Posted in Monday Mayhem

Do Zombies Poop?

When I write about something, I try to find an angle to the story. Although I may have an idea, and it may be a good idea, I won’t write about it until I discover the hook. When it comes to zombies, as much as I enjoy the genre, the hook may not be so obvious. The reason for this stems from the fact that the genre has a number of mysteries I have yet to answer. I’m sure someone out there has the answer, but I don’t.

Do Zombies Poop?
Do Zombies Poop?

Today’s Monday Mayhem feature will concentrate on describing what three of those mysteries are.

Do Zombies Die?—I’ll have to admit I haven’t watched or read all the zombie stories out there. Yes, I also feel it is a travesty. Other than Warm Bodies, where, after some time, the zombies become Boneys, and in The Walking Dead, where the zombies show signs of aging, no stories of which I am familiar address this age-old question. What happens to the undead? Do they simply shrivel into a fetal position and drool their life away? Or do they rot until there’s nothing left? I don’t have an answer.

Do Zombies Sleep?—One of the lingering questions that has gnawed at my bones, no pun intended, is do zombies take time to have a regular siesta? In the last act of the film World War Z, the zombies stand in one position not really doing much of anything other than staring into the distance. They jerk around, but still, they are awake. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a zombie sleep in either a film or any other story. Why not? Don’t they tire chasing after people? The way I look at it is they don’t need sleep. Sleep regenerates cells, repairs internal damage from ordinary use and refreshes the brain in order for the mind to stay sharp and focused. I think zombies have passed the point of staying sharp. I could be wrong, though. What do you think?

Do Zombies Poop?—This, to me, is the biggest mystery of them all. With the amount of meat zombies consume, one would assume they digest and eliminate much like their human counterparts. But that would fly in the face of logic. If the undead are indeed undead, their digestive tracts would not function, their bowel muscles would certainly not work as well. So what’s the answer? Are we the audience to believe zombies can eat a whole man and not push him out the other end? What happens to the material the undead ingests? My theory? I think it piles in their stomach and comes out without digestion. My rule of thumb? Gravity rules.

That’s all I have for now. If I haven’t written about a mystery you feel needs addressing, go ahead and add it. I’m sure I will write a Part II to this discussion one day.


What great zombie mystery do you find unsettling? Have you yet found a reasonable explanation?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Crossing a Zombie with a Vampire

I’ve always wondered if a zombie were to ever crossbreed with a vampire, what exactly would you have? It wouldn’t be a zombie, that I know. That would mean the resulting monster, for lack of a better term, would have not only an appetite for human, but also the appetite to drain it of its blood. By the same argument, it wouldn’t be a vampire as that would mean it wouldn’t hunt in packs, much like zombies do in popular movies today.

Zombie Rising
Zombie Rising

I thought for my Monday Mayhem series of articles dedicated to zombies, today I would explore this awful but lethal combination of crossing a zombie with a vampire. If birds can do it, why not the undead?

Looking at it logically, I wouldn’t discount the possibility that such a breed could exist. After all, zombies and vampires have a lot in common. They both are undead. They enjoy human as their choice of nourishment. And if they had their way, they’d have a run at taking over the whole world with their species. What’s to say they wouldn’t succeed?

How about the differences? These are easy. Although they don’t plan coordinated attacks, zombies hunt in groups. Even more so, when a zombie attacks, it lets loose grunts, shrieks or shrills that alert other zombies of a potential feeding frenzy. This is not on purpose, yet they have that capability to unleash devastating damage to an unsuspecting populace simply by their overt cries of hunger. Additionally, zombies do not give up easily. That’s not to say vampires do, but it is to say zombies will keep coming after a victim until its dead. Vampires can’t do that since as soon as the sun makes an appearance vampires have to flee. I’m not talking about the sparkling ones either.

Night of the Living Dead
Night of the Living Dead

What about vampires? Vampires have an innate sense of communication zombies lack. In fact, vampires talk. Zombies do not. Other than R in the movie Warm Bodies, who I would classify as an exception to the rule, zombies typically have a one-syllable vocabulary bordering on animal. A series of groans could mean they’re hungry. In a vampire’s case, however, there’s no denying they possess articulate speech, enunciated words and eloquent vocal patterns. Vampires can talk their way out of anything.

