Oh hey there hot chixxx and sweet dudes
I am quite comfortable at this stage of my life telling you that my favorite horror sub-genre is the zombie film. Killer aliens on spaceships are probably a close second, but I go through long stretches where all I’ll watch is zombie-horror.
Now, I’m sure there’s some psycho-analyst out there who can spout on and on about the flesh-eating subtext, but I assure you it’s not the cannibalistic nature of the zombie that I find so compelling. In fact I can tell you that straight-up cannibal movies are pretty damn boring as far as I’m concerned.
I think if there was any head-shrinking reason for my zombie love that I might subscribe to it would be that in general I’m attracted to immortality. For obvious reasons: 1) You don’t Die and 2) Getting to wield cool SWORDS like the Highlander. Sure, there have been plenty of sleepless nights where I’m contemplating the concept of infinity and conversely my limited time on this planet where I get scared sh*tless and think “Fuck man…how bad could being a zombie BE?”
All that said if it WAS the whole immortality angle I’d probably be sitting here saying that vampire movies are my favorite horror sub-genre. It’s a better deal really. You get to live forever, you still get to pick up chicks, and you DON’T have your limbs fall off or walk around with foam/drool pouring out of your mouth. Pretty great! You still gotta suck on blood and brains and sh*t though. Oh well.
There really is no DEEP answer to my love for the living dead. In fact, the REAL answer is pretty basic and simple: More outrageous sh*t happens in zombie films then in pretty much any other type of horror. Think about how limiting the zombie concept may seem – Dude dies. Dude comes back to life and can barely move, but is compelled to eat people. They aren’t exactly the classic villain archetype from Greek mythology or anything yet SOMEHOW the variety that can be found in zombieland is seemingly never-ending!
So, with all that back story I will tell you that the other night was taco night at my house. It was taco night ‘cause I was too lazy to BBQ. As is typical with me I swore to myself that I would only eat 1, maybe 2 tacos, but then lost control and ate like 6 to 17 tacos. True story! I have zero self control when it comes to food. I think TECHNICALLY I’m a compulsive eater who just HAPPENS to have a decent metabolism and enough self control to keep my natural instincts in check. My natural instincts being to gorge on nonstop crap whether I’m hungry or not. Hell…at least it wasn’t a KFC party.
The point is.
We watched TWO movies that night:
1) “Day of the Dead”. The 3rd of George Romero’s classic Living Deadseries.
2) Lomberto Bava’s “Demons 2” which is of course the sequel to “Demons”. For those of you who AREN’T familiar, the “Demons” franchise tells the tale of a bunch of people that come back from the dead consumed with the desire to eat other people, and consequently turn THEM into demons also. Call ‘em what you will that sounds an awful lot like a zombie to me.
Side note- If you are not familiar with Lomberto Bava, Dario Argento, or Lucio Fulci or other Italian horror of the late 70’s early 80’s I STRONGLY recommend you look into it, cause trust me…some WILD sh*t happens in these movies – case in point there is a scene in Lucio Fulci’s “Zombi” where a zombie fights a shark. Not a fake shark…a REAL one. An underwater actor in a ZOMBIE COSTUME battles an actual shark. This really happened! I implore you to find this on youtube if you aren’t already familiar.
This got me thinking.
Who is dominant here? Who would win in a fight?
(note: For the sake of argument we are talking about the zombies of Romero’s original films. No remakes or off-shoots)
Let’s take this one step at a time:
The Speed Factor –
So this seemed like the most obvious place to start as it is clearly the Zombie’s Achilles heel. Demons can be seen throughout both films running like Carl Lewis and it some cases jumping around like that frog dude from the “X-men” movie. Zombies on the other hand are often too decomposed to have any real agility, and seem to experience rigor mortis even though they are the “living” dead.
They are usually depicted moving about as slow as people who work at Subway restaurants. It’s hard to really knock the Zombie’s methods here however, ‘cause as slow as they move they always find a way to get you anyway. Even if you are Dennis Hopper.
Winner: Gotta go Demon here. It would pretty much be Ali V. Liston here. I don’t think the Zombie could even get in a punch…or a bite for that matter.
Honorable Mention –I can’t talk about zombie speed without talking about the zombies of Lucio Fulci films. Specifically the zombies in “Zombi 3”. There are two basic zombie TYPES in “Zombi 3”. There are your basic Romero-esque fare…i.e. slow moving, foam at mouth, mild groaning..etc, Every now and again, however, you get the appearance of the KARATE FIGHTING ZOMBIE.
