I Hated Zombies

There once was a boy name Jack, and he hated zombies without lack. Crazy, isn’t it? That boy was me. I disliked zombies because I thought they were the stupid, malignant, dregs of Horror that amounted to nothing better than cheap laughs and gruesome kills.

Dead Rising 3
Dead Rising 3

Now that I have your attention, I’m dedicating this Monday Mayhem post to the skeptics. To all those folks who hate zombies and don’t know why. Ahem, because they think zombies are of the devil—or something so insanely ridiculous as such. This post goes out to you dislikers of the undead. Prove your hatred.

It wasn’t long ago when I, too, freely admit to have been one of the zombie naysayers. I’d thought vampires were cool and werewolves were powerful. But zombies? What did they have? I couldn’t get past their weak countenance. They wore torn clothes, for crying out loud. Even I could have punched one of them in the face to have it topple over like the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.

Ah, but you see, that’s where I went wrong. I thought of a zombie as a single unit. That’s not where a zombie’s strength lies. Zombies don’t work that way. Separate a zombie from the crowd and yes, it’s time to say good-bye to another of the undead. However, as part of the horde, it’s as good as dug itself in like an Alabama tick. As a whole, they’re impenetrable; functioning as a single-minded mass with only one thing on their mind—eat.

Someone's in Trouble
Someone’s in Trouble

When did I change my view on zombies? I saw 28 Days Later late one night while my family slept, and I needed some solid entertainment. I didn’t know what the movie was at the time, having caught it a few minutes after the credits, but I watched it anyway. Hard not to watch someone waking up in hospital garb to what looks like a world gone crazy. Then have the movie tease me to a slow reveal. That’s what started it all for me. I saw the zombies. They weren’t weak but strong brutes able to turn other humans into zombies. And the humans were afraid of them. I thought, what is this? Shivers trailed my arms to my spine leading up my neck. The movie captivated me. I wanted more.

From there I went on a zombie binge. Within a week, I had seen 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, and Zombieland.

The old Scooby-Doo paradigm I had carried for so long had all but disappeared, replaced by today’s zombie—a predator of vast proportions, able to seek and destroy those who’d dare get in the way. Their single-minded focus to rid the world of humans fascinates me. They act as Star Trek’s Borg, a collective bent on satiating eternal hunger pangs. How can I argue these zombies are weaklings?

To exacerbate the issue, I’d fallen in love with the notion zombies can reproduce. One bite is all it takes and a human is no longer with the living. In some respect, it might actually be an improvement since some folk are dead already.

Yae, naysayers, come and give pittance to your trite cause for slamming zombies wherefore you know nothing of. You hate the undead in ignorance. Let the beasts of the field show you the empty graves to those who will dismember the world.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.

What do you like about zombies the most? Did you have an epic flip from hater to lover of the genre?

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23 thoughts on “I Hated Zombies

  1. who could not enjoy a good zombie movie 😉
    28 Days Later was a great movie. So much action in one movie.
    You should check out Night of the Living Dead (original and remake) and Dawn of the Dead. Both remake and original are good, but the original just brings me back to my youth 😉

  2. I planned to like this post, then realized exactly 42 bloggers had liked it already and since 42 is my favorite number (and also the answer to life, the universe and everything) I couldn’t break such perfection.

    That said–I love this post. I know some serious zombie-haters right now and am trying to get them to see what I see in zombie movies! Not the gore–not the violence–not the horror element–but the fascinating idea of a slow, inevitable absorption into a collective of unthinking, unfeeling people. Great post, Jack. 🙂

    • I agree! 42 IS the answer to life, the universe and all that is in it! 😉

      As for the naysayers, try this argument:

      Me: “Have you ever seen cop shows?”
      Them: “Yes.”
      Me: “Ever see The Silence of the Lambs?”
      Them: “Yes.”
      Me: “Did you like it?”
      Them: No answer. [Of course they did.]
      Me: “Hannibal Lecter eats people’s brains. He’s worse. He’s human. He should know better. Zombies don’t know better. They eat because it’s in their nature. They can’t help themselves.”

      That usually shuts them up! 😉

  3. I love zombies. Well, it’s more of a ‘love from a distance’ kind of love. I really like the idea of them, and I do have my survival plan in place, but if that were to ever happen, I’d probably turn into a gibbering mess and would be the first one to die painfully in the middle of a huge horde.

    And that’s me being optimistic. 😀

  4. 28 Days/Weeks Later are one of my favorite horror movie franchises!!! I think the zombies are terrifying in those films, in how fast they can run, how quickly the virus takes over, etc.

  5. Absolutely loved this post. It’s so funny that you mentioned the Borg, but guess what, you were right on. My love for zombies started at a drive-in movie in Philadelphia during the late 60’s. I’ve been hooked ever since.

  6. I love zombies. It started with Resident Evil, the video game and blossomed from there. This is a very interesting post, it made me remember my first zombie movie which was Resident Evil (being such a huge fan of the video game franchise) and from there I couldn’t get enough. I have yet to see 28 Days Later, though I heard nothing but great things about it.

  7. I went, not from naysayer but relative indifference, to someone who enjoys a good zombie flick. They creep me out – vamps don’t and werewolves don’t (I blame Buffy for this – in a really great way) – and scare me. The waste they represent reminds me of dystopian stories, and I have a soft spot for those.

  8. I don’t believe I was ever a zombie hater. I will say that I thought as you did on vampires and werewolves but there was always something that fascinated me with the genre. The concept of the “horde” was discovered in recent years for me. The tide of enemies that overpower even the best of the heroes attempts to survive was the part that gave me chills. The recent horror sub-genre of zombie fiction has brought zombies into the mainstream.

  9. I don’t mind the funny ones like Shaun of the dead. I guess eeading about them they are as scary as your mind allows.

  10. I’ll second what Charles said up there in all regards.

    And I am DEFINITELY looking forward to your book! (I’m curious to see how/where you went with it) 😀

  11. I was never a hater, but I avoided zombie movies due to being squeamish. I still have that issue, but I like Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, and The Walking Dead. Something about that slow-moving horde that could be hiding around a corner freaked me out more than vampires and werewolves. Maybe because a vampire and werewolf can change you into a powerful being with a mind of your own. Zombies basically absorb you into the swarm. I really don’t know. Something about them still gives me more creeps than any other monster.

    • You’re right, Charles. Even I had my creep-out moments in the throes of hating them. I think it had to do with their torn clothes and their lumbering march. Definitely creepy!

      • Another part of it was the sense that they were unstoppable as a group. You run out of ammo before they run out of zombies. Melee is a disaster because you’re eventually surrounded. So, all you can do is run and pray you get away.

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