Which brings me to the what if scenario. What if zombies were to crossbreed with vampires? Would Horror fans call them vampbies or zombires? Would they melt in the sun or would they survive in any lighting condition? What about their hunger? Would they crave human meat or human blood?

The list goes on. How about their hunting patterns? Would they form packs and hunt in coordinated attack patterns or go off alone hoping what they come across would keep them alive for another day?

My opinion? I would like to see a crossbreed of pack-hunter able to change forms and go after humans not just for their blood. I would like to see a creature eloquent in speech but deadly in battle that neither a wooden stake or a bullet to the head could stop. I would like to see the ultimate Horror creature give humans a run for their lives in a city setting where strength and cunning would rule the genre.

But then I would have a problem. What would I call such a creature?


What do you think about crossing a zombie and a vampire?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Favorite Zombie

Jack Flacco is proud to announce RANGER MARTIN AND THE SEARCH FOR PARADISE, the final book in the Ranger Martin trilogy, will publish on October 20.

When it comes to zombies, I have favorites. Who can forget the zombie from The Walking Dead the survivors find at the bottom of a well? What about the zombie from apartment 406 in the movie Zombieland? And of course, then there’s R from the film Warm Bodies. I think he’s the most endearing—even though he cracked a victim’s skull with his bare hands in order to get to the victim’s brain.

Jesse Eisenberg and Amber Heard in Zombieland
Jesse Eisenberg and Amber Heard in Zombieland

Let’s talk about favorite zombies for today’s Monday Mayhem. What makes them special? Why are they the way they are?

I mentioned the zombie from The Walking Dead caught in the well. The creature is not only one of my favorites, but the scene itself is hilarious—that is, if you like dark humor. The scene begins with the survivors finding a well. The resource would not only provide usable drinking water, but also allow them a measure of hygiene. The problem? There’s a walker in the well. They figure that if they can haul it out, they have a chance of salvaging what’s left. The plan calls for sending one of the survivors to tie a rope around the walker as a means of hauling it from the hole. Right up until they noose the walker, the plan seems to be working fine. As they heave the walker out of there, they don’t realize how heavy it is. And just as they had pulled half of its body out of the well, what do you think happens?

Well (pun not intended) the walker that had been in the well for such a long time, had absorbed a fair amount of water. The sheer weight of its body and the force the survivors exerted on that body caused it to tear in half. The walker’s lower half, including its entrails, collapsed back into the well. Not only was the scene kind of gross, but if you like that sort of humor, it was funny. Suffice it to say the survivors couldn’t save the well.

Nicholas Hoult as R in Warm Bodies
Nicholas Hoult as R in Warm Bodies

Another one of my favorites is the zombie from apartment 406 from the movie Zombieland. She doesn’t start as a zombie, but after a few hours hanging out with our hero Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) in his apartment, she’s ready to tear out his jugular. What I like about this zombie the most is the audience first sees her before she changes. She’s warm, considerate, and true to “the girl next door” moniker, she’s the girl any guy would love to date. Somehow, though, a homeless person bites her and she runs into Columbus’ apartment for safety. He has no problems with that. She’s attractive, what guy could resist not having an attractive girl asking for help?

Several hours later, the effect of that bite takes hold. Columbus runs for his life. What happens next is anybody’s guess.

What I enjoy about the whole scene is watching this beautiful girl turn into one of the zombies that then threatens to take Columbus’ life. A lot goes on in this scene, and it’s worth watching a few times to gain the subtle nuances the filmmaker intended.

Lastly, my other favorite zombie is R from the movie Warm Bodies. He’s the zombie that gains intelligence as the movie progresses to its inevitable conclusion. The theme is simple. A zombie falls in love with a human and wants to change the world with love. As ideal as it sounds, the story works for many reasons. The best reason I can think of is the love he has for the girl. Throughout the film he allows Julia into his world, and he’s the one who ends up changing for the better. R not only redeems himself by granting Julia her freedom, but also grows as a character, which then leads to greater things for him.

