up games, and eating Cinnabon... but they just have to help the guy starving to death across the street. Drawn to his plight, they send the dog over, which results in the gun store owner getting eaten and a sentimental mission to rescue the dog, which leads to the mall being breached. (They were still able to retreat to the upper levels, though.)

    And then, while in a fairly safe mall that the undead hordes can't get into, they decide to seek an island sanctuary by trying to get to the marina. The mall has food and water to last them decades... but that's not going enough... they want paradise. And it gets all of them killed.

  • hmm||

    They fail due to a lack or preparation, tactics, and a superiority of weaponry!

  • Franklin Harris||

    And The Stendhal Syndrome is about child abuse -- namely Argento subjecting his daughter Asia to rape and torture for the audience's viewing pleasure.

  • hmm||

    And they fail because it's in the script.

  • ||

    And The Stendhal Syndrome is about child abuse -- namely Argento subjecting his daughter Asia to rape and torture for the audience's viewing pleasure.

    Well, that's actually true. Just ask Asia.

    Tenebrae is actually a critique of cultural imperialism.

    See? SEE?

  • ||

    Zombie movies are an indictment of our heartless free-market capitalist health care system; those people wouldn't have died in a caring, single payer system.

  • Salvius||

    Romero has always said that the decision to have a black protagonist in the original Night of the Living Dead was not intended as a political statement, he was just the best actor they had available. I get the feeling that when that movie came out and was praised for its political boldness, Romero has been trying ever since then to achieve the same praise he originally got inadvertently, and so his zombie movies have gotten more and more overtly political over the years.

    When too confin'd become the pits of Hell,
    Those damned souls in this fair Globe will dwell.


    (Wm. Shakespeare, Death's Night; or, The Flesh Eaters, Act IV, scene 2)

  • ||

    In Shakespeare's time, all the zombie roles were played by living actors.

  • Errr||

    Zombie porn?

  • Scott||

    Damn it Jim! I don't think the zombie film is irrelevant after Shaun of the Dead. In fact, its moral coda showed us that the living and the undead can live cohabit in peace and harmony.

    A lesson for us all.

  • ||

  • hmm||

    I will be no part of cohabitation with zombies.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "When do the protagonists get into trouble? When they try to help other people who are "less fortunate" than they are. Take the Dawn remake: They are perfectly fine in the mall, fucking, making up games, and eating Cinnabon... but they just have to help the guy starving to death across the street. Drawn to his plight, they send the dog over, which results in the gun store owner getting eaten and a sentimental mission to rescue the dog, which leads to the mall being breached. (They were still able to retreat to the upper levels, though.)"

    Gotta disagree here.

    The problem was that they could have come up with another way to get Andy food. Fuck, tie a sandwich to an RC helicopter and let him regain his strength that way.

    Also, he owned a gun store. Guns and ammo in a zombie apocalypse are paramount to survival. They had very little left.

    Also, when they returned from the botched rescue mission, Steve had left the door and it took them a while to get in to the mall. By that time the zombies were too near and they managed to force their way in to the mall. It was no longer safe forcing them to leave.

    What they should have done was to let that stupid bitch die in the gunstore since she's the one who had to rescue or her precious doggy. Or at the very least taken more time to come up with a better plan.

  • ||

    A better question would be why so many movies have anti-Romanticist endings these days (i.e., the protagonists perish in the end anyway).

    I think that's a backlash against the excesses of the past, where you always know that good will ultimately triumph over evil and the good guy will kill the bad guy and get the girl. I shouldn't even say "of the past", since most adventure movies are that way still.

    Especially in a horror movie, the audience has to be unsure whether the characters will survive the ordeal to keep them interested.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Also, they would have run out of fuel for the generators eventually.

  • hmm||

    Also, they would have run out of fuel for the generators eventually.



    No fear. Obama will ensure we are using only solar and renewable sources. See he is saving us from zombies as well as ourselves.

  • ||

    Kyle,

    1. Yes, they should have thought of a better plan.

    2. They were wasting ammo playing games.

    3. The rest of your objections prove my point. And even without the generators, they were still safer in the mall than without.

    It's OK to help people, but you have to do it in a way that itself harmful to your group. Think of all the boarded-up doors opened for ill-conceived rescue attempts.

    Also, when somebody gets bit, fucking shoot them already.

  • ||

    Speaking of Shakespeare and zombies, there is an actual film incorporating zombies into Romeo and Juliet. I posted the preview at Urkobold; here's the official film site.

