All Resurrections All the Time

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I'm as down with Jesus as the next fella, but I'd kind of like to see the zombies knock The Passion out of the top spot this weekend, just to break up the monotony a little. But still… I know this isn't exactly an original observation, and I hate to be a pud-dragging purist, but what's the point of fast zombies? Sure, they'd be more dangerous in reality, but if horror movies were based on real dangers, all horror movies would be about cancer. The slow, dumb, lumbering shuffle was the scariest (and not coincidentally, the funniest) thing about the zombies in the original Dawn. I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised by this new 28 Days Later model of the undead, but I'm having a hard time getting up to speed, as it were. Jolly Roger, who in my experience groks a good zombie picture, gives it a mixed review.

NEXT: Thinning Blue Line

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  1. Are they faster because they’re toeing the line of the O’Bannon Institute’s “brains only” diet? I believe that was the claim made by the latter, in oppostion to the Romero Center’s “guts and entrails” plan….

  2. I believe there were a couple of other zmobie movies in which the undead were running instead of shambling (Nightmare City and City of the Walking Dead), but I’m not sure whatthe rationale was.

    As for the remake of Dawn of the Dead, it’s surprisingly good. I didn’t like it as much as the orignal, but it definitely delivers the goods in terms of action and gore. It was certainly a lot more fun than The Passion.

  3. …this new 28 Days Later model of the undead…

    Actually, Dan O’Bannon of Alien fame pioneered the fast zombie in his whacky Return of the Living Dead back in 1985.

    Watched it a couple of days ago for the first time since the 80s. Doesn’t age terribly well, but still has some of the best zombie makeup in movies.

  4. To me, if they are fast moving undead they fall under the category of “ghoul” instead of zombie.

  5. I just saw it at the Biograph Theater here in Chicago about an hour ago. I liked it a ton – always have liked Zombie flicks. I agree with Yo above – fast Zombies are Ghouls.

    Anyway, the first 5 minutes or so of the flim are golden. I really enjoyed seeing suburbia fall apart like that… the fires, car wrecks… just great.

    Personally I liked to see a Zombie flick that deals with the Zombie-pocalypse on the grander scale. Like, what is the president doing? Or what’s happening in different places around the world? You see a little of that in the begining of Dawn of the Dead… but then the scope of the movie narrows to just what’s happening at the mall. Too bad… put perhaps budget friendly.

    And no… I haven’t seen 28 days later… although I’ve already been told by several folks that it’s better than this remake of DoD. Maybe that’ll make for a good rental next weekend.

  6. Frankly, I never understood why zombies *had* to be slow to begin with. Though they are the undead, that doesn’t mean that they can’t run…if their bodies are animated enough to move even if dead, why not animated enough to run?

    Although I’m not sure if I want this fast moving zombie thing to be a trend, I think it’s interesting. Let’s face it, slow moving zombies were never much of a challenge, as illustrated by the original with the rednecks drinking beer while shooting zombies at a distance. In reality, it’s difficult to believe that a shambling zombie is a real threat. A fast moving one, on the other hand, does change the dynamics considerably.

  7. Mark S.: Don’t forget Matthew 27:52-53:

    “The tombs opened and the bodies of many holy people rose from the dead, and these, after his resurrection, entered the holy city and appeared to a number of people.” Sounds like a zombie plague to me!

  8. “Before that he necromancer who used his powers to raise an army of the dead to take over the world.”

    Now the important question: How fast did they move?

  9. The thing to realize about zombies is that they’re living in a loud noisy environment, where only single simple words can be managed over the din. Basically they’re listening to really loud heavy metal through hidden earphones. There’s no running under those circumstances.

    If they were running, they’d show awareness of the same circumstances that you’re aware of, and look normal.

    Or perhaps the important thing about zombies is that they have no future. Teenagers you assume will outgrow it. Why can’t zombies outgrow it though? Picture them as children, rather than as machines (machines have no future). Zombies running, presumably with hopes.

    Of course people have no future either. They all die. Enter the zombie picture.

  10. Tim Hulsey, over at “My Stupid Dog”, has some thoughts about fast vs. slow zombies, and why slow ones are scarier:

    http://mystupiddog.blogspot.com

    It all has to do with Nietzsche’s warnings about ressentiment and mobocracy. Clever interpretation.

  11. Looks like the trend in movies this spring is people who get killed and then rise from the dead. Can we just combine them and get _Night of the Living Christ_?

  12. Tim Hulsey, over at “My Stupid Dog”, has some thoughts about fast vs. slow zombies, and why slow ones are scarier:

    I’m looking forward to reading that study, but I’ve spent more time pondering this question than I should probably admit, and I think it’s pretty clear: It’s the unheimlich. Scary clowns, wide-eyed dolls, statues of St. Rita-none of these things are particularly life-threatening. They’re scary because they’re unheimlich. You could name dozens of beasts of the field who are faster and more lethal than the Karloff Frankenstein monster, from whom even an elderly person could escape without much difficulty. But he’s scarier than they are because he’s unheimlich. This is why I think Steven Martinovich’s observation about the ease with which slow zombies could be overcome, while undoubtedly true, is really a red herring.

  13. A couple of years ago FEMA ran a drill were they tested the national emergency response system by springing an random disaster on the drill-ees Guess what disaster they chose?

    Mass brain-eating Zombie outbreak.

    I don’t whether to applaud them for their creativity or to worry they have a reason to plan for zombies.

  14. The Nietzchean analysis of slow/fast zombies is top-notch. That guy also has a great essay on Charles Portis which is better, or at least shorter, than the Portis article in The Believer that inspired it.

  15. Predictable headline from Reuters:

    “Jesus Battles Zombies at the Box Office”

    http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=entertainmentNews&storyID=4609793

    (Sounds like a concept for an actin flick…)

  16. Don’t you guys get it? Jesus WAS a zombie, or at least he was after the Roman’s crucified him. Before that he necromancer who used his powers to raise an army of the dead to take over the world. Remember Lazarus? He was just the beginning! And what about all that stuff about the dead rising from the grave in Revelations, huh, huh?

    All you fundies just think about that next time you waste another hour of your lives at church this Sunday.

  17. “…think about that next time you waste another hour of your lives at church this Sunday.”

    so speaks a preacher of another persuasion…

  18. Well, I had a dream that I was a zombie and the more brains I ate, the faster and smarter I got. Not sure if that has anything to do with anything, since at the end of the dream the other zombies and I went to Taco Bell and decided it was much better zombie food than brains….

  19. Madog: What your dream means is you should go out and get the game _Give Me the Brain_. The players take the role of zombies in a fast-food restaurant; there is only one brain among them, and it’s needed to do some of the tasks.

  20. Garym:

    Thanks for the reminder! I remember that passage from “Ken’s Guide To the Bible,” the best book ever written on the Scriptures.

  21. For the love all things good, go see Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Best. Movie. In a long time.

  22. Your wish is granted!

    Maybe the Jebus freaks thought “Dawn of the Dead” referred to the sequel of Mel’s Passion.

    FYI, National Lampoon has a delicious “Hello Jesus”tm animation on Mel’s passion.

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