Survival of the Dead

Caitlin and I went and watched Romero’s Survival of the Dead and both (I think) enjoyed it quite a lot. I assume Caitlin enjoyed it because she’s out right now picking up stuff to make her costume for the next zombie walk. It’s a nice continuation of his Dead series, and as much as I like the comedic Return of the Living Dead series with it’s ahead-of-its-time (1993) body mod kink in part three, Romero has the best idea of what a zombie is, both culturally and “scientifically”. To quote Romero’s oft-quoted criticism of other zombie movies, “zombies don’t run!”. Anyway, if you like his movies, you’ll like this one — and it’s also a Western. I wasn’t sure if that would work or not, and it does have a silliness that he’s not known for, but all-in-all it works. The accents are a bit too much though.

Someone was commenting on some board I was reading that in the event of a real societal breakdown that we will have metaphorical “zombies”, because it won’t be long before there are crazies roaming the streets because an over-medicated populace is cut off from its drug supply — pain killers, anti-psychotic medication, tranquilizers, recreational drugs, and so on. I don’t know if that jumps you to the logical conclusion of “there will be zombies”, but I was thinking a fun movie could be made blending medication with zombies (not that there haven’t already been many “neurological plague” zombie-esque movies, and there certainly will be more). In O’Bannon’s view of zombies, being a zombie is a very painful condition, and the reason that zombies eat brains is not because of a need for sustenance, but because it relieves their pain.

I imagine a story line in which, as in real life today, an epidemic of chronic pain, often without a real explanation, is spreading throughout the Western world. Sufferers of chronic pain are — as much as they try to hide it — deranged from the pain, desperate for any solution, and willing to do anything to stop the pain. As the pain grows, and doctors reject their requests for drugs — made worse by a global war on terror that’s stopping opium production — and they become more desperate.

Perhaps it turns out that the pain is being caused by a microbial imbalance brought on by pollution, or something to that effect. It’s rumored that consuming the flesh — or better yet — brains of another person can fix this imbalance by absorbing the microbes in their tissue, and a morgue or hospital worker discovers this to be true, although only temporarily. Word of this spreads, and it is discovered that consuming fresh, or better yet, live meat is even more effective and not only stops the pain, but brings on a sort of ecstasy, accelerating the flesh eaters lust for brains and makes them more reckless, shameless, and devoid of morality in their consumption. However, in time — a fairly short time — doing this also erodes higher reasoning and brings on a colloidal silver type pallor, and the people’s pain becomes harder to satiate and the effect is briefer and briefer, and they become something closer and closer to the stereotypical image of a zombie.

Don’t worry, I’m not in enough pain yet to try it!

And don’t worry also, Romero is a better storyteller than I am!

One Comment

  1. talby wrote:

    Wow- where the hell did you see this?? I’ve been so excited about it, but haven’t found it anywhere (meatspace or no.) Color me jealous.

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *