Saturday, January 15, 2011

Zombie-Free Zone

I've never been interested in writing a zombie story. They're getting popular, but the books just don't appeal to me. The movies can be fun, especially Zombieland, or the Resident Evil series, but they sure aren't my first choice.

One aspect of this is that traditionally, they have been a rather slow-moving monster. “Oooh, here I come! Shuffling at the speed of a Senate.”
“Oh no! I'd better walk slightly faster!” More current movies have remedied this, but for me, well I'm still stuck with that early impression.

More likely though, I think that I was turned off of zombies at the tender age of nine, when the Micheal Jackson “Thriller” video freaked me right the eff out! But I had to watch it, it was Micheal Jackson. When I was nine, that “Beat It” video made him seem pretty bad-ass! (Not to mention the Eddie Van Halen guitar contribution. I sure didn't put my finger on it at the time, but EVH really upped the ante on that song) And, of course, EVERYONE my age thought that Micheal Jackson was just great, and adults encouraged our fandom, because he was still so very wholesome at the time.

Point being, I was strangely compelled to watch the video whenever it was on. The scenes with the arm falling off, and the regurgitating black goo are forever burned into my memory, and the Vincent Price voice-over really augmented the creepy factor.

I think what really got to me though was the clothes. These decayed people-like things were rather well-dressed. I didn't put it together at the time, but it drew a direct connection from the funeral to the rising, making it seem more real to me.

What also made it real was the old farming area we lived in, complete with the 200-year-old graveyard. Trying to go to sleep after seeing MJ dance with the undead, and knowing that just a block away, there was a bone yard, just waiting to spit-up it's residents made for some very unsettled nights.

And that's where my mind wandered as I was trying to fall asleep the other night.


  1. That video scared the shit out of me. When he turned into a wolf, I think I peed. And that was just this past Halloween. I won't let my kids watch yet. I know Cadence loves Michael Jackson songs (I'll take the awesome blame for that), but that video is off limits until....ten?
    Anyway. I'm with you. I much prefer a good Werewolf movie to a zombie flick. Maybe that has something to do with Thriller, too....

  2. I'd never write a zombie tale, but I dig the movies.
    You were nine when MJ's Thriller came out? I feel so old...

  3. Thriller scared the bejesus outta me, though I saw it a good number of years after it was made. I think the things that are truly terrifying about zombies is that they are relentless. You can outrun a traditional zombie, sure, but they won't stop. I've a certain disdain with the faster, more intelligent zombies, but it's a sign of the times. Vampires are still my favourite (when they're done right, damn you Twilight) but zombies rank #2 on my list.

  4. Yikes! I hate when I'm trying to sleep and my mind wanders to weirdo stuffs. Over the Summer I went through a 2 week phase where every night my head hit the pillow I kept thinking about movies involving possession. There was this one particular movie that was out with the weird girl in the barn doing the crazy bendy stuff on the commercial ::shivers::

  5. That video scared me for other reasons...
    (Never an MJ fan.)

  6. *giggles*

    I think you and I have the same tastes on Zombie media... a nice campy version like Zombieland I can enjoy, but mostly, not so much... Really, if I am choosing monsters, I like werewolves... I like the dichotomy of 'normal, even noble' except at the mercy of the moon (or night or whatever)--I find that more sympathetic than an 'all the time' monster (though the legitimate monster books--Dracula, Frankenstein... even the Anne Rice stuff, I can enjoy now and again)

    As for Michael Jackson... he was always too... 'pop' for me, though I did like Billy Jean and Beat It--that album was better than most. The Thriller Video though, reminds me SO MUCH of early MTV--it was a breakout video, in that it had the big production budget and theatrics that most prior didn't...

  7. Hi Will .. can't say I'd have lost any sleep over either .. didn't watch zombies and wasn't that keen on MJ ..

    So I slept well despite our slightly older graveyards .. I lived in a Rectory once -next to the local Church .. the fields where were the Roundheads massacred the Cavaliers!!???

    Cheers Hilary

  8. I don't want to be anywhere near your mind when I'm going to sleep because it's scary. I'm with you, I don't like zombies because they scare me as well. Great post. I don't know if I've ever seen Thriller.

  9. I can see how etched a permanent memory in your mind! It was over the top, at the time. Yes, the graveyard, would of done it for me. I still have moments, that work on my nerves. I'm a transplant and it disturbs me, that people in NC, can bury their relatives in their yards. In a field of corn..Yeah, they haven't done the Seniors "In the Corn" movies yet...eeeeewww~
    I know it is from by gone days, when life was different, but it freaks me out~