With Zombieland coming out this weekend, Zombies are back in the news. Ok, they never left, as those shambling monsters seem pretty hard to kill. So, yet another Spew about Zombies (see here, here and here for previous ones).
Mike Munger, a political scientist out of Duke, has a post with a strong opinion about what counts as a Zombie and thus what is and is not a Zombie movie: the zombies must be slow (28 Days Later does not count), only motivated by hunger for human flesh, only kills by tearing apart (no weapons to be used by the Z), and so forth.
Simon Pegg of Shaun of the Dead concurs:
After three films spanning three decades, and much imitation from film-makers such as Lucio Fulci and Dan O'Bannon, the credibility of the zombie was dealt a cruel blow by the king of pop. Michael Jackson's Thriller video, directed by John Landis, was entertaining but made it rather difficult for us to take zombies seriously, having witnessed them body-popping.Munger includes some good reading suggestions. I do think he might find Zombieland problematic since the trailers have Z's that seem to vary in speed. I am a bit less conservative in my coding of Zombies and the other elements of Zombie-ness seem to be in play. In other words, I am looking forward to this movie very much. And, after finally seeing a Zombie classic (Shaun of the Dead), my daughter is super-pumped to see the movie as well.
In other zombie news, physicists have argued that mall are the best places to hide in case of a Zack outbreak. They developed a model suggesting that complex locations with lots of hallways and rooms are good places to avoid an entity that is simply moving around and will only attack if it makes contact, more or less (I have not read the article, just the summary of it). I seem to remember that the Zombie Survival Guide warns against malls because they are probably already Z-infested.
On the other hand, the video below from a Zombie blog suggests that a Costco would be a good place to hide out--plenty of rations of all kinds, few entrances, tall shelving (Zombies cannot climb), etc.
It seems strange that many of the Zombie blogs seem to be, well, dead. That is, that their recent posts may be years old. What happened to these intrepid documenters of Zombie defenses? Did they lose the fight or have they gone in hiding as they await the spread of Z? More research is required.