I can’t express to you full the joy I felt when the first karate zombie appeared in “Zombi 3”. They would usually literally jump out of trees, or jump from out of the forest with LIGHTNIG quickness. I guess rigor mortis hand’t QUITE set in. Either that or there was a zombie outbreak on the set of “Enter the Dragon”
But I digress…
Chomping Ability –
Somehow in all the Romero movies zombies have a knack for biting into pretty much any part of the human body and tearing it to shreds with seemingly not much effort. In “Dawn of the Dead” it pretty much looked like the zombies were biting into silly putty. (They probably were) All of this carnage with the same kind of teeth as you and I….that is assuming they still have both parts of their jaw in tact. Demons teeth? WAY more terrifying. The first thing that happens when you become a demon is that your teeth fall out only to be replaced by MASSIVE sets of fangs that usually point in different directions thus becoming the poster children for orthodontics BUT as scary looking as those teeth are zombies often inflict WAY worse damage in a far shorter amount of time. I will suspend disbelief enough to assume that the same thing that resurrects them…also gives them teeth of IRON.
Winner: Zombie. The Demons teeth may look worse….but its the end result that count.
I have to pause here to tell you all that someone just walked into my office and handed me a copy of “C.H.U.D.”
Special Powers –
For the most part we are deadlocked here. Not a lot of ‘special powers’ in the world of the living dead. It’s pretty straight up: bullets, knives and other projectiles don’t harm the undead. That said, there IS a bizarre demon angle. In BOTH Demons movies there is a twist. Apparently one out of every hundred or so Demons come with a MEGASDEMON hidden inside. i.e. at some point said Demon starts SPAZZING out a la John Hurt in “Alien” and a MIDGET in a demon costume pops out.
Now…granted…this midget never inflicts and REAL damage but it is another weapon in the arsenal of the Demon. Zombies would SEEM to not have anything to compete here. Unless of course you count that Zombies DO have the ability to LEARN as a power. This ATTRIBUTE was demonstrated in “Day of the Dead”, and “Land of the Dead” as a “power”. If you DO then this is an advantage for the zombie, cause trust me…the demons ain’t learning sh*t.
Winner: I gotta go Zombie here. Let’s face it, zombie who can learn how to use a gun over a midget demon?? PRETTY DEADLY.
Location Location Loacation
Evolution teaches us that all BEINGS adapt to their environment to best survive. So the habitat of the zombie and the demon is pretty worthy of discussion. This comparison is pretty much like pitting a dinosaur vs. the Geico lizard.
It’s barely a contest! Demons inhabit beautiful and historical Rome Italy. Now, granted, both “Demons” 1 and 2 take place in enclosed spaces (“Demons 1” in a movie theater, and “Demons 2” in an apartment complex) but the views we do get of the outside world show good looking people riding on Vespa’s in the latest Italian fashions hanging around beautiful architecture and probably drinking fancy red wine non-stop. Not a bad deal! On the flipside the world of George Romero’s zombies is virtually totally exclusive to PITTSBURGH. It’s a miracle that none of the dialogue reads “Hey What’re yins doin? Yins goin’ dahn-than to that dere Giant Eagle or whatchin’ the Steelers Vs. Them Pats? It’s slippy out side bring yer galoshes!” “Land of the Dead” even references a visit to UNIONTOWN. I’m surpirsed there’s not more zombies in Foghat t-shirts.
Winner: The sophistication of Rome vs. the blue collar Americana of Pittsburgh? Hey…Did you people know I’m from Jersey? I’M GOING WITH THE ZOMBIES FROM UNION-TAHN! YINS CAN WARSH YOUR SHORTS IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT!
-OK so I admit that we are getting a little off track here, but I can’t NOT talk about the music situation, ‘cause these bad boys are at least PARTIALLY defined by the tunes to which they slaughter people. “Demons” was directed by Dario Argento, and its no secret that music often played a big role in his movies.
BOTH “Demons” movies featured the music of his own band “GOBLIN”, or nonstop METAL from bands like MAIDEN, Accept, Judas Priest, Accept, Motley Crue or a SLEW of others. It’s hard to talk about the scoring to Romero zombie movies, ‘cause mostly its your basic horror underscoring. Don’t get me wrong horror purists, it’s good sh*t, but definitely not a ton of metal that’s for sure.
Winner: Dude. MAIDEN?! Demons win all the way.
Ok. I think he’s hashed this out FAIRLY and COMPLETELY.
Without further delay.
The winner is –
ZOMBIES 3 to 2!
(Crowd goes wild…and gets shredded by some zombies in Foghat t-shirts)
Let’s face it…this was the zombies fight to lose here. Even though seemingly out-dueled by the quicker, more sophisticated Demon the Living Dead movies are just plain better so I wouldn’t have it any other way.