Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Zombie Table

So apparently zombies are a big thing now. Or were. Or whatever. World War Z is a thing. But when I talked to a friend about it, he said something that I, who has not seen the movie, had suspected already: It's not a zombie movie, it's a movie with zombies. Also, why weren't they already overrunning everying? That made me think about some common zombie features, and what kind of zombie they made when put together.
This list is in no way complete and rather black/white. I'm just showcasing the extremes.

The Traits

Since I'm trying to cover every combination of traits, I'll limit myself to these:

Fast vs. slow: This is kind of a big deal, to the point of sparking discussions about the anatomy of zombies. I don't care about that here, I just care about the speed.

Many vs. few: There's the handful of zombies from a local cursed graveyard, and there's WWZ-style pandemics.

Strong vs. weak: The only thing worse than a fast zombie is a fast zombie that takes a ton of hits. On the other hand, they're kind of brainless meat sacs which may or may not be rotting.

The Table

Fast? Many? Strong? Kind
No No No Wat
No No Yes Teenie-Killer
No Yes No Cannon-Fodder
No Yes Yes The Barrage
Yes No No Thing in the Night
Yes No Yes Thing in the Night That hits you in the Face
Yes Yes No Fast Cannon-Fodder
Yes Yes Yes The Invasion

The Explanation

Yeah, the description above kind of sucks.

Kind: Wat
Threat: Wat.
This is ridiculous. It's what happens when a hobby necromancer decides to dig out some corpses on the local cemetery. They're slow and probably fall apart when you stare at them too hard. Just hit it until it breaks down, or run and get a car to run it over.

Kind: Teenie-Killer
Threat: You should probably get some guns.
They're just as few as the necromancer's experiment, but they don't fall apart easily. You can still run and leave the heroism to the guys with the heavy machinery.

Kind: Cannon-Fodder
Threat: Easily underestimated.
These are Romero zombies. They're slow, so you can still run/drive away, but they are everywhere. While they may not be that strong on their own, there's a lot of them. You can probably gun them down, if you have the ammunition to do so.

Kind: The Barrage
Threat: Not so easily underestimated.
The only thing that saves you from these is their speed. And you probably need heavier machinery to take them out. Just call the military and run.

Kind: The Thing in the Night
Threat: Not so harmless.
Speed is an immense advantage. They may be brittle, and there might not be many of them, but they're fast. They can run after you, so you'd better have that car around somewhere. But then again, once you know how to get a hold of them, they should be easy to deal with.

Kind: The Thing in the Night That hits you in the Face
Threat: Even less harmless.
And now they're not even brittle. They're basically like a group of Generic Alleyway Thugs. Yeah... speed and strength is a bad combo in itself.

Kind: Fast Cannon-Fodder
Threat: This is already an invasion.
Another case of getting the military here. Only that this time, the military should be a bit faster, since the zombies are too. As with all zombies in large groups, this is an invasion, and their speed doesn't make it better. They're bound to get more people in the beginning than their slow counterparts, but at least you can try to beat them up.

Kind: The Invasion
Threat: Nuke the whole site from the orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
These are the worst zombies. They're actually the thing that got me thinking. In the movies, these are the kinds you see in "they won" scenarios. When they attack, you're boned. Don't call the military, they'll only lock down the place and, indeed, throw a bomb on it. And who can blame them?

I left out the whole infection by bite thing, since it would have made things more complicated. Just don't let anything like that bite you.

The Zombie Feel

Back to WWZ not being a zombie movie... I can see it from the trailers. The zombies don't seem threatening on a personal level, and for their abilities (zombiepile on the wall), humanity's quite fine. Because I don't know about you, but the whole "oh god, we could die" thing belongs to a zombie movie. Even if it just features Wat zombies.