[Bryce's Corner] Top 10 Reasons Why Zombie Movies Suck

zombie

Earlier this year, right before Valentine’s Day, we hosted an article innocuously titled “10 Horror Movies That You May Not Watch With Your Girlfriend” that sparked a huge amount of discussion. Now the author of that list, Bryce Lucien (vocalist of Dallas, TX metal band Seeker), is back with another list that is sure to rustle more than a few jimmies! He’s decided to take on the zombie film genre and give us his Top 10 reasons why they’re not all that they’re cracked up to be. Head on below to see if you agree with his reasonings!

The best part is that this is going to be the first of many lists from Lucien. I won’t spoil any details but the guy has some upcoming lists that are just fantastic!

Seeker’s latest album is Unloved, which you can snag via iTunes.

Top 10 Reasons Why Zombie Movies Suck

10. Predictability – All zombie movies start with the same unlikely hero who in his desperate attempt to flee, stumbles upon a group of equally unlikely survivors. After some coaxing he is always convinced to join the group of new found friends, and they attempt to make their way towards safety that they have either heard about or hope to stumble upon. One of the group will succumb to the stresses of society’s collapse and the loss of loved one, one will become greedy and get himself killed, and the kindest member of the group will be bitten and have to be shot by someone who loves him. The remaining survivors will always move forward to an uncertain future as the credits roll.

9. Impossibility – The zombie apocalypse is just never going to happen. The fact that it has absolutely no basis in reality puts zombie films firmly in the realm of sci-fi/fantasy, thus rendering them harmless and non-terrifying.

8. The World Would Rapidly End – As history has taught us, governments tend to have a heavy handed, i.e. violent, reaction to most global crises, and so when faced with the complete breakdown of civilization, I think it is safe to say that these powers would rapidly destroy the world through conflict. The evil, mutated reptilian lords that would rise up out of the nuclear winter and control the wasteland would be a much bigger threat than any undead horde.

7. The Zombie’s Could Not Hunt You – Do you remember the movie “Twister”? Do you remember how the film constantly implied that the Tornadoes were sentient beings that were actively hunting Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt? This is very similar to how zombie hordes seem to function. If a pile of brain-hungry, reanimated flesh with no reasoning abilities, no memories, and no thoughts beyond “Brains!” really existed something makes me severely doubt that 1. It would ever be able to find it’s way around whatever city that you happen to find yourself in and 2. That it would be able to follow, stalk, track, or hunt you the second you left its field of vision. There is certainly no way that it would be able to figure out where you were hiding.

6. The Zombies Would Just Eat You – The zombies always seem to be able to conveniently leave enough of their prey intact for that person to be able to become a fully functioning zombie. This just wouldn’t happen. Again, and we’ll even include “28 Days Later” rules into this one, if this is a creature only functioning on instinct, whether that instinct be rage or eating your brains, they will not take a couple of nasty bites out of you and call it a day. They’re going to fucking devour you.

5. Why Do The Characters Want To Survive? – So all of your friends are dead. Your entire family is dead. Civilization has collapsed and there is no cure for this zombie virus in sight. Why would you want to simply prolong the inevitable? Here’s what I recommend: Find enough food, alcohol, hard drugs, and ammunition to last you a few weeks, go into the woods, and accept your fate.

4. Why Is Everyone Suddenly A Combat Expert – The average person can’t even hold their own in a drunken bar brawl, much less a fight to the death with an army of bloodthirsty zombies, and yet everyone in every one of these movies seem to be pretty handy with a gun or a baseball bat.

3. The Zombie Virus – Even in the good zombie movies, like “REC”, the virus is spread through bites. This just isn’t something that can spread that fast. You know what would be terrifying? An airborne zombie virus that spreads like the flu. Someone please make this movie.

2. Why Do The Zombies Never Eat Each Other? – Seriously. If they’re really a pile of angry, undead, mindless bloodlust that only wants to devour everything in sight then why the hell don’t they eat each other? What is it about zombies that allows them to tell the difference between other zombies and you? And don’t say something like “oh it’s because they crave fresh meat”…they’re dead. They can’t smell you.

