If you are a zombie apocalypse fan and you are troubled by facts which inhibit your enjoyment of this sci-fi/horror genre, stop reading now. I get it: sometimes my logical hubs is a real downer pointing out during a disaster or horror movie or TV show how “that could never happen.”
We suspend a lot of disbelief to enjoy the fun new AMC series The Walking Dead. I personally love it for the “end of civilization as we know it” dynamics of the characters. How would we react to survive an “extinction event”? Survivalists have been asking that question for a long time, and it’s worth pondering now that science and Hollywood have contemplated how many ways we can get taken out–move over, dinosaurs.
Still, hubs usually has a valid point, and as much as I am enjoying the Dead series, I see people in blogs, comments, etc., asking questions about how these zombies do things that give one pause–but never give the zombies pause. So here are a few observations to allay any fears that might creep into our nightmares about zombies (yes, I’ve had some, too):
- Does anyone really believe that zombies, with rotted and torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons, can actually walk, out pace, grab and hold healthy humans, and rip them to shreds with their teeth faster than those people could run and get away? To walk our muscles must receive neurological messages which coordinate contractions with complex sensory input so we don’t just bump around and get stuck in a corner. This requires the higher functions of the brain. Yet these brain-dead super-zombies can climb stairs and fences, rip through heavy metal vehicles, break windows, and open doors? Um…no.
- How can zombies see where to go anyway, or hear and follow sound and light? I can barely see with thick eyeglasses now; so how can a zombie eyeball without a healthy retina, cornea, and lens not be blind? Back to bumping into walls.
- Remember in Season One when Glenn and Rick (I think) used zombie blood to “disguise” themselves so they could walk among the zombies, to cover living-flesh smell? How can zombies smell anything? Even if they had olfactory sensors still working, their own dead stench would pretty much dominate anything else, wouldn’t it? I guess the writers figured they had to explain why zombies don’t eat each other, just the living. So they came up with…you’re dead, but you’re a flesh-sniffing gourmet?
- Breathing for a zombie is also not an option, since their lungs and trachea would be mush. So exactly how do they make those zombie sounds without air being pushed from the diaphragm?
- In the same vein (heh, pun there) there is no heartbeat, so no blood is circulating. It has nowhere to go, either, because arteries and blood vessels would be dried up, collapsed, and blocked. Since the heart has stopped, who cares, right? They’re dead!
- Not to mention, digestion? Of meat? Wouldn’t the lack of a functioning esophagus, stomach, and intestines, plus the required digestive juices, pretty much eliminate any actual need for eating anyway? Anybody seen any of these zombies taking a dump yet? I don’t think so….
These are just a few thoughts on why zombies could never chase and eat humans. Ever. Even I could outrun a zombie. Standing still. It’s some comfort when I wake up right before some zombie turns me into the main course.
Suspension-of-disbelief has to be complete to enjoy the fun of The Walking Dead zombie apocalypse properly. But on a “believable monsters in horror” scale of 1 to 10, ”not believable” being a 1, to “entirely plausible” being a 10, zombies are at 0. The laws of human physiology don’t disappear with some mysterious virus or contamination.
We’ll have our apocalypse one day, but it won’t be zombies.