Saturday, August 08, 2009

My top five zombies

Over at Dogwood Tales Neil is challenging people to make him name 'top fives' of their choosing. I naturally went for 'top five zombies'. Having read his response, which included a cocktail, I'm tempted to have a crack at it myself.

Football boy from Shaun of the dead.

Much over-looked in the pantheon of the undead 'football kid' as he is known is a bit part in that fantastic film 'Shaun of the Dead'. For me he exemplifies the futility of a zombie's urges to at once hold on to its last vestiges of humanity, whilst succumbing to its primordial desire to suck a hole in your head.

This is demonstrated through the medium of football.

The undead leader in I Am Legend adaption 'The Omega Man'.

As one of the few speaking zombies in film Matthias breaks down anti-zombie prejudice and helps us to see that they too have a point of view. The Martin Luther King of zombies if you will. Great film, great book.

I've always had a sneaking suspicion though that the undead were in fact Marxists and radicals who wanted to tear down the society that had made their aberrations possible. Could be wrong though. At least they never drool the word "Braaaaiiins..."

Obviously the zombie robots from my post - Zombie Robot Pandemonium - deserve a place here.

The theological implications of a zombie robot are unlikely to be lost on you and be assured that I am all too aware of them. That post is probably for another day though.

Robert Carlyle in 28 weeks later.

Wracked with survivor's guilt the opening scene where Carlyle desserts his wife as she faces certain death is extra-ordinarily powerful and worth seeing the film for on its own. We're talking unrelenting pathos here people.

He then sleepwalks his way through life until he discovered his wife actually survived. Torn between relief and facing the consequences of his betrayal Carlyle ends up being one of the most sympathetic zombies of all time, and one of the most scary.

The top place has to go to Toxoplasma Gondii. The parasite that prefers to live in cats' brains but also infects other creatures inducing behavioural changes in them.

If a rat is infected it will be irresistibly drawn to the scent of cats, essentially making it easy prey. The cat eats the rat and 'hey presto' Gondii gets to live in a cat's brain again! If a human is infected they are six times more likely to die in a traffic accident. Fact.

That's my top five zombies - any other top five lists I should be compiling while I'm at it?


Joe said...

That's really freaky, my girlfriend bought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies this afternoon!!!

neil h said...

I'd like to know your Top Five Blogs (political or otherwise), please and thankyou ...

weggis said...

Top Five Tories, please.

Natalie Bennett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Jay said...

Two suggestions there to get me in trouble - hehe - keep 'um coming!

An Activist President said...

Is Robert Carlye really a zombie in 28 Weeks Later? I believe the PC term is 'infected.' He's not really dead as such, just infected with the RAGE virus. Simon Pegg wrote a very good article after Dead Set was shown on Channel Four. He wrote something along the lines that Dead Set would have been the greatest zombie flick ever made if the zombies didn't run, he was under the impression that in 28 Days/Weeks Later they are infected, but still very much alive.

I think we need a debate on what constitutes a zombie at Autumn Conference. Is there a procedure for an emergency fringe?


neil h said...

There's a nice dig at '28 Days Later' in 'Shaun of the Dead' with a news reader in the background saying something like "Reports that the outbreak was caused by infected monkey brains have been described as b..." :-)

Jim Jay said...

Neil: yeah I remember that. Better than brains than the b... anyway,

AnActivistP: technically speaking he's not a zombie, but then very few zombies are as, I believe it would require voodoo and the like and the reanimated would have very specific desires (not brains).

28 weeks is essentially a film where they asked themselves 'how could zombies be real? what would they actually be like?' hence the running.

I saw that debate and it was fascinating. My main problem with dead set, which was good, was that the zombies were essentially from 28 weeks - there was no new imagining there, which was disappointing coming from Broker who is of course a legend.

An Activist President said...

Ah, touché, Jim. The running was the one let down from Dead Set, otherwise it would have perhaps been the most original piece of social commentary coming out of the horror genre since George Romero's original Dawn of the Dead.