1. Dialogue – The dialogue in 99% of all zombie movies and tv shows (yeah I mean “The Walking Dead”) is so atrocious, so meaningless and vapid, that there is no way that people who speak like that possess the intelligence or critical thinking skills required to survive in the post apocalyptic wastes.

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  • ChildoftheKoRn

    Only agree with the “Dialog”.

  • HorrorManiac666

    I feel like he’s taking zombie movies too serious. I do agree with him on some stuff through.

  • Evil_Flip

    So this guy hasn’t seen many zombi-movies?!

    • joevart1017

      you are right. when was the last time and how long ago has any zombie needed “brains”

  • Polsdofer

    Now give us the top 10 reason Zombie movies are awesome.

    • zamo

      Yeah, and we can make a list called top 10 reason that seeker song at the end sucks.

  • Trioxin83

    This makes me not want to listen to or find out who Seeker is.

    • Beneviolence

      Lol, I was thinking the same thing. Nice way to sell your band by shitting on zombie movies on a horror website.

  • AllNightmareLong

    The top reason zombie movies suck: It’s too easy for talentless directors with no original vision to add to the genre to make a bad zombie movie. Imagine Uwe Boll remaking The GodFather or Shawshank, then 20 worse directors following his lead.

    • Mr.Mirage

      I call you out: CHALLENGE!

      Name twenty directors worse than Uwe Boll. (Just a pokey fun thing, as I had to stare at that line for about an hour before I realized you were engaging in hyperbole.)

  • djblack1313

    no offense but this list (most of it) shows that whoever wrote it A. just doesn’t like zombie/infection movies in general or B. isn’t creative enough to think for themselves in explaining or answering many of the points brought up in the article.

    many of these points, if one uses their imagination/common sense can be explained or at the very least made less of a issue (when watching these kinds of films).

    the point that makes this author’s article pointless is #9. OF COURSE ZOMBIE MOVIES AREN’T REAL!! lol. you want a work of non-fiction, go watch a documentary on war or something like that. to use “impossibility” as a reason why “zombie movies suck” IMO completely destroys any legitimacy this author has.

    • Beneviolence

      In another article, I might have taken the “OF COURSE ZOMBIE MOVIES AREN’T REAL!!” as an attempt at humor because everyone wants zombie moves to be real on this site. After the lame-o list before this entry, though, I realized he was just being an ass.

  • EvilHead1981

    I love zombie movies, only when they are given some liberties regarding the mythos. The problem I have with MOST zombie fiction is the so-called “grounding” of it by the writers and fans. The whole, “Yeah, it COULD happen, because.. SCIENCE, chemical warfare and diseases!!!”. Because it’s being presented in a more sci-fi way, they think it’s more grounded and realistic than, say, some magically reanimated corpse. Also, this is the reason zombie survival logic works, because a zombie apocalypse is SOOOOO much a realistic scenario…LOL! Really, people have this hard-on for grounded realism applied to fantasy.

    I think the whole grounded approach is limiting and trying to make something like “zombies” realistic makes it less realistic. I mean, say it’s black magic. A necromancer conjures a dead person. We have a valid reason why a zombie can walk around, why it can see, and why it does malicious things. The second you try to ground something, realistic logic sets in. A virus, let’s say, is the reason why zombies can return. Viruses tend to only infect the living. It’s made a point that diseases have no gain in dead tissue. Also, factor in the true reason why zombies cannot exist within the realms of science: decay. Dead matter rots. That’s a natural part of, well, NATURE. Take Walking Dead as a prime example. Do you think zombies could withstand those southern summers without being reduced by bacteria and scavengers to a mound of nothingness? Now equate in a zombie’s primary abilities. In zombie fiction, they can see prey, smell prey, even hear prey, all of which are via the human senses. Interestingly enough, all organs responsible for the sense are some of the more fragile, sensitive organs in the human body. Stick a q-tip in your ear and you can go deaf. How many people suffer from eye issues(and we are LIVING people stuck with glasses and contacts, which I’m sure no zombie would take time to apply)? And don’t forget one of the most fragile organs of all, the brain. How something like that could even allow function so long after death(especially after a hot summer than basically transforms it into a pile of bug/bacteria infested pudding) is beyond me, let alone still have the ability to bark out specific function commands, like walking or even telling the zombie to eat SPECIFIC food. Yeah, that’s not really the brain is programmed. If a virus has the ability to program a dead pile of mush into carrying out specific functions, then it’s probably the most advanced virus ever(with the capabilities of a super computer, being able to re-wire dead matter into doing something in a specific manner that it wouldn’t normally do). People say it’s merely because instinct that zombies crave food, but to crave only meat is a specific program that the brain, in such a state of decay, could not carry out. It would be more likely that if a zombie’s instinct is to eat, it would try to eat ANY and EVERYTHING, not just moving animals, but rocks, sticks, bricks, mailboxes and such. If it was JUST the need to feed, there would not be specifics of a complicated mental program. Those are for living creatures, with fresh working bodies.