Barring from spoiling the entire film, R is one of my favorites because of his potential for growth, regardless if he is undead.

Your turn. What is your favorite zombie?


Do you have a favorite zombie? How about a favorite zombie movie?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Benefits to Becoming a Zombie

The other day my friends and I couldn’t agree if becoming a zombie was a good thing. Aside from the annoying groan and smells emanating from the undead corpse, some of them seemed to think turning into a zombie was a positive experience. I begged to differ.

Crowd photo of the Guinness World Record™ breaking New Jersey Zombie Walk held on October 30th, 2010. 4,093+ zombies attended the event. [Photo credit:  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]
Crowd photo of the Guinness World Record™ breaking New Jersey Zombie Walk held on October 30th, 2010. 4,093+ zombies attended the event. [Photo credit: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.]
On a dare, I promised my friends that for my Monday Mayhem series post I’d refute their claims and prove beyond a doubt that the life of a zombie was not something one would aspire to, if one were to put things into perspective.

Being a Zombie Saves Time—The biggest advantage my friends put forth as a reason to becoming a zombie is that zombies do not have to worry about personal hygiene. They argued that the byproduct to such an action is saving time. Well, I thought, so is not sleeping. But you don’t see me not taking showers and staying up all night. That is, if you don’t live in a frat house. No, I countered their argument stating the obvious. Okay, you’ll save time by not bathing and not sleeping. Then what? How will you use that extra time? You can’t go out on date because, frankly, you’ll smell. And you can’t learn a new hobby because the teacher will run away at the first sight of you. Jack 1, Friends 0.

Being a Zombie Means Never Having to Go Hungry—I’m not sure how we ended up talking about this, but eventually the conversation of food came to play. My friends agreed that zombies would never have to go hungry again. With a lot of humans running around, they’d have their choice of meat any way they want. Sorry, but I’m going to raise one slight detail they forgot to factor into their genius argument. Everything would be all sunshine and rainbows if humans didn’t have the weapons to splatter your brains all over the back wall where you were standing. As zombies, you can run after humans. The question remains, will you live long enough to claim your prize? Don’t think humans will lay down without a fight. Jack 2, Friends 0.

Being a Zombie Means Having Eternal Life—I literally laughed out loud when one of my friends suggested they’d have eternal life. The first thought to hit me was, living forever? How? As an undead creature, you’d rot to a slow death. What kind of life is that? Would being a zombie mean having the ability to cheat death? I don’t think so. Look at what happened to the zombies in the movie Warm Bodies. They had sniveled to stick figures with no hope of living a productive life. Then there’re the walkers in The Walking Dead. They’re about to fall apart soon. No thanks. I’d rather remain human with the full knowledge that when I die I won’t have to worry about the dastardly deeds I’d committed as a zombie. I know, weak argument, but still. Jack 3, Friends 0.

Being a Zombie Means I Can Dance—My friends used the Michael Jackson Thriller video to make their point. Zombies can dance, they said. And you know what? I happen to agree with them. Great video. Jack 3, Friends 1.

There you have it. Other than knowing how to dance, the benefits to becoming a zombie are not that great. I’d choose human over zombie any day of the week.


What arguments did I miss? Is being a zombie all that great?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Anniversary Week—Part I (2014)

December 17th was the two-year anniversary when Jack Flacco: The Official Site went live. In celebration of this milestone, I would like to present the Top 5 Most Popular Monday Mayhem posts of 2014.

Before we get to that, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who visited my site over the course of the year. It’s been quite a ride, folks. We’ve delved into zombies, zombie apocalypses and the like, and we had fun.

I don’t share this information freely, but I thought it appropriate given the nature of the festivities for the coming week. Here are some stats* you might find interesting:

  • Total views since going live: 113,376
  • The most views in one day: 1,194
  • Most views in one month: 7,741 views in October 2014
  • Most visitors in one month: 5,101 visitors in November 2014
  • The country with the most views: 31,520 views from the United States

* Statistics range from January 1, 2014 – December 29, 2014 as at 7:00am EST.