  • ||

    OK, now I live in Kentucky, a state chock full o' rootin-tootin' stereotypes... but I've never been to a mall with a gun store in it. Knives? Yes. Sporting goods with ammo? Maybe. But guns? Nope. I'm not saying they don't exist, but I've never seen one.

    Of course, I've been to a mall with a pharmacy in it... that's a great place to hole up during the zompocalypse. Food, drugs, booze, medical supplies, feminine products for Episiarch...

  • Kyle Jordan||

    I don't disagree with you about them being safer in the mall. More about helping Andy since he had the guns and ammo. They could have gone about it in a much better way.

    You know one thing that should have been done? Instead of having Andy waste his really good .308, he should have been using a .22lr rifle. He was a good enough marksmen to make the shots and .22 our of a Ruger 10/22 is good out to at least 100 yards. Plus, I don't think I've ever been in a gunstore that had less then 20,000 rounds of .22lr. Christ, I think I had near 25,000 rounds myself when my stock of .22lr was at its peak.

    So in summation, when the zombies rise, if you're stuck in a city, have a very healthy supply of .22lr, some well reinforced high ground, a nice accurate .22lr rifle with some good glass on it, food/water/etc., and a great escape vehicle. Take your time and thin the heard before you make any brash decisions.

    And yes, if someone gets bit, shoot them in the head.

  • ||

    I seem to recall Oshman's selling guns back when it was a major mall store. Dick's Sporting Goods sells guns, too, and it's in the mall closest to my house. So I know where to hole up.

  • hmm||

    Cabela's in a local mall here and more than a few sporting goods stores sell guns while being a part of a mall. They even sell those evil assault weapons!

    I agree with the sentiment though. Have the guns at home and know how to use them along with plenty of ammunition instead of relying on the ability to procure them at another location.

  • hmm||

    Not to mention the numerous conversions for .22lr for other weapons platforms. That and .22 is cheaper.

  • ||

    Also, who sells large propane tanks in the mall? Maybe those little bitty ones for camp stoves, but not big ones for a grill.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Well, the gunstore in the mall was in the original. Maybe it was different in the 70's. Though, one of the malls where I live that closed down a couple of years ago had a sporting goods store that had both guns (handguns/rifles/shotguns) and ammo so it may not be as much of a stretch.

  • ||

    Do malls typically have emergency generators? That would give them a propane or some other gas supply, anyway.

  • ||

    Dick's Sporting Goods

    Ah, there you go. The old sporting goods place didn't stock guns, but we have a Dick's now. Good call.

    And it's right by the FYE so we won't run out of Jonas Brothers CDs!

  • hmm||

    I'm thinking a walmart would be a good place. Guns, ammo, food, clothing, gear, and plenty of rednecks that can shoot.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Oshman's was the one here! Thanks for the reminder Pro L.

  • ||

    That does it. For the next Dawn of the Dead re-make, they hole up in a super Wal-Mart. Guns, food, drugs, camping supplies, everything!

    And they survive the zombie apocalypse. What kind of statement would that be?

  • ||

    Doh! I just saw Hmm's comment.

  • ||

    Dick's also has giant gun safes, which could be useful for temporarily evading zombies, assuming that they also carry air tanks for diving. I don't think they do, but maybe there's some other reason they'd carry tanks?

    Do bows and arrows work on zombies?

    I have to agree--Wal-Mart makes the most sense. It has everything.

  • A.G. Pym||

    Hey, speaking of, what's worse than a zombie?

    A _Nazi_ Zombie!

    "Dead Snow":

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GFRC_enUS210US210&q=%22Dead+Snow%22

  • ||

    Do malls typically have emergency generators?

    I've been in one where a back-up system cut in, but if it was going to run any length of time, it would have to be connected to a natural gas line, I would imagine. And how long would the natural gas line stay active in an zompoc situation?

    I guess they could have propane or a gasoline/diesel reserve, but I don't imagine it would be very big. Whole "giant bomb in mall" problem.

  • ||

    Do bows and arrows work on zombies?

    I don't see why not. Unless they don't do enough damage to the brain stem, seat of zombie "consciousness."

    And they would make a good back up in case vampires showed up.

  • ||

    Are arrows still made of wood? I thought everything was composite materials these days.

    I'm reserving a space at Fortress Wal-Mart. I have a friend who works at their corporate HQ--maybe he can connect me with the right people.