    Now, I know it might seem like a rant against zombies, but I love when creative liberties are taken and people aren’t stuck on the whole “logic” and “as grounded as they can make” a zombie movie. If that’s the case, 28 Days Later is a far better grounded zombie movie, because they aren’t zombies, but living infected people. But as for zombies, one of my favorite zombie movies has to be Return of the Living Dead, simply because it turned the “rules” on it’s head and had fun with doing it. It was like a big “Fuck you!” to the purists, those who swear by the rules, like “Zombie virus spreads through a bite” or “aim for the head”. RotLD, if you get bitten, or even killed by a zombie, you don’t turn. Also, shooting or stabbing them in the head does nothing. Hell, you can dismember them and the come after you, piece by piece. That’s why they, like the Deadites or the zombies from Dead Alive, are among my favorite depictions, because they aren’t anal about logic or grounding them in reality(with bullshit scientific jargon). They are fun, imaginative and go crazy with the zombie concept.

  • Anthony

    10. Predictability – This is why we love zombie movies! We know the how and the why and we still love them because, zombies.
    9. Improbability – The zombie apocalypse may not ever happen, but other apocalyptic scenarios that mirror a zombie apocalypse are possible; for instance a deadly flu or similar virus, an extreme case of rabies (28 Days), or nuclear fallout. Besides, everyone who is a fan of the zombie genre knows that it isn’t the zombies that we would be the biggest threat, it would be the people.
    8. The World Would Rapidly End – Of course it would! And as already pointed out, we are already aware that the people are a bigger threat than the undead horde.
    7. The Zombie’s Could Not Hunt You – Somebody has a case of “too damn serious for fun”.
    6. The Zombies Would Just Eat You – First off, you seem to not have an understanding of how viruses work. And yes, it is assumed that the zombies in most of these movies are functioning because of a virus. Viruses are genetically programed to survive and procreate, similar to humans no? Because of this, most zombies will bite to kill not to feed, unless they are hungry then they will continue to feed.
    5. Why Do The Characters Want To Survive? – You seem to go from one extremity to the other. First you want probable zombies then you want the improbable scenario of everyone killing themselves. Make up your mind! But to answer your question, it is and always has been human instinct to survive at all costs. Sure there are people who cant take it and off themselves, but as a whole, humanity has a very strong animal instinct to fight for survival. If everyone who was in dire situations offed themselves, Earth would be a very lonely planet.
    4. Why Is Everyone Suddenly A Combat Expert – I actually agree with you here.
    3. The Zombie Virus – See #6. But I would like to see an airborne virus movie.
    2. Why Do The Zombies Never Eat Each Other? – See #6
    1. Dialogue – Granted the dialogue leaves something to be desired, but the movies are still awesome… because zombies.

  • mobstar67

    yes there are shitty zombie movies….plenty of them
    but this list is shittier..

  • zongo

    “The best part is that this is going to be the first of many lists from Lucien. I won’t spoil any details but the guy has some upcoming lists that are just fantastic!”

