Overthinking Zombies

The Overthinkers consider their brains’ love of those who love brains.

Since we’ve been talking about The Walking Dead this week, we thought we’d recap some of our zombie-related writing from years past. You’ve probably already seen Pete’s criticism of The Walking Dead and Perich’s analysis of The Walking Dead and Urban Flight, but here are some gems from the back-catalog that you may have missed.

Philosophical Issues Raised by Zombies

Think/Counter-Think: On The Question of Zombie Atrocities by Stokes and Fenzel
Fenzel and Stokes consider the many challenges Zombies pose to any system of morality, debating the proposition: “Resolved: In most zombie movies, the characters are undone when they become more zombielike (i.e. betray each other selfishly).”

Practical Issues of the Zombie Apocalypse

Re: Your Brains by Stokes
Why do these dead bodies eat? All other biological processes have stopped: Zombies don’t breathe (at least, they don’t need to), their hearts don’t beat (you never see blood gushing from their wounds), and they don’t heal. Their hair doesn’t grow. What are they doing with all this food, be it brains or otherwise?

A guest post from the great blog Ecocomics: “Assume that after years of struggle, the human race prevails and the zombies have been contained on the island formerly known as New Zealand. What now? What happens after the great zombie wars? Tens or hundreds of thousands of people will be converted or killed (perhaps millions). This significant depopulation would almost surely engender a significant dent in the global economy.”

Zombie Insurance by Belinkie
So last week, I was on a luxury cruise. And sitting in a hot tub, watching the Pacific Ocean roll by, mulling over what flavor of margarita I should order next, I felt a tremendous sense of peace. For the first time in years, I was safe from the living dead.

Zombies in Popular Culture

Dan O’Bannon, Unsung Co-Creator of the Modern Zombie by Belinkie
It was Dan O’Bannon’s lesser known Return of the Living Dead that introduced some of the big “rules” for zombies that are now almost universally accepted in the genre.

Give Mummies Some Respect by McNeil
Before there were Zombies there was….Imhothep! Imhothep! Imhothep!

How to Read Evil Dead and Why by Mlawski
Where Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness show a blend of horror and comedy, Evil Dead 1 seems to be two separate movies: one a horror movie and one a comedy. The interesting part to me is the point at which the film switches from type A (B-movie horror) to type B (gross-out zombie comedy): the famous tree rape scene. And thus, my question for today–which, incidentally is a question that many have asked before and that many will likely ask again–is: “WHY THE HELL WAS THERE A TREE RAPE SCENE IN THIS MOVIE?!”

How to Survive the Thriller by Belinkie
These zombies aren’t just attacking people indiscriminately. They’re specifically targeting those “without the soul for getting down.” In other words, bad dancers.

Zombie Jamboree by Belinkie
If you stop to take in the scenery, there’s a ton to admire: a hospital with insane graffiti on blood-splattered walls, countless makeshift barricades that didn’t hold, sewers where corpses float in the muck, etc. But I don’t suggest you stop to take in the scenery. Because, well, the zombies.

And, finally for the whimsically inclined:

Overthinking It Podcas Episode 94: Post Racial Dust Cloud
The (in)famous “cemetery ridge” episode, considering why a Zombie Confederacy actually sounds bad-ass.

BRAINS!: The Musical of the Living Dead by Fenzel and Stokes
Once upon a time, these guys thought it would be a good idea to write a Broadway musical about Zombies.

These are all old articles, so the comments are closed; sound off on your brain’s love of those who love brains here.

2 Comments on “Overthinking Zombies”

  1. inmate #

    One day, there shall be an OTI Podcast entitled Cemetery Ridge. And on that day, I shall call off my attack tortoises.

    But until that day, Wrather, beware.


    • fenzel #

      “Inmate! Rally your attack tortoises to the defense of our position!”

      “General, I have no attack tortoises.”

      So many of our finest men are marshalled on that hopeless charge against Cemetery Ridge, pushing foward in the face of mortar, canister, rifle and cannon, marching toward that high-water mark we may never quite reach, only to be annihilated by the enemy and sent home to spend 150 years drinking with our buddies, watching football and NASCAR, and dreaming of the day when we might dissuade the enemy from its fierce resistance, turn on its flank, seize the round tops, and make one more fateful, futile lunge through the tall grasses of that damned graveyard of a battlefield.


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