The film The Return of the Living Dead pioneered the popular idea of zombies eating brains. Prior to this concept, zombies had an appetite for anything human, not just brains. For my new readers, this is Monday Mayhem where I talk about zombies. And other stuff. But mostly zombies.
In the movie Warm Bodies, the main character, a zombie named R, kills a man, cracks open his head and scoops out a vast portion of his brain to consume on the spot. R saves some for later. The film does a good job presenting a seamless string of memories from the victim’s brain as if it were streaming through R’s rot-laden head. R feels that much more human when taking in the victim’s memories. Here’s what R thinks:
“There’s a lot of ways to get to know a person. Eating her dead boyfriend’s brains is one of the more unorthodox methods.”
But is that the real reason why zombies eat brains?
Modern day zombies breed from a virus. The typical contagion seeps through the blood of the victim, changing their composition thereby rendering them undead. The term undead means the victim died and rose from the dead. Classic zombies sport a morbid, pasty look, their eyes dull and their clothes shredded. They are shells of their former selves with nothing in their hearts and minds other than the craving for human flesh. Not much different from the folks you meet on Twitter’s Direct Messaging.
This craving is the key to zombiehood. For those unsure, zombies eat the flesh not to survive, but to satisfy an inner hunger born from becoming undead. Even if the zombie has its stomach removed, the craving exists, which makes it all the more vicious since its hunger originates not from self-preservation but from malicious intent bent on destroying humans or propagating the zombie virus.
Regardless of knowing this, we still need an explanation as to why zombies eat brains.
Before The Return of the Living Dead made its debut, zombies only consumed human flesh. But once the movie came out, the modern version of a legend rose from its frames. All of a sudden, zombies ate brains.
Nothing could be simpler: Brains provide zombies with the necessary endorphins to dull the pain of Rigor Mortis brought about by decomposition. The more brains, the less pain. In some ways, zombies get a high consuming the delicacy. And with that idea in mind, is it a wonder no one thought of it sooner?
A Note of Thanks
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE shot to #5 last night on Amazon’s Horror Best Sellers list here in Canada. Check out who the top 5 horror authors are in Canada:
#1 Stephen King
#2 Dean Koontz
#3 Stephen King
#4 Eric Tozzi
#5 Jack Flacco
The book’s also hit #420 on the Amazon Best Sellers Rank on Amazon.ca.
It’s also tracking as #6 for both Best Sellers in Children’s Horror books and ebooks.
And #3 on the Hot New Releases in Horror Fiction.
Finally, #1 on the Hot New Releases list in Children’s Horror.
I’m in shock. I wouldn’t have imagined it possible that something like this would have happened. I’m sincerely grateful for all those who have reviewed my book prior to release. I thank all those who have thrown me kind words my way these past few weeks. And I can only say that you—the audience—have made this book a success. I’m now without words.
Thank you again, everybody.
Did you know that zombies eating brains is a recent concept originating from The Return of the Living Dead?