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Off-World Discussion Forum

Forum for science fiction related material not listed in Movies Galleria or Upcoming Movies ONLY. If you want to chit-chat, please visit the Pilot's Mess.

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Old Feb 23, 2008, 07:09 PM   #1
mack
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Zombie Logic? ? ?

Ok - Im not quite sure which is more disturbing - the fact that I was thinking about zombie logic, or the fact that I was thinking about zombie logic at work.

Nevertheless - here's what I find myself asking:

1. If zombies really are just re-animated dead bodies with a single instinct (to feed), then why dont they feed on each other? Flesh is what they want right? Why does it have to be living flesh, and how, if they are dead, can they tell the difference? Seriously. Even animals, to some degree, will eat something that is already dead, although granted, some animals may not eat something that has been dead for a lengthy period of time.

I ask, because in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, one of the doctors spends an inordinate amount of time discussing that fact that they may be able with Alice's DNA to elevate the zombies to basic animalistic cognitive reasoning - point being they are below that now.

Certain animals, (like animals?), dont hunt each other - they hunt other prey. Are we saying that zombies are like that? If so, then arent we saying that zombies have the cognitive abilities of at least animals?

Whatever the case, it is clear that the movie writers havent really thought this out, and expect us to simply accept whatever logic they use in the movie.

Thoughts?
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Old Feb 23, 2008, 09:40 PM   #2
SF_not_Sci-Fi
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

I believe that in some versions of the zombie concept they do indeed sometimes feed on one another on a more or less limited scale when there is no other food source available.
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Old Feb 24, 2008, 09:52 AM   #3
Iwata
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

Well, obviously most horror writers take their own spin on the zombie mythology, while trying to maintain the rules that are set in stone.

As I remember it, zombies diferentiate between themselves and living people in the same way as some animals do: by "smelling" certain emotions, like fear. These in turn activate a zombie's baser instinct to hunt, kill and feed, even though they don't need any sort of nourishment. In a zombie mind, all other zombies are as living as a piece of furniture.

That said, zombies do NOT prey upon their own kind. As said before, they don't eat because they need to, they eat simply out of instinct.

Again, this changes from movie to movie, game to game, book to book. the original zombies from the Romero movies would obey all these rules, while the ones from Resident Evil will possibly also be included, whereas the ones from the "Dawn of the Dead" remake would be another story altogether, and the ones in "28 Days/Weeks Later" don't even qualify, as they are not zombies.

And so on, and so on...
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Old Feb 24, 2008, 11:06 AM   #4
Tack
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

I have a friend who said that in one comic series he was reading the zombies could communicate and one told the main character that feeding on the brains of the living eased the pain of being the undead. I've forgotten the series but I'll ask him when i see him next week.
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Old Feb 24, 2008, 12:09 PM   #5
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

I seem to recall hearing that line in "Return of the Living Dead". The one with the punks in the cemetary.


"Live Brains!" LOL
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Old Feb 24, 2008, 06:46 PM   #6
SF_not_Sci-Fi
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iwata
and the ones in "28 Days/Weeks Later" don't even qualify, as they are not zombies.
They basically are though- mechanics be damned. Massive hordes of basically mindless bestial cannibalistic people who were once our friends and loved ones = zombie apocalypse. Zombie apocalypse = zombies. While we can argue till the cows come home about what constitutes a 'zombie', the "28s" most certainly fall into the genre of the 'zombie movie.'
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 03:56 AM   #7
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Optimus Prime
I seem to recall hearing that line in "Return of the Living Dead". The one with the punks in the cemetary.


"Live Brains!" LOL
It was. ETA: Why do I have to know so much crap? The comic series is likely Marvel Zombies (Marvel world all the superheros become zombies from outer space) which ripped from it & is horrendous btw, cept a couple of tie ins. They *****ed about what dead flesh tasted like and only when feasting on live and satiating their hunger were they allowed a few moments of clarity (instead of being mindless driven by hunger alone). Yep I know too much crap, note to self: keep your trap shut.

And what Iwata said (except 28 D). Most are derivative from Romero so the rules get passed down, as with Bram Stoker's Dracula & Vampire movies, but it will vary movie to movie because it's fiction created from different sources (especially when the 'original' source is from such a transitory medium).

A hundred different reasons why some 'zombies' don't eat each other (or just eat the living):
  • attracted to endorphines/adrenalin etc
  • genetically hardwired
  • they just don't eat themselves (a la Aliens)
  • hive mind - self preservation
  • eating rotten flesh/cogulated blood has detrimental effects
  • double dosing on the virus/voodoo exacerbates it's effects, impairing them further
  • dead stuff tastes bad
  • following instructions
  • doesn't satisfy the hunger
  • envy
  • etc etc etc
Not all bother to explain because...well, they expect the audience to not give a damn (as it's dispossable trash) or have seen other zombie movies or have an imagination. Rightly or wrongly - no one's going to argue (well demo might of, if it were his thing) that any zombie related movie is the epitome of the film-making medium and can do no wrong.

