Monday, 18 October 2010


A little while ago, my friend Gail started writing a Zombie story. The majority of the people in the writers' group were all,
'Phew, yeah, go Zombies, we are so over Vampires.' I, on the other hand, am certainly not over vamps, but was interested in Gail's story anyway. I feel that the problem for anyone writing a zombie story is finding a new way to tell it.
On TV last night, a new zombie show was being advertised like crazy. It's starting on Hallowe'en, and it's called, not terribly originally, 'The Walking Dead'.
Poor start really.
Now, here's my theory. The reason Vampire stories are so endlessly varied and engaging, is that the vampires are characters themselves, can out-think humans and have to keep their numbers small in order to be able to feed, so there's no mad rush to complete annihilation.
Also, vampires are sexy and zombies aren't.
Vampires can also control, or be at war with, other species, such as werewolves.

When a human gets turned into either, they experience a painful transition, but with zombies, when the metamorphosis is completed, the human loses reason, whereas with vampires, they gain clarity.

On the other hand, both vampires and zombies are undead. Why couldn't there be zombies as actual characters. You get it occasionally, in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels for example, Mr. Shoe, I think is the name of his zombie, and in the Canadian TV series Lexx.

This is the way forward for Zombies I feel. What motivates them? Could they organise themselves better? Is (un)death reversible? Why don't they communicate? Why must they wave their arms about so obviously?
I think we should be told.

That Cranberry's song was awfully good though, particularly when sung by Dilana. Apologies for the bad language at the end.


Sleepy said...

No one wants to fuck a zombie.
Bits fall off and they look rotten!

Schneewittchen said...


Gail said...

I love the zombie formula for its subtext - the movies are never really ABOUT zombies. Night of the Living Dead - Vietnam. Dawn of the Dead - consumerism. And the movies are more about the people surviving the zombie attacks than the zombies themselves.

There's a great series from the UK that probably just finished playing on Space called "Dead Set". The twist in this one is that while a zombie apocalypse is happening on the outside, the contestants on Big Brother are completely unaware of what's happening out there.

Schneewittchen said...

But in a way you're saying the same as I am Gail, that it's always about the survivors, just that you enjoy that and I need something else. And yes, the subtext is interesting, just as it is with vamps or lycans, except that there's a more two-way interaction with these.
The creepiest zombs though, imo, are the real ones, the Haitian ones, now those can be used to quite good effect.

Sleepy said...

True Blood = Shaggable Vamps
Twilight = Shaggable Vamps
Anne Rice = Shaggable Vamps

Schneewittchen said...

*sigh* I suppose I should take up the challenge and try to write a zombie story from the other side. I don't think I can make them shaggable, because that, as already established, would be just eeeeuw. Except.....everyone was always trying to shag Kai of the Brunen-G (Lexx). Hmmmm....