Zombies! discussion

Zombie Theory > Slow vs. Fast

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message 1: by Brandon (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:22PM) (new)

Brandon | 34 comments Mod
Which zombie type is your favorite? The classic slow moving kind, or the fast moving neo-zombie?

First off I have to say that I am not a zombie purist. I recognize the fast zombie, and even the not-really-dead zombie (i.e. 28 Days Later zombies), as full fledged zombies.

The short answer:
I prefer the slow classic style zombies.

The long answer:
I find that the two types serve different narrative purposes. The fast zombie is all about action, action, action. They are deadly individually. They have more in common with the slasher genre, but in greater numbers. They make for very exciting situations, always keeping the protagonist on the run.

The slow zombie is more about the feeling of impending doom. They are all about the build up of tension. They pose little to no threat individually, but you know that no matter how many you put down there will always be more to replace them. Stories become much more about the characters trying to survive. Slow moving zombie stories are more akin to psychological thrillers. Don’t get me wrong I love the payoff of a great zombie kill, but I really enjoy savoring the mounting tension. I could go on, and on (I did get my degree in philosophy after all) but I will end my answer here.

I can’t wait to hear what you all think on the subject.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Incidentally, I think _Land of the Dead_ was a vile disappointment positively sick with boring characters, movie cliches, and a ho-hum plot.

message 3: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:23PM) (new)

Christen | 41 comments Brendan - totally agree about Land of the Dead. It was almost like Romero was making a bad B movie rip off of himself! But I did like the concept that zombies still have the hard wiring in their brains of who they once were. Interesting, but not interesting enough to pull that movie out of the disappointment bin.

As for the topic, I really like what Max Brooks has to say on zombie speed, agility, physical capability, etc. His stance is that zombies are using human bodies and therefore they are capable of whatever normal human bodies are capable of. They can move as fast as we move, lift whatever (but not more!) than we can lift. They may try to out do the limits of the body if food is around, but it will only result in torn muscles, broken bones, etc.

My answer is that I like fast zombies. It seems to make sense to me that they would be able to move fast (unless a vital body part for locomotion has been torn off ^_^). I have a nostalgia for slow zombies just because that's how they always were, but the fast (or at least normal human speed) zombies have a very real appeal to me.

message 4: by Brandon (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:23PM) (new)

Brandon | 34 comments Mod
Land of the Dead may have been a bad movie, but it did give me one of my favorite movie lines of all time. I love the way Dennis Hopper read the line, "Zombies man, they really creep me out." Freakin' hilarious. I laughed out loud when I saw that the first time.

message 5: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:26PM) (new)

Christen | 41 comments lol Brandon and then he went on to make financial planning commercials for the Boomers!!!

message 6: by Cookie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:26PM) (new)

Cookie (cookie_beck) | 36 comments When I was growing up, all of the zombie movies my father let me watch had slow moving zombies. There was and is something terrible about the slow-movers. No matter where you go, no matter how far you run, they will be there... eventually. Yes, you have more time to get in the car, or barricade yourself into a home, but you also have way, WAY more time to think about the horrific death you could possibly face. Not to mention that once they catch up with you, they're going to eat you alive .. slowly.


On the other hand, when I'm watching the movies with the fasties, I think I'm way more scared. You could be tra-la-la'ing down the street and then BAM. Zombies! Biting! Ow! Death! There is that whole manic feeling. The deaths are short, but so very violent. The fast-movers give you that surge of adrenaline, that rush of fear, and they leave you panting. (It leaves me feeling in need of a serious hug.)

Me? I guess I like the slow-movers. There is that element of hope, as if maybe you have more of a chance to get away. So, it's all the more horrific when the character realizes they can't, and all the more satisfying when they do.

message 7: by Girly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:27PM) (new)

Girly (girlygrr) | 21 comments Cookie,

Just like the difference between a creepy-crawly spider slowly moving toward you or the big hairy leggy ones that jump. ;)

message 8: by Morbideus (new)

Morbideus | 2 comments I know, an old topic, but a good one...

I prefer the slow moving ones. I LIKE the fast ones as well, but think the slow ones are scarier.

It instills a more cerebral fear, instead of of an instinctual one.

John Landis put it best: "They're not fast, they're not smart, they're not strong... BUT JUST THERE'S SO MANY OF THEM!"

message 9: by Kemper (new)

Kemper I like both, but find the fast ones especially scary. I hope when the zombie hordes come for me, that they'll be the slow kind. Because I'm not in good enough shape to do that much running......

message 10: by Jo (new)

Jo Fast!
I agree with you about land of the dead bein bad its like he was tryin to make it bad to be ironic or something

message 11: by Jill (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 10 comments Slow. I'm just an old fashioned girl who thinks that dead bodies stricken with rigor mortis and slowly falling apart probably wouldn't move very fast. If you get into the whole 28 Days Later thing, then yeah, they could be fast, but only because they're not dead (and not zombies, but that's a whole other internet argument).

message 12: by Jo (new)

Jo how are the ones in 28 days later not zombies?

message 13: by Jill (last edited Jul 02, 2009 08:28AM) (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 10 comments Jo wrote: "how are the ones in 28 days later not zombies?

They haven't died and reanimated. They're infected. Like the super rabies infected in Quarantine.

message 14: by Jo (new)

Jo didnt they die and then the infection brought them back as zombies? i guess your right

message 15: by Jerrod (new)

Jerrod (liquidazrael) I know plenty of people clinically alive, but Zombies none-the-less, so that point is mute.

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

In the book The Morningstar Strain the Zombies start out as fast (sprinters), because they are live humans infected with a virus. When that human host dies for what ever reason (except a head shot), after a short period of time they reanimate and become slow zombies (shamblers).

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Fast or slow it doesn't matter to me. Just as long as they can't climb up walls like bugs or know kung fu. I don't ever want to see a zombie fighting, driving, or being scared.

message 18: by Fredstrong (new)

Fredstrong | 36 comments I can go either way. But I have to say, the running zombie hoards, in the 28 day franchise, get my adrenaline going. (even though they are not truly zombies :)

message 19: by Jo (new)

Jo I agree the fast running zombies give the film more adrenaline and make it harder to get away from them which makes for more gruesome killings

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