What to watch: Zombies galore

poster_-_white_zombie_01_crisco_restoration

Poster for an early zombie movie, ‘White zombie’ (1932). Never the link between vampires and zombies was so obvious.  (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

Just as  the popularity of Twilight series made vampires popular and produced some quality genre examples (True blood),  The Walking Dead generated  a resurgence of zombies – at least, on TV. I don’t like zombies bashing or any violence, but some of the recent theme variations a worth a try.

Recommended to me by Netflix:

iZombie: 2 seasons, 3d pending

Genre: comedy-drama/crime/horror

Splatter strength: 5/10

If  Z nation faithfully follows genre canon or cliche, iZombie subverts it. A flare-up of zombie – a result of another evil corporation’s action. The quirkiness of the series reflected in that the villain is not a not pharmaceutical but energy drink company. The flare-up doesn’t lead to an all out zombie apocalypse.

Refreshingly, the main character, a junior medic called Liv, who couldn’t be any cuter if she was a werekitten, is a good zombie, who eats only dead people’s brains and, having flashbacks of their memories prior their violent demise, helps to solve crimes. Lotsa of post-modern humour,  the late twenties, ‘How I met your mother’ multicultural cast.

Biology:

  • The virus spreads via a zombie scratch and bite.  Definitely not airborne.  Incubation period – 6+ hours, gradual appearance of symptoms.
  • Vaccine – in progress. A successful rat trial, ongoing human trials.
  • I like the neuroscience connection – there’s some logic in assimilating people’s memories after eating their brains, though I doubt the detailed memories would still exist in half-rotten tissues.

Z nation:  1 season, but two more exist

Genre: horror-comedy-drama/post-apocalyptic

Splatter strength: 8/10

A straightforward zombie apocalypse story with a group of survivors accompanying a vaccine survivor to a military base. Evil corporations, lawless gangs, etc. but the characters ring true, seemingly main characters killed off mercilessly – as decreed by George R. R. Martin – enough of humour and action to be interesting. NSA  surveillance as a force for good is unusual as well. The narrative flags a little in the season middle, notably in the  E9 “Die, Zombie, Die… Again” and I dislike emerging magic connotations, but still watchable.

Biology:

  • The virus spreads via a zombie bite. Incubation period – several seconds.
  • Strangely, alive persons are not infected via the air but people who died infected and became zombies immediately. Also oddly, people don’t even flinch from zombies’ biological liquids spraying around.
  • Vaccine – in progress, human trials.

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