The Bite of the Zombie

Brother Steve raises a technical question.  In the instance of the Zombie Strippers, how does the zombie virus know a person’s occupational status so that it might infect that person?  This implies a mighty intelligent virus, and Brother Steve imagines a scene worthy of Monty Python in which Eric Idle, in drag, asks people if they are strippers before passing along the virus to them.

This, while humorous, would make I suspect for a rather slow movie. 

I suspicion then that zombies, in Zombie Strippers, become zombies by the more traditional means of first being bitten by a zombie and then becoming one.  Traditional Zombie lore is very consistent on this point; if you are bitten by a Zombie you become one, no matter what you do.    In one film, a person, bitten in the forearm, had the foresight to cut off his entire arm in an attempt to halt the spread of the zombie bug throughout his system.  But even this radical attempt at cure, as I remember it, did not work.

Being gummed by an elderly toothless Zombie does not lead to zombieism; the skin must be broken.

Zombieism when passed in this form does not require the introduction of a hyper intelligent virus capable of knowing a person’s occupation.

But lacking the virus as an explanatory system, we are left with the problem of the first or final cause.  With it, we know where zombieism came from; the government did it.  This implies, however passingly, a critique of government as run by a bunch of callous indifferent idiots who risk the lives of all citizens in pursuit of some impossible scientific solution to something or other.

One is put in mind, for example, of that giant particle accelerator—17 miles long—in Europe that is going to be fired up some day soon in an attempt to duplicate astral events immediately after the big bang.  People are concerned—and scientists don’t deny the possibility—that banging particles together as they intend to do might produce a “black hole.”  The scientists, however, argue that even if this does occur the “black hole” will not be long enough to eat up the whole earth since it will last far less than a billionth of a second.

Romero, however, in his zombie flicks offers no explanation at all.  The dead simply get up and walk.  I prefer the non-explanation.  It suggests merely that something has gone terribly wrong or that there is stuff out there that we will never understand.  In Dawn of the Dead, one character (with no particular authority—I mean he does not necessarily speak for Romero, says cryptically, “The dead walk when hell is full.”  This is suggestive but scientifically speaking entirely speculative.


Traditional zombies in black and white…and demonstrating slow, wooden movement. 

9 Replies to “The Bite of the Zombie”

  1. I don’t think the Carolina cousins were in on the Tiajuana street dog thread…a TJ street dog is a wiener wrapped in bacon and grilled, served with grilled onions, jalapenos, mustard, catsup, mayo, salsa cruda….I used to pour nacho cheese over them when I worked at the swapmeet….they were made by a Korean war orphan who was raised in Norway, name of Wagner….

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