Yesterday, I shared my opinion that slow zombies make for a better story than fast zombies. Gripping stuff, right? Well today, I’d like to share my opinion that stupid zombies are better than intelligent zombies. And hear me out, it is more logical!
Theoretically, zombies are animated corpses with just enough brain activity to move about and feed to satisfy their continual starvation pains. Somehow, many movies translate this into fast moving, cunning zombies that are capable of hatching elaborate plans and using teamwork to get at a living person’s brains, which would require the use of a tool of some sort to get at the grey matter.
Say what? Animated corpses displaying such a degree of advancement? If I were an evolutionary theorist, I would assume that zombies are just the next, better stage of evolution, not a monster! It would be the human evolutionary duty to continue to reproduce to later have people metamorph into zombies, probably as a rite of passage. This makes absolutely no sense! Not that evolutionary theory makes sense anyway, but work with me here.
Stupid zombies (like the slow zombies) are not able to take over the story to an imbalanced level. Thus, the character development – emotional investment – regular watcher of a show is far more conducive. Smart, fast zombie movies rely on special effects. Slow, stupid zombie shows rely on character development and (gasp!) story telling.
Along similar lines, it requires intelligent animated corpses (triple contradiction!) to make brain eating the role of the zombie. No, the Walking Dead does a much better job of this. Stupid zombies, when they are able to capture a human, will eat any living flesh they can get into their mouths. And they don’t care if the victim is living or dead when they bite into them, but if dead the victim should be recently killed in order for their parts to be desirable.
This is yet another reason the Walking Dead is the best zombie story out there. And this is coming from someone who didn’t care for zombie stories a few years ago. Perhaps this is because every zombie production I had seen before was reliant on special effects and over the top zombies to attract the viewer. TWD certainly has this, but the focus is where it truly belongs, on the survivors. It is a compelling story that keeps me coming back, not the premise that the characters are living in a post-apocalyptic world.