Night of the Living Dead...
July 4, 2013
Before we get rolling on what is (according to this week’s title) an epic and informative copulation...OK, seriously “Living Dead Alligators?” that’s just damned weird. But before we get weird let’s get sincere and wish everyone a safe and happy Independence Day. Now go get drunk and shoot off fireworks! Isn’t that’s what Americans do for every holiday? Minus the fireworks for some. Hey it’s Christmas- let’s get wasted! Hey it’s New Year’s- let’s get wasted! Hey it’s Easter- let’s hide eggs for the kids...while we’re wasted! Hey it’s Boxing Day- let’s get wasted...in a box! Anywho- Have a happy 4th of July and try not to get intoxicated and have sex with fireworks.
Now despite the intro and the fact that this week’s publication date falls on the 4th, this article is in no way tied to Independence Day. Unless you’re vacationing in the Everglades...or in a swamp. Or anywhere there might be alligators or...well, anywhere really but the time of year is irrelevant, so it doesn’t matter...so let’s get on with it!
Have you ever noticed that other than a few comedic attempts there have never been any serious films made about zombie animals? If you’re thinking of the dogs and birds from the Resident Evil movies and game series think again. Those animals are a result of bio-weapons and parasites. As opposed to the result of a solarium infection.
That said, we return to the original question—why no zombie animals? The simplest answer is that there are have been and always will be rules when questioning any genre. The rule that applies here is most recently referenced in the book World War Z which states that the zombie virus is fatal in animals causing death before the virus can implant itself in the brain. OK that seems logical enough but since for the most part Zombie genre is all guess work the rules can be bent and or broken.
So for the sake of argument let’s say that all creatures great and small can be infected and turned during a zombie outbreak. This concept is utterly fascinating and would seemingly make for an exceptionally terrifying movie plot. However, you encounter your first issue when dealing with yet another basic rule of zombie. That being: When a human becomes infected, dies and then becomes a zombie they crave the flesh and brains of other humans. In short, cannibals. So is it safe to assume that any animal, insect fish or fowl exposed would crave the flesh and brains of its own kind? If that’s the case then it would make for a rather stupid movie as everything ate themselves.
But what if we fueled the human ego a bit and made the “hunger” universal? Zombies of any species would crave human flesh and brains. Can you imagine...(unintentional fellow writer pun) all the zombie parasitic insects? Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes? Once again another suck for a film idea, because the human race might last a few hours. Seriously, Raid may “kill bugs dead” but how does it work on undead bugs? So let’s forget zombie bugs.
Birds don’t have teeth so “zombie birds” just seems silly and fish, well that’s just stupid because fish look like zombies anyway. Any small or domesticated animals would come across as more comedy than horror—“Dear gawd, it’s a herd of undead titmice!” Umm, yeah. Any large herbivores would have to go too; could you take a zombie giraffe seriously? So let’s tone this down and make the virus exclusive to humans and larger carnivorous mammals and reptiles all with that universal hunger.
Now we’re talking about some seriously horrific stuff! Zombie lions, tigers and bears...oh my! Zombie cheetahs, zombie dogs, oh, and zombie alligators. The horror of an alligator that would eat a human...wait... given the opportunity, zombie or not, all these animals would eat humans. Would it matter or make it scarier to be eaten by a zombie alligator or would it be the same as being eaten by a non-zombie alligator? It would seem it would have the same effect. Which is why there are no serious zombie animal films because animals would eat us anyway...right?
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