Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie Apocalypse: Alternate Endings

Every enemy has a weakness. Every foe has a flaw. With zombies, it’s the head. You’ve heard it before. Shoot them pointblank in the face and they will no longer pose a threat.

Photo by Martin SoulStealer [Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.]
Photo by Martin SoulStealer [Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.]
But what if a new breed of zombie doesn’t respond to the universal bullet to the temple, then what? What if zombies could withstand a pummeling, and rise again to keep advancing toward a fragile humanity ready for extinction?

We’d all be in trouble, wouldn’t we?

For today’s Monday Mayhem, let’s explore the universe of zombies and their alternate endings. Humans can’t always win.

An Invincible Brain—In the 1978 movie Halloween, Michael Myers is a little boy who grows up to become a possessed psychotic out to seek vengeance against his hometown. Michael withstands a knife to the face and a coat hanger to the eye. Yet, he still keeps coming back again and again. Imagine a zombie with the same talent as Michael. It would be the ultimate opponent to defeat. Bullets would no longer work. Knives would become playthings. The undead would rule the earth and humans would flee for the mountains. There wouldn’t be anyone left after they’d get through with us.

Self-Healing—Imagine a world where zombies could self-heal from their wounds. The comic superhero Wolverine has the power to self-heal despite a body riddled with bullets or knife slashes to the throat. Take it a step further and ponder on the thought of zombies possessing that same power. No telling what would become of humanity if the guns can’t stop the undead from attacking. Every wound would heal. No one would be safe from the zombies’ destructive path. In this case, it bleeds but we can’t kill it.

Contagious Scratch—The zombie bite is the universal form for spreading the undead contagion. However, what if that was to change? What if the zombie bite no longer posed a threat? What then? What if instead of the bite a simple scratch would prove equally as menacing? No longer would the undead seek to propagate their kind with their teeth, but they would rip through doors with extended arms searching for people to scratch. The rate of infection would rise and the population would suddenly become undead in a matter of days. All because of a little scratch. A Band-Aid won’t help in this case.

If zombies featured invincible brains, self-healing as part of their makeup or a contagious scratch, one thing is certain, there wouldn’t be anyone left to tell the tale. Nevertheless, should humans know in advance of the fundamental shift in zombie behavior, the arms dealers throughout the world would dream of new defenses for the cities and new weaponry to put the undead back in their place—the grave.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale October 21.

What new zombie trait would you find the biggest threat to humanity?

Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Laurie Strode

For those unfamiliar with the Halloween franchise, one cannot say the name Laurie Strode without saying Michael Myers in the same breath. One, the protagonist. The other, über-antagonist. Women Who Wow Wednesday continues with horror’s scream queen Laurie Strode.

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode

When Jamie Lee Curtis accepted the role of Laurie Strode in the 1978 horror classic Halloween, who would have thought she’d become the success she is today. Daughter of Hollywood parents Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Curtis’ debut in the film solidified her place in the annals of horror. As a no-nonsense actress with weathered chops to take on any role, she played Laurie Strode straight (just as her mother did playing a victim in the 1960 movie Psycho). The genre had seen too many bad movies with bad actresses who trivialized their roles as victims. Not Curtis. She made sure of that.

Michael Myers was only a young boy when he walked into his parents’ house, grabbed a butcher knife, climbed the stairs to his sister’s room, and slaughtered her in a demonic bloodbath. When he made his way back through the front door that Halloween night, his parents greeted the boy as he still held the knife, his sister’s blood dripping from the blade to the sidewalk.

The authorities committed him to Smith’s Grove Warren County Sanitarium never to see the light of day again.

Michael Myers
Michael Myers

Fifteen years later, Michael Myers escapes the asylum and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. This time, he dawns a mask and a pair of coveralls with the intent to carry out another bloody rampage during the dark festival of Halloween.

Enter Laurie Strode, the teenage babysitter who Michael stalks. That entire day she thinks she sees someone, but doesn’t. He’s there, but isn’t. In her literature class, he appears staring at her from across the street. Then he’s gone. Walking home, he shows up again from behind a hedge. He disappears. From behind a clothesline in the neighbor’s backyard. Vanished.

That evening, while Laurie babysits Tommy Doyle, her friend Annie pops over with her own charge, Lindsey Wallace. She wants Laurie to look after Lindsey so she could go out with her boyfriend. Laurie agrees. After some time, Annie still hadn’t shown up to pick up Lindsey. Laurie heads over to the Wallace’s to see what’s keeping her. What she finds shakes her to the core. Annie’s dead lying under Michael’s sister Judith’s tombstone. So are her other friends Lynda and Bob. Michael killed them and placed the bodies in various areas of the house for Laurie to find. Out of the darkness Michael appears, slices Laurie’s arm causing her to fall down the stairs, snapping her ankle.

This is the part where Laurie Strode the fighter emerges. She limps back to the Doyle house with one thing on her mind: protect the children. Michael follows, crashing through a window prompting Laurie to slip a knitting needle through his neck. Doesn’t faze him. He still comes after her. With the children in tow, they run and hide in a closet upstairs. He hunts them. She unravels a coat hanger and sits silently, hoping he doesn’t find them. He does, and attacks them with a knife. She pokes him in the eye with the hanger. He drops the knife. She grabs the knife and stabs him in the stomach. He collapses.

Believing he’s dead, she instructs the children to leave the house. She does well. He rises and tries to strangle her. Dr. Loomis, Michael’s psychiatrist, bursts into the scene saving Laurie by unloading his weapon into Michael.

Although critics may consider Laurie Strode a victim in this movie, she is nothing but. If anything, she was brave for risking her life for the welfare of the children. She wasn’t afraid to stand up to evil. And that’s what a hero is. Selfless, always thinking about those who can’t defend themselves, and a true believer in good.

Ever see Halloween? What do you think of Laurie Strode?