    Oh, great. We’re in for a fucking treat, aren’t we? Reading this was like talking to that really uninformed guy whose knee-jerk opinions are impossible to take seriously because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I mean, yeah… opinions are subjective and if you want to dislike zombie movies for reasons even dumber than these (“I dunno, I just don’t like the way the word ‘zombie’ sounds… it’s too Z-ey.”) you totally have the right to that opinion. Your reasons are your reason for your opinion. But, if you’re going to write an article for publication (even if it’s just on the internet), you need to come up with some kind of argument that has some kind of understanding of the subject matter/genre.

    In addition to being ignorant, this guy is also an idiot. Did anyone read his Top Ten Horror Movies You Won’t Watch With Your Girlfriend list? Only four of the movies were actually horror movies!

  • Mr.Mirage

    Okay. No problem with the article, but it does require that I respond more in tune with the statements given us to collectively ponder.

    Why I love zombie/contagion films…

    1) They are us. As in: We have met the enemy and he is us. That is the point. King George Of Pittsburgh underscores this over and again: rampant consumerism leads to cannibalism. Children will kill and eat their own mothers. It is the reason that Dawn was set in a shopping mall, and mind you, that was prior to the 80′s obsession with that particular institution.

    2) You can run but you cannot hide. See #1, then go a step farther. Zombies are based on the notion that consumption is uncontrollable and contagious. They do not need to feed (except in Return of the Living Dead to control pain) but do so just the same. There is nowhere on the planet to go, we are there already.

    3) The issue of contagion is implied in several of these films but totally in the open in others. A straight line can be drawn from Matheson’s I Am Legend through the actual films based on the novel (someday someone will get it right… sigh) to the Price Last Man On Earth, Heston Omega Man and that … other mess… and of course NotLD. It also runs through the zombie apocalypse and mutates into simple contagion films like, well, Contagion, 28 Days/Weeks Later, [REC]/Quarantine, Carriers et al. Xenophobia does not play a part in these films, we fear ourselves and what we might do more than things we do not know.

    4) Predictability is part and parcel of the dramatic art, or at least in the most hardcore unbending view as laid out by Aristotle. The Poetics even says, point blank, that a tale should always be accessible to the audience. This is why we have Joe Campbell telling us about the Masks Of God and the Hero’s Journey. The artist should be using the known tale to reveal something about us, the audience. When the artist holds up a mirror, we already know what we are seeing, but the art is in the explanation that there is more (or less) there than we were previously aware.

    5) Sun Tzu in The Art Of War explains why we all become combat experts. He tells us that in combat, the general should always leave an exit for the opponent because even a rabbit will become a feral and ferocious beast … when it has no other option. There is a difference between combat trained military and those so devastated that they have no alternative but to take up arms and repel the invading force. Ask the British (in the US in the 1770-1780′s) or the US (in Viet Nam). Here, though, we have a mindless swarm that is going to eat our babies, and us, unless we stop them. While some folks are just going to go full on tharn others will delve into their own personal Bruce Lee Jackie Chan god damned Patton. No one puts baby in the corner and no one eats MY damn kid mutha pus bucket and I will empty my clip into every available head to prove it.

    A lot of the 10 reasons initially posted are all valid, but only to a point: the speed of the virus is more a plot device than anything, but the less zombie and more possibly real virus in Contagion (the thinking persons’ horror film) moves pretty damned fast, and I would hate to wake the OP up, but damn, dude: read a fucking book, k?

  • ZARCULA

    I don’t “over-think” Zombie movies. IMO, the reason most zombie movies suck is that they are just bad movies.Bad writing,bad acting, too slow of a pace. When it comes to modern-era zombie movies,Im old-school, I prefer the zombies that are more of the “plodding,lumbering type, not the Olympic sprinter type zombie

    • Mr.Mirage

      1st Zarcula: you have the coolest avatar in history. Turn blue, scratch glass but don’t get caught.

      2nd… pretty much everything you said is true of most of the mainstream with few nuggets of pleasure. So, yeah, the horror genre in general is rife with the problems, but I go for gusto than perfection anyway, so there it is, for what it is or is not worth.

      AAAAAAmmmmm rap!

      • ZARCULA

        TY Mirage. I painted it myself On a bed sheet. It was a birthday gift for a good friend who was a huge Ghoul fan.

