Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie Theories

Sometimes I wonder where these zombie theories come from in this age of scientific advancement. Humanity is not an idiot, but some of the lesser-known theories deserve to die a quiet death with little to no fanfare whatsoever. These Monday Mayhem posts have been a staple around here at JackFlacco.com, so why not talk about them, giving them the proper respect they ought to have? Perhaps there is something to learn for everyone involved.

Witch Doctor [Photo Credit: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]
Witch Doctor [Photo Credit: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]
The very first theory is that voodoo will bring back the dead. For that to happen, there would have to be a witch doctor willing to bring back the dead. Unbelievably, such a case in Haiti existed where a man had died and a voodoo doctor had brought the corpse back to life. What is now known is the good doctor had poisoned the victim to deceive the family into believing the man had perished of an aliment of some sort. When the family had buried the victim, the voodoo doctor had exhumed the body, fed it another cocktail of hallucinogens and made the man a servant keeping him drugged for decades until the doctor’s death. The case was nothing more than a charlatan taking advantage of the poor in order to gain free labor from its intended victim.

Going further with the case, should zombies truly rise from voodoo, civilization would be in a quandary. Who would administer the drugs? What will be the effect of these victims on the economy? Should it really happen, where would it take place? Certainly, it couldn’t happen in the developed countries of North America.

George A. Romero
George A. Romero

The other theory, which far surpasses reality, has to do with aliens. This theory is so farfetched that it isn’t even worth documenting. However, an element of fun exists in this theory that no one can really resist not documenting it.

Consider an alien race that has come to Earth as a means of populating it with its kind. The aliens utilize ray beams to change the masses into obedient servants, thereby rendering the population vulnerable to conquest. Sounds ridiculous, yet George A. Romero‘s Night of the Living Dead has a variation of the theme where an accident from space changes a quiet town into a zombie feeding ground. Gone is the audience’s sense of intellect, replaced only by the acceptance of sheer fiction in a situation that is as likely to happen as the earth standing still for forty-eight hours.

Lastly, no zombie apocalypse would be complete without the dreaded virus that turns humanity into bags of roaming nut jobs. Who can dispute that above all the outlandish theories, this is the one that has remained in the forefront as the one-and-only that makes the most sense. However, the reality is far from perfect. For this theory to work, the virus’ victims would have to succumb to yielding their inhibitions to consuming human meat, not only from an individual standpoint but also from a community perspective. Unless plied with a crate of dopamine, it would appear that such an event would fall in the realm of “hardly unlikely”.

With that, the forum is open for discussion. What do you think of zombie apocalypse theories?

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What other theories are so outrageous that they aren’t worth the time reading?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Real Zombie Stories

Nowadays, zombies are everywhere. In the movies we watch. In the stories we read. And even in the songs we listen to. Can anyone forget Michael Jackson’s Thriller video? I know I can’t. But one place I don’t want to read about zombies is in real life. That whole debacle that happened two years ago with the “Miami Zombie” was something out of a pulp fiction magazine. Doing some research, I found it wasn’t an isolated incident. For today’s Monday Mayhem post, I’d like to talk about real zombies that once roamed among us who have left behind an indelible story as their legacy.

Clairvius Narcisse
Clairvius Narcisse

Let’s start with the story of Clairvius Narcisse who one day in 1980 walked into a hospital in Deschapelle, Haiti, almost twenty years after he had died. His family had buried him, that, they knew. They later found his grave disturbed. What they didn’t know was that a local voodoo doctor, a bokor, stole Narcisse’s body and enslaved him to work on a plantation. When the bokor died, Narcisse’s days as a slave died along with him. Authorities believe the bokor had poisoned him with Tetrodotoxin, a powerful neurotoxin that produces a comatose state, had him buried to convince the family he had died, then had him exhumed, later feeding him Datura stramonium, a hallucinogen known as Jimson weed, to keep him enslaved. Dr. Nathan Klein and Dr. Lamarque Douyon confirmed Narcisse’s story as the first case of zombieism.