Even vamps & werewolf movies vary, it's like asking why all movies with magic don't obey the same rules. It's not science and it is open to interpretation (even science in reality is, once you really get down to it, but OT). Heck most time travel movies can't agree & look at the debate that's sparked here (mostly due to expecting a movie to use the logic of a totally seperate one, now I come to think about it).
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 10:04 AM   #8
Iwata
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SF_not_Sci-Fi
They basically are though- mechanics be damned. Massive hordes of basically mindless bestial cannibalistic people who were once our friends and loved ones = zombie apocalypse. Zombie apocalypse = zombies. While we can argue till the cows come home about what constitutes a 'zombie', the "28s" most certainly fall into the genre of the 'zombie movie.'

Ah, but see, they lack the key issue to a zombie: they are not dead! Just being really, really angry doesn't make a zombie.


Zombie.


Not a zombie.
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Old Feb 26, 2008, 03:49 AM   #9
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

Who says? The 'zombie movie' is just a structural archetype to which specific questions of life and death are not essential. If it acts like a zombie, or more specifically if they act like zombies, they're zombies. Actually, real life zombies aren't dead. Just drugged
And the zombies in the His Dark Materials series are just soulless.
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Old Mar 1, 2008, 12:28 PM   #10
Iwata
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SF_not_Sci-Fi
Who says? The 'zombie movie' is just a structural archetype to which specific questions of life and death are not essential. If it acts like a zombie, or more specifically if they act like zombies, they're zombies. Actually, real life zombies aren't dead. Just drugged
And the zombies in the His Dark Materials series are just soulless.

Well, MOVIE zombies are dead, then. you know, the whole lurching gait thing, arms outstreched, eats flesh and brains... those are zombies, as we know them from the screen.

Sure, there are variants, but the Romero zombies were the first, and so claim the "Real Deal" badge.
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Old Mar 1, 2008, 01:19 PM   #11
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

You're really pulling at straws here
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Old Mar 1, 2008, 03:18 PM   #12
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

Now ask yourself: when has that ever stopped me before?
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Old Mar 1, 2008, 06:42 PM   #13
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

Good point. Very well, I shall allow you to wallow in yet another of your dear precious delusions
You must realize though that Romero zombies were not here first. Even in the movies.

Night of the Living Dead came out in '68.

What about: Zombies (1964)
From imdb:
A cancer researcher on a remote Caribbean island discovers that by treating the natives with snake venom he can turn them into bug-eyed zombies. Uninterested in this information, the unfortunate man is forced by his evil employer to create an army of the creatures in order to conquer the world.

Also, while the '68 film was somewhat influenced by the zombie legend and older B movies explicitly about zombies, as far as I remember they were generally called 'ghouls' in Night of the Living Dead.

What Romero actually added to the genre- or to say the least he popularized and perfected this aspect- is 'zombie apocalypse' as social metaphor. Thus in every important way, the '28' movies are not simply zombie movies- they are post-Romero zombie movies.

Last edited by SF_not_Sci-Fi : Mar 1, 2008 at 06:52 PM.
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Old Mar 2, 2008, 07:50 AM   #14
Iwata
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

Touché, Mr. SF, touché...
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Old Mar 13, 2008, 10:01 PM   #15
mack
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Re: Zombie Logic? ? ?

interesting point about the creation of the zombie apocalypse SF. I am not a Romero fangirl or even that versed in zombie mechanics, but I do grasp the metaphor (there's some thread 'round these parts going in-depth as to what I think 28 metaphor was) - so this is why I ask the question: the metaphors, if that's what they are, arent holding across the board.

However, the point is made that for the most part your average middle or high school student doesnt really give a care about zombie mechanics or social metaphors - the zombie to most is nothing more than a blunt instrument of fear that works for the movie. It gets the job done, and churns out another D-movie thriller. I respect that, and if you look at it that way, I think Iwata hits the nail on the head.

But. Since we are discussing zombie mechanics, if a "zombie" is a state of mind, or a baser, more primal state of existence.....

...how base? how primal?

cuz I always thought dead was dead. dead is the absence of life. re-animation doesnt give life back - it simply reanimates dead flesh. So, reanimation would not restore feelings. Or urges. Or hunger. Or primal predatory understanding.

how do they justify that? until they can, Zombie movies will always be at best B-movie cult classics. The explained zombie, the zombie-type that makes sense, like the crazed Rage-o-holics in 28, appeal to a larger, more dubious public viewing audience, which was why so wide a cross-section loved it.
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