  • ||

    Are arrows still made of wood?

    Organic arrows are.

  • ||

    Does Dick's carry organic arrows? What's the point, that they're biodegradable if you lose them? Or does Dick want to be ready for vampires. . .just in case? Silver-tipped arrows could be useful, too.

    Query: Will an arrow with a metal or polymer point penetrate a vampire's skin? The traditional stake, of course, is all wood.

  • ||

    I'm thinking a walmart would be a good place.

    Oh, if only zombies would let you visit mom and pop stores. Corporate drones.

  • hmm||

    Who gives a shit about arrows when you own a rifle.

  • ||

    Does Dick's carry organic arrows? What's the point, that they're biodegradable if you lose them?

    Sorry, I was getting a little dry in my sarcasm...

    It depends on the vampire type. Some can't be cut with metal, and with some it's about "piercing" the heart. But if it's just a good old "disrupt the heart with something organic to short circuit the magic" then a metal tipped wood arrow should do.

    I always thought a good vampire weapon would be a sharpened wooden billy club. Two points, and you can block.

  • ||

    Vampire type? Meh. I prefer simpler times, when there was one type of vampire. Now Hollywood has inflicted various "types" of vampires upon us.

  • Ska||

    Hey, speaking of, what's worse than a zombie?

    A _Nazi_ Zombie!


    I will do my part by suggesting Call of Duty: World at War. There are 2 Nazi zombie maps playable by up to 4 people online. There's also a new Japanese zombie map, complete with hell hounds.

  • phalkor||

    I refuse to believe that there are any vampires that can't be cut by metal.

  • ||

    Well, if they can be cut by metal, why couldn't they be killed by metal? Is it all in the regeneration process? Maybe wood interferes with that and metal doesn't. Still, if metal can cut vampire flesh, won't the vampire be in trouble if one hacks it into wee, tiny bits?

  • LarryA||

    Surviving the tide of zombies requires community and mutual responsibility. What could be more progressive than that?

    Sorry. My favorite is Night of the Comet. The survivalist think tank retreats to their impregnable shelter, but forget to close the air intake. It takes a videogame expert, a cheerleader, and a Hispanic truck driver to "save humanity as we know it."

    Money quote: "C'mon Hector, the MAC-10 submachine gun was practically designed for housewives."

    Left? I think not.

    For the next Dawn of the Dead re-make, they hole up in a super Wal-Mart. Guns, food, drugs, camping supplies, everything!

    Sorry. most Wal-Marts no longer sell firearms. I'd vote for a Bass Pro.

    [sigh] I remember when Sears was a gun store. Including catalogue order. Didn't have to worry about zombies back then.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "Who gives a shit about arrows when you own a rifle."

    Guns can run out of ammo. And to a certain extent, arrows are reusable.

    This brings me to another question. We know that fire would eventually work on zombies but burning away the flesh and muscles, but do you think electricity would kill them?

    Return of the Living Dead 2 used electricity to kill zombies. I believe the ROTLD series after that did the same but I'm a bit weak on them.

    I'm thinking that electricity would work on zombies too.

    Another possibility for surviving would be to go to arctic/extreme cold regions. Have a safe haven in the Arctic Circle and when the zombies come, they'll eventually freeze and you can then destroy the brain while they're immobile.

    Trust me, when the zombies rise, I'm ready for them.

  • ||

    phalkor,

    The Annerician varieties are often described as being as hard as stone. Only fire and sunlight do the trick (and not even that at a certain point.)

  • ||

    Another possibility for surviving would be to go to arctic/extreme cold regions. Have a safe haven in the Arctic Circle and when the zombies come, they'll eventually freeze and you can then destroy the brain while they're immobile.

    World War Z had a good answer for that scenario. Everyone forgot that nothing grows up there... when they ran out of food they ate each other.

  • Xeones||

    feminine products for Episiarch...

    Man, leave peoples' fetishes alone.

  • Brian Lockwood||

    I'm grateful for the tips on surviving both the zombie and vampire Apocalypses but what about the more likely event of alien invasion. Is it true that aluminum foil can block their telepathic abilities? I think biological warfare is probably the way to go against aliens. Does walmart carry anthrax?

  • Mike Laursen||

    But most important, what ensures survival in a zombie story are the progressive ideals of common cause and collective action.

    The good news about Waldman's being precisely 180 degrees off is that the bug in his thinking can probably be fixed out by flipping one neural bit in his brain. Now, debugging Lonewacko's brain, that would be a challenge...

