I Hated Zombies, Too

I’ve related several times on this site that as a kid I never really liked zombies. In fact, if anything, I hated them. I thought they were slow, easy to beat and in some way, a comedy waiting to happen. How could I have loved them? They just weren’t cool. But once I saw 28 Days Later, that all changed. I couldn’t get enough of them. They were fast. Frightening. And unbeatable. One bite and you’re one of them.

Zombies everywhere [Photo Credit: el-grimlock]
Zombies everywhere [Photo Credit: el-grimlock]
For today’s Monday Mayhem, I would like to talk a bit about my experience with zombies, what I like about them and their appeal to my sense of adventure.

Through cartoons is how I remember zombies. I didn’t take them seriously since they were slow and not very bright. I remember how the heroes could outrun and outfox them at every turn. I even remember how with one wallop zombies fell to the floor without much trouble.

Early this decade I had my first zombie encounter with 28 Days Later. The scene with the lone survivor walking the streets of London instantly captured my imagination. I could relate to him. Who couldn’t? Imagine waking up and finding your world turned into a massive garbage dump complete with a built-in threat that you’re not sure how it got that way. The movie introduced me to fast zombies and a genre teeming with films I once had ignored in the video store.

28 Days Later poster
28 Days Later poster

After binge watching 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later back to back, I couldn’t get enough of the undead. To me, they were like roaches. The more you killed the more they infested every facet of your life. I quickly watched Dawn of the Dead and Night of the Living Dead in one sitting. Dawn of the Dead especially left me wanting to watch it again. And I did. The story was not altogether unique, but the delivery of the plot came as a surprise. The rooftop scene brought me to tears from the laughter. It surprised me and shocked me.

During this time, The Walking Dead caught my attention.

Whatever I’ve learned from the other zombie movies came full circle with The Walking Dead. I had gone from not liking slow zombies to loving fast zombies to appreciating slow zombies. The Walking Dead featured slow zombies called walkers. Not only were they lethal, as in one bite will kill you lethal, but whenever they attacked, they attacked as a massive horde. I grew to love the walkers. They are what zombies should have been when I was growing up.

Then, with the movie World War Z, the crowd of zombies burned tread marks on the highway. They looked like vampires amped up on speed. The film raised my imagination and kept me busy consuming any and all stories in the zombie genre.

How far has my love for the undead gone? Today, I write about zombies.

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What initially sparked your interest in zombies? What do you find the most appealing thing about them?

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10 thoughts on “I Hated Zombies, Too

  1. It’s interesting how cartoons seem to be the first introduction to zombies maybe it makes them easier to comprehend in 2 dimension first. I like the graphics you have in your post. Shows the colourful world they inspire.

  2. Always had a thing for zombies, but then again I grew up on Romeo movies and horror flicks in general. Not too mention all the zombie video games. Wasted far too much of my teenage years playing the Resident Evil games and then Left 4 Dead came along 🙂

  3. WWZ was a crap adaptation of the book. With that out of the way…

    Slow zombies are far more scarier. They lurk in dark corners, stand sentry in unexpected places. They could be anywhere at any time. Add to that the horde “mentality”. Thousands and in worst case scenario, millions of the undead surrounding you and the place you chose to make your stand.

    If a zombie outbreak ever happened, pray it is the fast movers. Those at least will make their presence known. Eradicating that threat would be an easier problem. Walkers on the other hand could start a cycle of infection because it only takes one forgotten/trapped zed, stumbled upon during the recovery to unleash Hell.

    Walkers are the boogeyman, the bump in the darkness. They are that feeling you get when you step down into a dark basement or the shadow in the corner of your eye. They are Death and they have all the time in the world.

  4. I didn’t hate zombies, because I did watch a lot of zombie movies, as a kid, but I didn’t develop a healthy respect for the genre until I was an adult. Before that there wasn’t much fear in such movies, for me. It wasn’t until I was awed by fast zombies, that I started to appreciate how terrifying the slow ones could be.

    • It has always seemed strange to me how, at least in the old movies, a slow – moving, lurching zombie, mummy, or other creature can catch up to someone running like an Olympic track runner.

  5. I love the same things you’ve listed for both the fast zombies and the slow zombies…I def think WD’s Episode 514, “Spend” reminded all us viewers just how savage, terrifying, and steady, relentless the slow zombie attack can be, when the horde closes in on a poor trapped somebody, or they grab, pull, and don’t let go…aagh! Great post, love the illustration, Jack…and very grateful this morning that Episode 516 left us with some hope, instead of in tears!

  6. I think it can run in ” trends ” – an appreciation of a particular monster or monstrous creature. I remember when the mummy revivals came out with Arnold Vosloo. Then you had a mummy movie produced by Russell Mulcahey.
    Then vampire movies like ” Dracula 2000 ” to the ” Twilight ” saga, to the vampire character Aiden in ” Being Human ” ( U.S. version ).
    I believe there are cycles of popularity.

  7. I’m not a big horror fan, so I wouldn’t say I love zombies. They’re definitely one of the more interesting monsters. I like how they usually seem to do more destruction and be more feared than vampires and others. There’s a primal terror and bigger sense of humans being prey than with the solitary, non-horde creatures. Most of my experience has been in video games like Resident Evil and Left 4 Dead. The idea that one wrong turn and you have a pack is more terrifying to me than one wrong turn and you have a lone monster to run from.

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