Alexander Kinyua, twenty-one years old, of Maryland was an engineering student at Morgan State University. He had emigrated from Kenya to the United States, becoming a citizen. On May 25, 2012, Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie had disappeared, reported missing by Kinyua’s father. At the time, Agyei-Kodie was staying with the family pending deportation. On May 31, police appeared at Kinyua’s residents after his brother contacted them to investigate body parts found in tin canisters in the family’s basement. Police arrested Alexander Kinyua on first degree murder. Kinyua had allegedly eaten Agyei-Kodie’s organs.

Since I’d mentioned him in my introduction, let’s talk about Rudy Eugene. Dubbed the “Miami Zombie”, on May 26, 2012 he assaulted a homeless man, one Ronald Poppo. Eugene died after Miami police had shot him dead. The details of the assault are gruesome. Eugene accused Poppo of stealing, then proceeded to beat him unconscious. What happened next belongs in a fiction novel. For eighteen horrifying minutes, Eugene ate Poppo’s face leaving him blind. When Officer Jose Ramirez confronted him, requesting him to desist from the attack, Eugene growled at him. Subsequent to Eugene’s death, police sources speculated bath salts might have played a part in the attack. Toxicology reports however found traces of marijuana in Eugene’s system. No bath salts.

In the wake of Alexander Kinyua and Rudy Eugene’s attacks in 2012, the CDC had issued a statement saying, “CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms).”

The world has always had its fill of zombies, whether they are of those people who have lost their humanity in throes of indifference or otherwise. We hear the stories. Perhaps it’s about time to live beyond ourselves in order to prove zombies shouldn’t exist in our real lives. And only then would we be able to rid the world of those zombies that keep us awake at night.

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

Have you heard of these stories? What do you think of the CDC’s statement regarding the attacks of 2012?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombies & Aliens Too?

The movie Alien presented an interesting concept to the viewing audience when it first came out in theaters in 1979. The premise goes something like this—humans act as hosts to alien birthing eggs until such time they’re no longer needed and die a miserable death by chest explosion. Interesting, right? Since I’ve been on a zombie/alien kick lately, I thought I’d explore this idea further for Monday Mayhem.

Alien/Zombie host relationship?
Alien/Zombie host relationship?

If you’ve read my post Zombies & Aliens? last week, you would know I delved into the unsettling topic regarding a zombie apocalypse brought on by aliens as opposed to a virus. Seeing how many commenters liked the connection, let’s continue on that train of thought to see where it goes. M-kay?

In the 1956 movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers, aliens embark on an invasion of earth by replacing humans with exact duplicates, except the copies express zero emotion and individuality. Even though the film reflects a perfect commentary of communism in the 1950’s, it also goes on to explain what people would be like should they decide not to express their free will—in essence, the first inkling of a zombie apocalypse even before George A. Romero hit the scene. The only thing missing is the duplicates don’t eat people.

The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead

I know I’ve touched on this idea before by mentioning how zombie propagation changes with the times. For instance in the early 1900’s, zombies originated from supernatural practices in Haiti where voodoo doctors resurrected the dead to have them work on sugar plantations. In the late 1960’s the movie The Night of the Living Dead had fun with the notion zombies could originate from a radioactive satellite bursting in earth’s atmosphere rendering those caught in the debris undead. And just recently, The Walking Dead, although not based on an original concept, is burning the ratings by depicting a world gone crazy due to a virus turning people into walkers (a.k.a. eaters of the fleshly kind).

Having all these other interesting causes to choose from, why not entertain the thought that aliens could cause a zombie apocalypse?

For instance, a meteorite could scream to earth and crash in the middle of the woods somewhere in the United States. The Department of Defense sends in a team of scientists to survey the area to investigate if the meteor would present potential harm toward anyone approaching it. One by one, the scientists die by radiation exposure. From the belly of the meteor, an organism crawls its way to the bodies of the scientists, penetrating their mouths, making them their hosts. The bodies soon rise from the dead and moan their way to civilization, but not before attacking a multitude of campers in the area, spreading the organism from one host to the other with a simple bite.