  • Xeones||

    Does walmart carry anthrax?

    Check the DIYbio post further up the main page.

  • ||

    World War Z had a good answer for that scenario. Everyone forgot that nothing grows up there... when they ran out of food they ate each other.



    Now that, my friends, is what they call irony.

    Brian Lockwood,

    Any aliens capable of getting here from another solar system are capable of overcoming aluminum foil. Even reinforced aluminum foil. In other words, the only possible way to defeat them is to enlist the aid of other alien civilizations.

  • ||

    Well, the gunstore in the mall was in the original. Maybe it was different in the 70's.

    The gun store in the original is not, in fact, real. They filmed the gun store scenes at a nearby gun store and made a fake storefront in the mall. But yes, Dick's is an example of a gun store at the mall, so they do exist.

  • ||

    Does walmart carry anthrax?

    Who needs that? According to one of the worst movies of the modern age that also manages to make the Christian God out to be complete dumbass a simple glass of water will kill them.

  • ||

    Oh, and don't forget the "killer water" thing was totally ripped off in the first place.

  • Brian Lockwood||

    Pro Libertate,
    Sure they will have the technological advantage, but we will want it more. It probably wouldn't hurt to call in the Asgard though.

  • ||

    NutraSweet, do not bring up that movie, or I will "swing away" at your head.

    I always thought a good vampire weapon would be a sharpened wooden billy club. Two points, and you can block.

    Seeing as vampires are faster and stronger than regular humans, sometimes massively so, I don't think a close combat weapon is a good move. Ranged weapons are your only chance.

    I'd think one could make mahogany-tipped bullets that would theoretically kill if you got them through the heart. Or, just eat some of the garlic fries they sell at Safeco Field and then breath on them. That should melt them.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "World War Z had a good answer for that scenario. Everyone forgot that nothing grows up there... when they ran out of food they ate each other."

    Haven't read it (I think it's a book, right?) but that's due to lack of proper planning. The Arctic Retreat is only feasible if you've either stored up copious amounts of freeze dried, Mountain House style goods or are prepared with greenhouses and hydryponic gardening set ups.

    It can be done.

  • ||

    Please. Here's how it will go down: A Type II civilization will decide that it covets the Sol system. It'll send a ship that will enter Earth orbit and simply kill us all off by pushing a switch. Kind of like the neutron bomb, but leaving select animal and plant populations intact, along with the buildings or not.

    If we're extremely lucky, they'll just mind control us into a slave race, but I have a feeling that would be too inefficient.

    Episiarch,

    How about a full spectrum laser?

  • ||

    Or series of lasers?

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Hydroponic, that is.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "Please. Here's how it will go down: A Type II civilization will decide that it covets the Sol system. It'll send a ship that will enter Earth orbit and simply kill us all off by pushing a switch. Kind of like the neutron bomb, but leaving select animal and plant populations intact, along with the buildings or not."

    A quick acting virus tailored to humans perhaps?

  • ||

    Yes. In fact, a virus that overwhelms our brains and makes us kill each other off in some sort of monomaniac hunger for some key part of the human body.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    And remember, the original probe from Night of the Living Dead was destroyed due to high levels of radiation after exploring Venus.

    Sneak attack me thinks.

  • ||

    As requested:

    zombie porn!

    P.S. Totally NSFW.

  • ||

    How about a full spectrum laser?

    One small enough to carry wouldn't be enough to destroy a vampire, but merely cause a pinprick of damage.

    I enjoy the Lost Boys technique of the holy water in the squirt guns.

  • Ska||

    P.S. Totally NSFW.

    In case "girl-double-penetrated" didn't tip us off.....

  • ||

    More NSFW zombie porn

  • Brian Lockwood||

    And remember, the original probe from Night of the Living Dead was destroyed due to high levels of radiation after exploring Venus.

    Sneak attack me thinks.


    Under the supervision of the reverse vampires of course.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    I don't know about that. Sunlight is diffuse, so a laser emitting the entire spectrum might work, even at low power. I guess the key question is what about sunlight is lethal to vampires?

  • Brian Lockwood||

    I guess the key question is what about sunlight is lethal to vampires?

    According to Blade, its the UV. So I think a specific frequency would be better when designing the vampire killing laser. Its probably some resonance effect which causes the vampires to react so badly to UV so low power might be ok.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    "Under the supervision of the reverse vampires of course."

