Saturday, November 10, 2012

Night of the Running Dead

So the trailer for World War Z has landed and is making its way around the internet at a pace almost as fast as the fucking RUNNING zombies in the forthcoming film.

I love World War Z. I was properly scared while reading it and the Bear had to put up with me whimpering and gasping "oh nooooo!" while I read, as did a train carriage full of people who probably thought I was mental. It's one of my favourite books and when you know that one of your favourite books is being made into a film, you kind of have to lower your expectations and will pretty much always end up being one of those dickheads that moans about the book being better.

I get that a book like World War Z would be impossible to film without making huge changes and that's fine, but my problem is with the fast zombies in the trailer. The book manages to pull off this growing sense of dread as the world starts to get overrun by the undead, and it's that build-up of terror that proper zombies are all about. Zombies are scary because, yes, they're rotting, moving dead people and that alone is horrible enough, but it's the slow, creeping relentlessness that really scares the pants off me.

Fast zombies like the ones in 28 Days Later and the Dawn of the Dead remake aren't really zombies at all. They're rabid people infected with a virus, which is fine (although not for them, I suppose) but it does make them a different class of monster. The whole point of zombies is that they're dead. Simon Pegg pretty much nailed what I'm trying to say in a brilliant Guardian piece from a few years ago that he recently tweeted in response to people asking what he thought of the WWZ trailer:

"The speedy zombie seems implausible to me, even within the fantastic realm it inhabits. A biological agent, I'll buy. Some sort of super-virus? Sure, why not. But death? Death is a disability, not a superpower. It's hard to run with a cold, let alone the most debilitating malady of them all."


The TV version of The Walking Dead has done a great job of screen zombies, although I did get mad at them in one episode where they seemed to have the dexterity to climb over fences, which was total bullshit. As is the fact that Danny Trejo isn't playing the Governer, but that's besides the point. Aside from the fact that the fast zombie is a pretty big deviation from what the classic zombie is all about, my chances of survival would drop dramatically if I had to outrun the fuckers.

It'll be a shame if the film leaves out the worldwide character plotlines from the book and just shows Brad Pitt running around and saving his family, as that was what made it so enjoyable in the first place. Seeing the ways in which each country dealt with the outbreak, the Battle of Yonkers, Israel's self-quarantine plan, North Korea's population disappearing underground, so we don't know if there's a functioning human city beneath the country or if there's a fuck-ton of shambling Korean zombies down there are all things that added extra layers of delicious detail to the usual people vs. zombies story. Also, seeing as I'm not sold on the film having FAST HOORING ZOMBIES (to quote the lovely Dawn) in the first place, I'm not entirely convinced on the swarming tsunami of CGI zombies climbing up a huge wall and toppling a bus like a wriggly herd of dead bastards either.

I'll still go to see it when it comes out and I'm looking forward to seeing how they tackle the story, but basically what I'm getting at is that fast zombies can go fuck themselves.


  1. Completely totally one hundred percent agree. Fast zombies are a massive cop-out. This just looks like a typical disaster movie where we're supposed to give a shit about Brad Pitt's character because he has a Generic Family and he says "It's going to be okay, honey!" a few times but in reality, ninety percent of it is just going to be CGI zombies! Also, the zombies don't even look like zombies they just look like crazed people.

    C'mon Hollywood, get your shit together. Not everything has to be a fucking action movie. It's like they don't believe that slow zombies can be scary anymore.

  2. I have to read that book before the film comes out, in fact I'm off now to buy it on the old kindle. I see what you're saying about fast zombie films missing the point but I do still find those ones in 28 Days Later bloody terrifying- I can barely run for a bus not to mind outrun the likes of zombie army dudes. Uurgh.

  3. So we aren't allowed to like the 50 shades books but we can like the zombie one just as long as we don't like fast zombies. Cos they aren't zombies... Even though you called them fast zombies... Instead of calling them fast dead people that are't zombies but kinda go on like zombies...

  4. tinyorc - It does just look like any old disaster film! It's a shame because the book has so many interesting stories in it and they've just made up their own bland one instead.

    Nurse Fancy Pants - It's SUCH a great read! I'm scared of fast zombies too, it's just the fact that they should probably be called something else really. I certainly don't fancy my chances against them anyway!

    Anon - Or you could just like whatever you want and not take it all so seriously?

    1. I wasn't serious. Just yankin'your chain (",)

    2. Ah I see! I really suck at reading tone in online comments sometimes.

  5. Agree! I'm really looking forward to see what kind of movie World War Z will has so much potential, hope they don't screw it! And of course many people will complain about how they adapted it, but this time it's understandable that you can't tell the thousand stories there are with a 100% accuracy! Great post!


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