It isn’t until half the country becomes hosts to the dreaded aliens that a nuclear solution gets a green light from the presidential office.

Wouldn’t that make for an awesome story?

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

What do you believe will cause the zombie apocalypse? Alien, virus or voodoo?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

An Open Letter to Zombies Everywhere

Dear Zombies,

Where do I start? I understand you’ve taken over the media. I understand you’ve taken the spotlight from the vampires. I understand that. I remember not too long ago when you dragged your feet, moaned as if you had ingested the most wonderful meal in the world and possessed the most demonic eyes on the planet. I know, I’ve written about you in my Monday Mayhem series.

Zombies [Photo Credit: In compliance with Wikipedia Common Licensing]
Zombies [Photo Credit: In compliance with Wikipedia Common Licensing]
But that’s not why I’m writing. You see, I’ve noticed something—and I’m sure you can correct me with your indelible tabletop intelligence—you’ve changed. I don’t know how to explain it. I can describe it as a shift in your behavior. A modification in your genetic makeup. An alteration in your biological configuration. Whatever it is, I’m scared.

You have to understand, it takes a lot to scare me. I mean, I’ve seen The Exorcist umpteen times, The Omen and The Shining several other umpteen times, so I’m no slouch when it comes to the Horror genre. It takes quite a lot of to scare me. Granted, certain scenes in The Sixth Sense make me want to crawl under the sheets and suck my thumb like a little baby. So, yeah, you can say I get scared. But like I said, it takes a lot.

Also, you have to remember, I grew up watching Saturday Morning Cartoons where animators drew you as funny little characters with barely enough intellect to figure out where you belonged in the grand scheme of things. You don’t have to tell me about your history, I know it. Yes, even the voodoo incantations chanted in Haitian tribes to raise their dead. Talk about messed up.

Again, that doesn’t faze me. Not in the least.

Zombie [Photo Credit: In compliance with Wikipedia Common Licensing]
Zombie [Photo Credit: In compliance with Wikipedia Common Licensing]
You know what really scares me? You know what keeps me awake staring at the bedroom window in the darkness of my room? What compels me to look over my shoulder in a lonely parking lot? What drives me to speed my pace walking from Main Street to my house on a cold winter night?

The virus. Your virus. It chills my bones to the marrow to think I can become one of you, one of the horde, one of the crowd, simply by a single bite from your infected mouth. It churns my gut to know this.

You know what else? I don’t like the fact that you are fast. I don’t have a chance. Since when did you become so fast to the point where you can crash cars from their spaces and dive on to your victims? You’ve become undefeatable. Should you flock as I’ve seen you do in many of the modern movies—we have no means to defend ourselves other than to hide as mice would from a cat hunting its prey.

And that’s not fair.

At least give us a hint of what we can do to create an antidote for your condition. At least give us a chance. We can’t outrun you. We can try. But you will win.

I liked you better when you were slow and punchy.

At least we had a chance.

Yours truly,

Jack Flacco

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

Do you have anything you’d like to add as a P.S. to my open letter to the zombies?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie Apocalypse: Assumptions

What if everything we’ve read about the zombie apocalypse is true? What if there is a dreaded undead virus that will render the dead as living corpses, what then? What about all those movies about survival in the end times? Does this mean it would be wise for us to heed their advice and treat everyone as an enemy? As part of my Monday Mayhem series, let’s explore zombie apocalypse assumptions and determine if we really do have a chance or not.

Do we have a chance?
Do we have a chance?

Let’s assume a zombie apocalypse is possible. That somewhere in this finite world we call earth, there’s a virus capable of turning ordinary humans into raging monsters bent on sucking the life out of humanity.

Let’s assume a science experiment can and will go horribly wrong. Or a culture exists in the nether-reaches of some forest somewhere that can raise the dead in some mysterious incantation meant to bring loved ones back from the grave with absolute terrible consequences.

Let’s assume those initial victims (patient zeroes, first fruits, etc.) begin to wreak havoc with society. That the whole thing might occur in a deserted place or a populated city somewhere, which then spreads from animal to human, human to human, curse to human, all in a wave of terror that sweeps civilization as we know it today to bring a catastrophic onslaught of destruction on everything we know and love.