  • RaHolmbs

    So, what you’re saying is- this guy has a ton of fantastic lists and this is what you start with? Way to make his first impression suck.
    Zombie movies can be boring and they can be cheesy and full of awful dialogue but dangit, it can also have genius moments- 28 Days Later, Fido, The Walking Dead (which I LOVE because not only is it wonderful it is really one of the first horror genre show- If it wasn’t for Walking Dead you wouldn’t have Bate’s Motel, Hannibal, Dracula- or at least you wouldn’t have them to the gory and fleshed out shows they are) flippin Shaun of the Dead! There are so many gems and wonderful twists on the genre that it’s a shame this guy had to start with tearing it all apart.
    Good luck on winning back a huge audience of Zombie lovers!

    • RaHolmbs

      Actually, not his “first” list- The “Movies not to watch with your girlfriend” is pretty legit. But still, ranking all the reasons why zombie flicks suck is not a good follow up. :/

  • Lord-Alaster

    I have to say that while quarantine and quarantine 2:Terminal were outbreak movies, The rec series were zombies created through demonic possession movie.

    • EvilHead1981

      I think the demon possession angle was more interesting regarding the REC series. Hell, I probably find demon-zombies far more threatening and imaginative than virus zombies. There’s so much more strange things you can do with things like Deadites and the such, that you can’t with regular zombies.

      Again, I also love to bring up the Return of the Living Dead zombies, which are probably my favorite zombies of them all. They were dead, and the reason behind them were based in science fiction(the chemical Trioxin), but it shat on the “rules” to the point that it said, “Fuck what everybody THINKS they know about zombies, these ones can talk, lure people into death traps, they don’t die getting shot in the head, and even when they are dismembered their pieces come after you!”. Also, I think it has the most unnerving “turning” in any zombie movie. Seeing Frank and Freddy slowly going through their transformations, the chills, the pain, basically going through a living death(and still being somewhat lucid as their blood starts to pool and rigor mortis sets in) looked horrible. I don’t recall any other zombie movie ever focsing on the “changing” of an infected into a zombie like that. It’s usually, “You get bitten, you get somewhat sick and then turn.”. They were moaning, and it was somewhat funny, but you can also see through the comedy and into the agony these two guys must’ve been facing. Frank even decides to cremate himself rather than becoming a zombie like Freddy.

      But yeah, I’d take something that tries to distinguish itself as being different(or creative) over the same old, same old. Especially the whole fapping off to realism thing many tend to go for. I hold so much contempt for those types of people, it’s like they get together just to wank off to how much more “grounded” in logic these works of fiction are. I can totally see South Park doing an episode on “Realism Perverts” where new movie comes out and everybody’s flocking to see it, and the news guy asks everybody the main reason they want to see it and they all say, “Because it’s sooo grounded in reality!” and “Dark and gritty!”. People going to these movies like a porno theather, pleasuring themselves to how gritty and realistic these movies are. Having fantasy of other fictional works being “grounded down” to fit their realistic perversion, “Yeah…. Peter Pan…. stuck in a run of the mill job as a workin stiff…. UGHHHH….. battling his heroin addiction….. URGHHH, facing demons, are you? Things are dark and gritty in Neverland…… OOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHUUUUUUUUUU!!”.

  • MurderCapital

    I don’t care for the list, I just wanted to comment on how awful that song is at the end.

    • Joey

      Agreed. Lets do a list on why his song sucked.

  • mrflapjacks

    It’s clear that you don’t like Zombie movies specifically, or even fiction in general, so you’re not suspending your disbelief. That can be a big downer while trying to enjoy the medium: You’re disconnected from the story.

    10. It’s a numbers game, you’ll probably only have average guys left. Compared to zombies (the slow kind) the regular Joe would be like superman, faster stronger, etc…

    9. 99% of all movies are fiction.

    8. In most zombie movies, the world has already ended, very rapidly. Faster than most governments would/could react.

    7. Dead things can’t smell? They can’t walk either.

    I would go on, but it seems like you’re just a preachy dick, and I’m done wasting my time.

  • Canucklehead

    There’s dialogue in zombie movies?