Let’s move along to the main attraction. When choosing the Top 5 Most Popular Monday Mayhem posts, I first wanted to present them based on amount of views. The more I thought of it though, the more it didn’t make sense. For instance, a visitor may pop into the site and hit the same post several times within the day. I didn’t think it fair, considering there could have only been two visitors for that day and a hundred views.

Next, I thought I’d use comments as the benchmark. You know, the more comments a post has, the more popular it is. Again, I didn’t think it represented a good way to measure popularity given I can comment on my own post a dozen times and push it ahead on the popularity scale.

No, what I used is the number of “likes” a post has garnered throughout the year. It will not only present a fair representation of popularity for a post but also prevents users from gaming the system with multiple “likes”.

Okay, enough chitchat.

The Top 5 Most Popular Monday Mayhem posts of 2014:

  1. Jack Flacco takes action to a new level.
    Jack Flacco takes action to a new level.

    My Second Book Release“Tomorrow, my second book in the Ranger Martin series releases. That sentence makes it sound as if something’s about to escape the San Diego Zoo. From what I know, literature doesn’t eat people. At least I don’t think it does. So I wouldn’t worry about wild books named Ranger Martin and the Alien Invasion running…” ~60 likes

  2. 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.)

    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…” ~51 likes

  3. The Walking Dead
    The Walking Dead

    Zombies and Mental Illness“Zombies are undead eating machines. They kill, consume and hunt for victims. They have an insatiable appetite. Their goals are simple. Kill and eat. Is it a wonder zombies have a reputation of being one of the most feared creatures in Horror? Monday Mayhem has always been about the other side of madness. It will always…” ~50 likes

  4. R from the movie Warm Bodies
    R from the movie Warm Bodies

    Zombie Characters“A few days ago, I watched World War Z—again. This movie will not go away, will it? I remember thinking how quickly humans had turned into zombies. The bite. The convulsing. The white eyes. The shreaking. And the cycle continues. I’d noticed this before, but never really analyzed it in depth. Not something I’m about…” ~48 likes

  5. The Terminator
    The Terminator

    Terminators vs. Zombies“They keep coming and coming and don’t let up. They’ll hunt you down and kill you without mercy. They have no soul. They’re impervious to pain. They are dead inside, unable to feel empathy or feel anything for that matter. They will not rest until every single human soul lies dead under their feet. If…” ~47 likes

Come back Wednesday when I reveal the Top 5 Most Popular Women Who Wow Wednesday posts of 2014. Don’t miss it!


Do you have a favorite Monday Mayhem post you’d recommend to your friends?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie Questions

Today, for Monday Mayhem, I thought I’d try something different. As opposed to writing a post dedicated to zombies, I thought I’d write a post asking questions regarding the zombie genre instead. I’m hoping you can help me understand what you, the reader, like about zombies, as I know it will also provide me with some valuable information as to what kind of stories entertain you.


Are you ready for a heavy interrogation session? Good. I’ll ask the questions, then I’ll add a comment or two to get the discussion started. Let’s have some fun!

Do you consider zombies part of the Horror genre? Some folks think because zombies run, jump and attack like raptors they belong in a Steven Spielberg movie for kids. What do you think?

Should filmmakers and/or authors think about including gore in their stories? This is a straightforward question, but it depends if we’re talking about human or zombie gore. Big difference, I think.

What kind of zombie origin stories do you like? Remember, back a hundred years ago, zombies came from ancient voodoo practices while today’s zombie spawns from an outbreak of a deadly disease.

Do you like slow or fast zombies? Why? Everyone has an opinion these days about the type of undead knocking on the door. Which do you prefer?

Have you or are you planning to participate in a zombie run this year? Many folks enjoy the challenge of running in hopes of outwitting actors dressed in zombie costumes. Do you?

Have you or are you planning to dress as a zombie for this coming Halloween? I know a few of my friends who have participated in zombie birthday bashes. What about Halloween?

What are your favorite zombie movies? Zombies are hot, but it’s also nice to know what the viewing audience finds appealing with their choice of entertainment.

If you’ve read zombie novels this year, which ones have you read and why? This is one of those questions where personal preference goes a long way.