Will we survive?
Will we survive?

Let’s assume measures we’ve taken to protect ourselves from the cataclysmic event fails. Our water supply dwindles, our food disappears, our homes become unlivable, and our culture vanishes before our very eyes, what then? After all, all it takes is one bite, one drop of blood, one secretion of saliva to spread the condition to someone else. Who’s to say we’ll be safe?

Let’s assume the government has an exit strategy in place for all those deemed valuable to bringing about the replenishment of humanity in a new society. Will it survive? What if the rebuilding process involves creating a walled city strong enough to protect the last of us from harm’s way? What if the city has checkpoints in place, guards at every corner, cameras to monitor residents, daily and weekly spot checks to ensure no one—absolutely no one—poses a threat to the rest of society. What then, will we be safe?

And let us assume we do have a chance at survival. That we do end up fostering the new birth of the ideal society. That we will lead those less resilient on a quest to bring about the change we so much desired before the zombie apocalypse occurred. Will we manage?

If society has taught us anything, it’s Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. No amount of planning will change the inevitable outcome we will experience at the hands of zombies. We may run, we may hide, and we may believe we’re safe behind walls of stone fashioned to keep the undead at bay, but if it’s going to happen, it will happen. Nothing can prevent it. It’s a law of nature to deceive ourselves into believing we can survive.

Then again, maybe it’s all fiction and we can laugh at those who believe otherwise. Just a thought.

RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, now on sale.

What do you think? Can a zombie apocalypse occur? What are our chances at survival?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

A Zombie Primer

I’ve always wanted to write a zombie Q&A for Monday Mayhem. Given some readers visit my site via search engines, I thought I’d provide answers to the most popular questions. Of course these are my opinions and I wouldn’t want to give the impression I know all there is to know about the subject. So think of me answering these questions flying by the seat of my pants.

Zombie banner
Zombie banner

What is the definition of a zombie?

In its purest form, a zombie is a soulless human either brought back to life by supernatural or biological means, or changed by a foreign agent. It is not sentient, thus it lacks the ability to question one’s own existence.

How does one become a zombie?

There are two schools of thought: (1) a human dies, and comes back from the dead. This can happen by voodoo, witchcraft or science. (2) A virus infects a human rendering them intellectually dead but physically alive.

How does one kill a zombie?

The most popular belief is to destroy the brain. Methods to achieve this result are as follows: shooting, stabbing, drilling, traumatic impact, etc. Decapitation may seem like a workable solution, however, in all likelihood it will lead to a bodiless zombie. When unsure, a sharp object to the brain will do the trick.

How to Identify a Zombie
How to Identify a Zombie

Why do zombies crave human flesh?

There is no real answer. Some sources (legend, history, and Hollywood) may attribute zombie health to human flesh eating. If this were the case then it would necessitate zombies to require drink, sleep and other means by which to maintain proper balance of bodily functions normally attributed to humans. The closest answer is zombies eat human flesh because it’s in their nature, much like sharks (see my post The Three Commandments for a more elaborate answer).

Are there different types of zombies?

Yes. There are humans who were once dead, have risen from the dead, and are now alive. These are classic zombies. Then there are those humans who have changed into zombies due to the ingestion of a virulent agent.

Why do zombies hunt in packs?

Not all zombies hunt in packs. There will always be stragglers. The majority do though because of how the zombie apocalypse may have affected a particular area. If huge swaths of people become zombified, the natural tendency is for survivors to encounter them in packs. This will happen in countries where cities are more densely populated.

What is the zombie apocalypse?

The zombie apocalypse is a fictional scenario where zombies rise in an attempt to overthrow humans as the dominate species.

Do zombies take restroom breaks?

Most fictional accounts of zombies indicate an awful stench emanates from their body. It is not know what this smell is. Therefore, it would be difficult to assume that zombies practice proper hygiene in regards to their elimination habits.

Do you have any questions I may have missed? How about opinions?