01 November 2011

The Walking Dead: Why can these freaking zombies run?

I cannot believe I am starting November 1st by looking into information about zombies.  How appropriate! And how uncharacteristic of me.

Zombies are the least of my favorite creatures ever. But watching the last few episodes of The Walking Dead left me with no choice but to look into something online.

Because... I just had to know the answer to why the zombies on this show can run after the humans.

Before the second season started, I read about how one person was able to get through an episode watching the show without freaking out, by putting this thought in her head --- Zombies are freaky. But they can't kill you if you can outrun them. Because zombies are slow. And you only die from their attack if you're trapped and there's nowhere to run.

I thought that was cool. I thought that, with that way of thinking, zombies suddenly seemed less scary.

And then TWD Season 2 started. And I saw how zombies were running fast!

That wasn't supposed to happen!!!  Seriously, why can these freaking zombies run?

What I found out only proved I know so little about these creatures.  I schooled myself in Zombie 101 within minutes of Googling.

Apparently, there are three types of zombies:

  1.  The zombies that basically just feeds and feeds  on the brain. They're the most basic, dull zombies we know.
  2. The zombies that are possessed. They look like normal people but have lost the ability to control themselves. Someone else is controlling them either because of a curse, hypnotism or a microchip.
  3. The evolved zombies. They have become zombies because their genetic make-up has been altered. These are the ones that can run or jump (or roll over and play dead?).
George Romero, the creator of zombie film cults like Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead (films I wouldn't watch even if you pay me!),  stuck with the first type of zombies in that his zombies were slow and stupid.

Over the years, movies about zombies have portrayed them in a lot of the variations of these three types. Romero's films, for instance, when remade, featured evolved zombies. Running zombies aren't new, apparently. The movies have been doing these for years and have shown teleporting zombies even.

So going back to The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman, the writer of the book series, is a huge fan of Romero's zombies and follows the same rule book to zombie-storytelling. But the producers of the TV show did a lot of changes (in every sense, like firing the original showrunner), and translated the book's stories into a television series with a slightly different take, to fit the medium.

So, now you see not just creepy-looking, vomit-inducing zombies. They can open doors, pray inside a church and pretty much? Outrun your grandmother.

And it's all for the purpose of entertainment, which make sense because an audience is so much harder to please these days.