Do you like crossover stories such as Horror and Romance (i.e. Warm Bodies)? Many zombie fans like their undead without Romance or Science Fiction. What about you?

How much action in a zombie story is too much action? Many fans enjoy the idea of seeing how the survivors adapt to their new environment. But what if they’re under constant threat of the undead? Then what?

If you watch The Walking Dead, what do you like about it the most? When a major character dies on The Walking Dead, I bow my head in mourning. Does it affect you in the same way?

Are you a George A. Romero junkie? Many of today’s zombies possess traits that came from the mind of director George A. Romero. Have you seen any of his movies?

When watching a zombie movie, wouldn’t you like to have the characters refer to zombies as zombies? Many movies and TV shows don’t refer to zombies by their name. Instead, they choose other names to enhance the experience. What do you think about that?

That’s it for now. If I’ve missed anything, let me know.


What do you like about zombies the most?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie Characters

A few days ago, I watched World War Z—again. This movie will not go away, will it? I remember thinking how quickly humans had turned into zombies. The bite. The convulsing. The white eyes. The shreaking. And the cycle continues. I’d noticed this before, but never really analyzed it in depth. Not something I’m about to do either. I suppose that’s a good thing since it means the story kept me entertained enough for me not to wonder about these silly little nuances in character design.

R from the movie Warm Bodies
R from the movie Warm Bodies

In past posts, I’ve used Monday Mayhem as a springboard for fleshing out (pun intended) new concepts in the zombie genre in order to understand what makes a good story regarding the undead creatures. Because that’s what they really are—creatures. Anything that’s not human is inhuman. I think we can classify zombies as inhuman. Wouldn’t you say? Anyway, after a quick survey of my past posts, I realized I’d omitted one key topic that would come in handy in any zombie discussion. Who are the zombie characters I’ve grown most fond of during my fascination with all things undead?

I’m not going to limit this to a single character, but I would think a type of zombie would also constitute a character. Wouldn’t you think? Nonetheless, let’s see how it goes then you can tell me if it makes sense or not.

R—I’d written about Warm Bodies‘ R once before, yet I always seem to feel I haven’t done justice to this character. He’s a zombie with a heart who falls in love with a girl who just as rather put a bullet in her head than spend the afternoon with the undead. Why do I like him? He’s vulnerable and displays childlike qualities. He wants to learn and wants to teach. He’s a monster who becomes more human as the story progresses.

406 from the movie Zombieland
406 from the movie Zombieland

406—Known as the girl from apartment 406. In my opinion, she is Zombieland’s most interesting undead character. Played by the beautiful Amber Heard, 406 makes her appearance early in the movie and with a quick resolve, makes an impression on the audience. Her advances toward Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) are anything but sensual. When she tries to take a bite out of him, he knows better and the mad dash begins. Fun fact about 406? Even though infected with the zombie virus, she’s still as attractive as ever.

28 Days Later Zombies—Some of most malevolent zombies make 28 Days Later a zombie lover’s delight. They’re fast. They’re tough. They’re strong. These true creatures of the undead bite, kill, and eat. They’re ferocious, crashing through windows and tearing apart doors. No matter the circumstances, if the armies weren’t there, they’d decimate an entire city, which they’ve done before. How else to describe the devastation they cause?

Shaun of the Dead Zombies—They happen to be my favorite zombies of all. They’re slow, dim-witted and sometimes hilarious. How else can I describe Shaun of the Dead zombies? When victims throw vinyl records at these misfits and survive, you know we have real winners here. The best way to distract them from eating you is to act as a tour guide in order to steer them away from friends by appearing as the only tasty snack they ought to consider as their only option to consume.

I wanted to talk about a number of other characters including those in World War Z, but then we’d be here all day. I’m sure you’d appreciate a shorter post with fewer characters and an opportunity to add your own, than a longer one with a gamut of zombies to read about. Perhaps one day I’ll explore the whole zombie universe, but that day isn’t here yet. For now, have a go adding your favorites and see how far you can take it.


Which characters haven’t I mentioned that you like? What makes them memorable?