    Perhaps that's why they set the main attack for night since they can only come out in the day.

  • ||

    How about sunlight lasers that draw crosses on the target?

  • ||

    How about incorporating holy water into the laser somehow?

  • ||

    "It's a holy laser but in solid, not liquid, form. Put simply, in deference to you, ProL, it's like lasing a stick of holy dynamite."

  • Xeones||

    How about some sort of garlic laser?

  • ||

    SugarFree - "How about sunlight lasers that draw crosses on the target?"

    Like a laser pointer, with a hole shaped like a cross?

    In that case you can prepare for the vampires for about $9.99 at your local Wal-Mart.

    I don't know if the spectra emitted would be ideal, but a cross alone should kill 'em.

  • Ska||

    How about some sort of garlic laser?

    Like some sort of vapor of the condensed breath of Flushing Main Street?

  • ||

    jr,

    No, I was thinking more like one of those old school "laser writers" that could spell out words in laser light on the side of buildings. Much like in Episiarch's beloved Real Genius.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    I wonder if an excimer of hydrogen and oxygen would work? If so, then a holy water laser is possible!

    Incidentally, you're more of the Jerry Hathaway of this blog than the Chris Knight (and I'm surely no Kent, though I may become Lazlo if my job gets any weirder). However, the good news is that, as Jerry, you can apparently hammer nails through wood (also used for slaying vampires) using key body parts. Which isn't a skill without merit.

  • ||

    Aren't you guys getting off topic here with the vampires and aliens? I thought this thread-jack was about zombies?

    And you guys must not have been in a Walmart lately...the zombies have already taken over most of them.

  • ||

    ProL, when you first started here at H&R, you were well on your way to becoming another NutraSweet, and then you know what happened?

    Like some sort of vapor of the condensed breath of Flushing Main Street?

    I don't think vapor from Queens is good enough. You need Manhattan vapor.

  • Ska||

    I don't think vapor from Queens is good enough. You need Manhattan vapor.

    Typical of a former Manhattan resident, hating on the Q-boro. Drive down Northern Blvd. from Flushing to Great Neck if you need convincing.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    I got a haircut?

  • ||

    Typical of a former Manhattan resident, hating on the Q-boro. Drive down Northern Blvd. from Flushing to Great Neck if you need convincing.

    That's something I avoid at all costs.

    ProL, you got a taint shave.

  • ||

    No, because I bought the Taint Protection Service from the Urkobold early on. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the Viking Moose, who I believe has an artificial taint now. It's a sad story, really.

    Back to the excimer, is holy water still holy if the hydrogen and oxygen are separated out? Or if the elements are frozen? If the answer is yes, then holy hydrogen and holy oxygen are possible, as are holy frozen hydrogen, holy frozen oxygen, and, possibly, holy ice. Which could lead to holy ice daggers and holy ice bullets.

  • ||

    Silentz
    "Aren't you guys getting off topic here with the vampires and aliens? I thought this thread-jack was about zombies?"

    I would like to point out that this demonstrates both the versatility and ADD/ADHD of the typical Reason reader.

    In addition, is there some sort of rule or reg against simultaneous thread-jacking?

  • ||

    jr,

    In my many years participating on this blog, I have seen threads go off on multiple tangents and even, oddly, returning to the original topic!

    At least we're still vaguely on the undead.

    Incidentally, vampires are libertarian. Evil libertarian.

  • ||

    Evil, compulsion wielding libertarian.

  • ||

    Ice bullets don't work, ProL, they conclusively proved that on Mythbusters.

    What about holy water balloons?

  • ||

    jr,
    No regulations, it's just that I'm doing my thesis on zombies and this stuff makes for good research material.

    Oh, and I'll be contacting several of you for permission to use your zombie facts in my paper.

  • ||

    Episiarch,

    Ah, that nagging feeling that ice bullets were a problem now comes to my forebrain. I saw that episode.

    Anyway, yes, holy water balloons should work. As should holy water super-soakers and holy fire hoses. Frozen holy water shirukens and arrowheads might be a possibility, too. And, of course, if metal can penetrate vampire flesh, holy water-filled darts are an option.

    I still want my holy water laser. Vampires aside, a holy water laser would allow for long-range blessings. The Pope could flash his holy water laser at crowds. And a high power holy water laser could be used to bless people on the Moon, maybe. Surely people in orbit.

    Say, does the Church pay people for these kinds of ideas? Even non-Catholics? 'Cause I could use ten or twenty million. Better make it thirty.

