As regular readers will no doubt be aware, I am a massive fan of zombie movies. Vampires, however, have never really done it for me, even though they are perenially popular. You can keep your Twilight pretty boys, I’d much rather see a good blood-spurting, arm-ripping, gut-wrenching zombie flick (or even a bad one). Here’s why the living dead win for me every time.
That is, they don’t really have much in the way of cognitive powers. Zombies are simple creatures, with only one thought, if you can call it a thought. None of that tortured soul angst that vampires are prone to; zombies just get straight to the point and tuck in.
Forget all those metaphors about blood and sex that you get with vampires. The only blood you get with zombies is the literal kind – and copious quantities of the stuff. They’re unpretentious creatures, are zombies, and wouldn’t know a metaphor if it hit them in the face harder than a souped-up truck travelling at 100mph.
Zombies are more fun to kill. What options are there with vampires? Holy water, sunlight and stakes. Boooooring. Zombies, on the other hand, can be dispatched in countless ways with a variety of weapons. Guns, machetes, forks, baseball bats, and many household implements can be pressed into zombie-killing service. The more inventive, the better!
Yes, zombies can be funny. With a witty script and good performances, you end up with a film like Zombieland, that doesn’t take itself too seriously and does the job of entertaining very well. I’ve never seen a witty vampire film.
Vampires are always impossibly good-looking. Well, maybe not always, but it certainly sells a lot of books and films. Zombies, on the other hand, are no great shakes in the looks department, so there’s none of those tedious brooding shots. And nobody’s going to fall in love with a reanimated corpse that wants to eat your guts.
If you like a good end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it story, then vampires are no good. Either they are tormented souls who waft about being angst-ridden (Twilight, Angel), or launch their bloodthirsty attacks on a small scale (30 Days Of Night). They just can’t compete with a good zombie apocalypse.
Sure, there are plenty of cliches in zombie films, but vampire movies seem to be more bound by them. Can’t go out in daylight – tick. Stake through the heart – tick. Zombie flicks, on the other hand, have more scope for innovation, while still retaining enough of the classic markers. Think of the fast-moving zombies premiered in ‘28 Days Later’.
I once watched a zombie series with a friend, and made many comments about how I’d fend off a zombie attack. My friend commented, ‘You’ve got it all worked out, haven’t you? How you’ll survive, defend yourself and destroy them.’ He was quite correct. Come the zombie apocalypse, I’ll be ready. I’ve done my research …
Are you a fellow fan of the living dead, or do you prefer a neck-nibbling vampire? How would you deal with a zombie attack?
Top Photo Credit: Great Beyond
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