Posted in Monday Mayhem

Why I Like Zombies

Have I ever told you why I like zombies? I mean, I write my Monday Mayhem posts, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned the reason why I’m drawn to these ill-fated, putrid-smelling, bile-seeping maggot bags the media affectionately calls zombies. I have a number of reasons for liking them, and today, you’re going to find out.

Asbury Park Zombie Walk 2010 (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)
Asbury Park Zombie Walk 2010 (This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

As many of my regular readers know, I have an affinity for 80’s movies. Because of that love for all things retro, Terminator has always been at the top of my list of sci-fi/action flicks for a cold Friday night. Why? You see, terminators keep coming after you. No matter how many bullets you pump into them, two-by-fours you break over their head, and knives you use to gut them, they still keep coming after you. I like that idea. Zombies are like that, too. If a zombie does not sustain a bullet to the head, it will drag, pull and follow its way to you until you are dead. They don’t know pain. They don’t know exhaustion. They don’t even have a clue they are undead. But one thing’s for sure, they will not give up until they see you screaming in absolute terror, awaiting your fate under their feet.

Apart from my enjoyment of seeing the zombie inclination to persevere, I have fun with the idea that their walk, in a subtle sort of way, embodies the afterlife. Who doesn’t want to know what happens to them when they die? For years, vampires have shown themselves as Horror’s answer to everlasting life. In all truth, though, all things have to end. Enter the zombie. Not much different from vampires, the zombie life depends entirely on the consumption of human victims. The difference being, zombies hunt as part of hordes. Humanity’s fascination with the afterlife has created these creatures as a way to understand what it means to die. What will happen to us? What is the purpose of this life? Why are we here? I don’t know about you, but if I die, I’d rather not imagine a life befitting a zombie. Sounds like a messy affair to me.

The biggest reason I love zombies, and this is purely from a writer’s perspective, is that they can represent anything a writer wants to convey by way of metaphor. In other words, if I want to talk about how oppressive a society is of its people, I can simply write the zombies as a depiction of that society and of its willingness to destroy its victims, eating them to the bone. Same goes for cults that have a way of controlling their brethren. You know the kind, where the members can’t do anything without church consent or recommendation. The zombies in that story become despicable demons bent on absolute destruction of its family members.

The possibility of using metaphors is endless.

So much of what goes on in the media becomes fodder for zombie stories. I can’t dispute the fact that the undead have a way of bringing people together. One day, I’m sure I’ll find out what it all means. Until that day, I’ll keep enjoying movies featuring zombies in thrilling chases, stories about the undead living forever, and of life’s little metaphors.

Now do you see why I like zombies?

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Why do you like zombies?