  • ||

    Not being Catholic, I'm not clear on the process for blessing water and making it holy. I assume blessing the water in, say, a person's blood won't work because of Original Sin. So we couldn't get vampires by blessing the blood in a bunch of potential victims. However, what about clouds? Could we have a holy rain storm? Or a holy fog?

  • db||

    Hey, speaking of, what's worse than a zombie?

    A _Nazi_ Zombie!
    Hey, speaking of, what's worse than a zombie?

    A _Nazi_ Zombie!



    Oh, Christ, someone Godwin'd a zombie thread. I'm pretty sure that's the end of the Internet.

  • going to hell||

    Shit has water content. Could we have holy shit?

  • Brian Lockwood||

    Shit has water content. Could we have holy shit?

    If we are using shit to fight the vampire apocalypse, I'm not sure I want to survive it. The clean up afterwards would be horrible.

  • ||

    If we are using shit to fight the vampire apocalypse, I'm not sure I want to survive it. The clean up afterwards would be horrible.

    Not if it happens in the next 11 years or so. Obama would create a new Agency and the government would take care of it.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    Not being Catholic, I'm not clear on the process for blessing water and making it holy. I assume blessing the water in, say, a person's blood won't work because of Original Sin. So we couldn't get vampires by blessing the blood in a bunch of potential victims. However, what about clouds? Could we have a holy rain storm? Or a holy fog?

    As a Catholic I didn't know either, don't hate me Mad Max!, but here you (and I guess me as well) go: holy water

    I think at the point where you really have vampires, zombies, and werewolves (oh my!) existing, priests would end up becoming RPG clerics and the holy water rain storm would be one of the higher level spells/prayers.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    On zombies movies being stories of progressive heroism, I think the original author may have gotten things mixed up.

    The protagonists have their own individual desires, needs, and goals, while the zombies are a classless nameless horde who collectively share, without any hierarchical pecking order, in the eating of human flesh. If anything, it isn't the survivors who are progressive collectivists, but it is the zombies themselves. The zombies usually win, so it could be seen as a triumph of the collective over the individual, just not in a way the author of the article intended.

  • perilisk||

    I'm pretty sure the main point of the zombie movie is this: "people are meat". It's the truth that governs zombie-human interactions, and it's vividly expressed through gore and the utter uselessness of morality, amorality, rationality, faith, hope, luck, or planning. Brains are only good for two things in zombie movies: animating meat, and being eaten.

    Everyone dies eventually -- zombie movies just drive the point home by making it all happen at once, and right in front of your eyes. They're a celebration of materialism and entropy.

  • ||

    Romero's Zombie flicks are vaguely leftish. Mostly Dawn of the Dead, with the zombies wandering around a shopping mall.

    On the other hand, I loved it because it's everyone's favorite shopping mall fantasy. You know, the one where you get to live in the shopping mall and have everything in the stores for yourself.

    I wouldn't say Zombie flicks in general are leftish though. Can't really see any political subtext in Shaun of the Dead.

  • ||

    From what Wikipedia had to say about making holy water, it doesn't sound like there's any limit to the amount that can be blessed (though there are some rules about how much unblessed water can be added to the blessed and still have "holy water"). So a bunch of priests could make vampires' lives very difficult by some strategic blessings.

    This leaves unaddressed, of course, my plan for a holy water laser.

  • jtuf||

    They come to understand that if they're going to get out of this with their brains kept securely housed in their skulls and not travelling down some zombie's gullet, they've got to act as though they're all in it together. Surviving the tide of zombies requires community and mutual responsibility. What could be more progressive than that?



    Agreed. Creating social unitity by pointing to an out group and then declaring members of that out group subhuman and dangerous is standard for progressives. In this case, the zombies are the out group.

  • Brett Stevens||

    I laughed out loud at this one.

    If you're in entertainment, you have to be a leftist.

    But zombie movies reflect the kind of politics we see in Apocalypse Now:

    Most people are useless idiots, democracy fails completely, and the drama of individuals prevents them from being effective when needed.

    Might as well put a swastika on the whole horror movie genre.

  • ||

    GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS GRABIN PILLS

  • Seabear70||

    This whole article seemed to be insane until I read the first Comment.

    Yep, liberal solutions and everybody dies.

    That ties it all together.

  • Kyle||

    I await the follow up about the Marx Brothers movies reflecting the politics of their brother Karl. I am dumber having read this.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement