Posted in Monday Mayhem

Rigor

One of the perks when writing books about zombies is the fact that I can research various subjects such as physics, epidemics and psychology. With each subject comes a set of fascinating facts I never knew, had I not looked into it on my own. The most interesting and morbid of all subjects I’ve had to study is the rate of decomposition of the dead, the various phases, and the ultimate appearance of the body weeks after the process had begun. It is not a subject for the faint of heart or for regular readers of my Monday Mayhem series to indulge in while having breakfast.

The Walking Dead cast
The Walking Dead cast

Having watched every episode of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, my perspective has changed from when I first became interested in the genre.

For instance, in the early years of my fixation with the undead, my focus fell on what the survivors had to do in order for them to stay alive. Coincidentally, the underlying theme in the early seasons of The Walking Dead is that of survival in the thick of a zombie apocalypse—even if no one really calls them zombies in the show. Survival means different things to different people. In the broad context of the show’s premise, survival means living another day without having had worried about a walker getting in the way. To this end, the survivors play a game of human vs. beast throughout the early part of the series.

As the years went on, however, and by no means would I compare my experience with others who follow the genre, I’ve noticed the plight of the survivors has not been against the walkers but against themselves. Nothing could be more evident of this fact than with last season’s premier when the survivors’ main enemy was a band of cannibals determined to make Rick and his crew their evening meal. For some, cannibalism may have crossed the line, but the ratings sure haven’t reflected that matter. If anything, the audience, including myself, keeps coming back for more.

When it comes to story, The Walking Dead, and now Fear the Walking Dead, has and is leading viewers through a range of emotions that only a good drama can deliver.

Getting back to my original thought about my education within the genre in relation to the shows—has anyone else noticed the walkers in The Walking Dead are different from when they hit the scene in the first episode? Recently, they’ve decomposed rapidly leaving no doubt they’re slowly dying but at a slower pace than otherwise any medical student would suggest. Their skin has lost much of its elasticity. Their color has turned darker. And they have become sluggish as opposed to their former selves, living or otherwise.

Yet, it leaves me wondering what the walkers will look like once the series is over. Will they explode like a bag a goo, as depicted in one episode of a walker trapped in a well? Or will they simply shrivel into a nub and crunch to their ultimate death?

I know that it’s a silly observation, but how can anyone ignore the basic levels of rigor? I can’t imagine what science will do to the walkers once it gets through with them.

Just a thought.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE SEARCH FOR PARADISE, on sale October 20.

What do you think will happen with the walkers when the series completes? Will the science of rigor finally take revenge on the undead?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Can Zombies Swim?

World War Z will be out on DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow. The official release dates to remember are September 17, 2013 for the U.S. and Canada, October 21, 2013 for the U.K., and October 23, 2013 for Australia. The big deal is not the release dates, but the content of the movie. I promise I won’t give you any spoilers for this film. This movie is too good to spoil for anyone. Am I looking forward to the release? How about asking me if a zebra has stripes. Today is Monday Mayhem, and today I’d like to concentrate on World War Z’s base of operations.

World War Z
World War Z

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, World War Z’s base of operations is a ship in the middle of the ocean. I think this is genius. What better way to avoid zombies than to float on water with little to no contact with the mainland.

Which begs the question: Can zombies swim?

Ah, let’s think about this from the perspective of the zombie. The undead know nothing. That’s a given. They function purely out of instinct—instinct being their craving for human flesh. They act on human presence, hunting humans down until they’re dead. But that human presence depends on a number of factors. What if humans have hidden themselves away to the point of disappearing? What then? Will the zombies find alternative food sources to satiate their hunger? What if humans appear resistant to the zombies’ intent to eat them? Will the zombies move to another feeding ground?

Or…will they learn how to swim in order to find additional food sources?

Sounds far fetched, I know. But, what if? Is it possible? Can zombies swim?

Ships
Ships

Let’s have a look at zombie buoyancy. If those maggot bags want to swim, they will have to learn how to float. If they moan then air is in their lungs, which means they can float. However, there’s this whole decomposition thing going on that may also prove fruitless for their effort if their body cavities lose pressure. And of course coordination between the limbs. They’d have to know how to perform one or more of a number of strokes if they’re intent is to swim to their destination, such as: front crawl, butterfly stroke, breaststroke, dog paddle, human stroke, survival travel stroke, breast feet first stroke, snorkeling, finswimming, inverted backstroke, inverted butterfly, back double trudgen, flutter back finning, feet first swimming, corkscrew swimming, underwater swimming, gliding, turtle stroke, sidestroke, combat sidestroke, and moth stroke.

Of course, the question remains: would zombies be able to even get their arms around their head in a full 360° turn? Have I mentioned about the zombie ocean predators? Crabs and lobsters love rotting meat. It’s their job to eat that stuff.

In all likelihood, zombies would walk to the shore and keep walking from the shore into the ocean until such time they’d walk themselves to a second death by either natural decomposition or ocean predator. That is, unless they fall into the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the world’s oceans.

Was the decision to have a command center in the middle of the ocean a good thing in the movie World War Z? Yes. Unless zombies know how to swim, it’s the safest place on earth.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale October 22.

What do you think of swimming zombies? Do you think zombies can swim?