Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Brain Dead Zombie Plot Dead Ends

Frequent visitors to JustJoeP know that I have a fascination with zombies, and post about them frequently (link here).  I want to clarify that I "had" a fascination with zombies, but that "The Walking Dead" has killed that earlier interest, and now, really, I just want the series to end and all the people to die or get eaten.  The premise has shown its limitations, and instead of interesting with a thread of believability, it has devolved into an unintentional comic farce.

Ok, I get it:
There's a viral break out and people turn into zombies.  ✔
Those zombies then are driven to attack "normal humans" who are not zombies, to "eat them"✔
(this "zombie hunger" premise goes way way back, sometimes to eat all of them, sometimes to eat their brains, but either way, 'a zombie's gotta eat', I get it)
If you cut off a zombie head, the body stops coming after you, but the head is still animated. ✔
(considering "The Matrix" premise of the brain as a powerful battery, ok, I could believe this)
Zombies are attracted to loud noises, machinery, voices, etc, ok. ✔
If you burn a zombie to a crisp, you will stop that zombie. ✔
If you destroy the brain of a zombie (head shot) then you will "kill" that zombie. ✔

Those are the standard zombie rules of the genre.  "The Walking Dead" adds in
Zombies have a keen sense of smell, and if you are smelling all "alive" they will follow their nose and sniff you out.
(highly unlikely...  since their lungs are not drawing in air, but the nasal nerve is a short route to the brain, so maybe...)  maybe...  ✔
Grass and shrubs stop growing, all on their own, instead of overrunning the world. ⬇
Dust is apparently Not ubiquitous in every building they enter. ⬇
Getting splattered by zombie blood in the face (eyes, mouth, nose) is not a source of contamination, and the whole 'Blood Borne Pathogen" standard should be thrown out. ⬇
Everyone is really a zombie, and once they die, they'll reanimate if they are not burnt or head-shotted
(a STRETCHED premise, for sure... but at least they have not reanimated ancient grave yards, only the more recently buried, since the viral outbreak) ⬇
One can stop the onset of becoming a zombie if you amputate the leg of the old veterinarian who was bitten on the ankle.
(maybe, if Herschel had Really Poor Circulation...  then maybe...)  ...maybe ✔
No Matter How Long Ago a person turned into a zombie, they will remain animated, "forever", hungrily seeking out the living to feast upon.  It does not matter if they are rotten down to just 1/2 a torso with flesh falling off their bones, the "zombie-ism" is so strong, the craving for fresh meat so powerful, that they will continue "endlessly" to stumble around and seek out people / animals / anything to eat.  ⬇⬇⬇

It is this last "add in" that REALLY bothers me.  Without respiration & digestion (to bring in nutrients),
"Warm Bodies" Boney Skeletons
or a circulatory system (to deliver nutrients and remove waste products), or an immune system (to repair things that get broken) all the zombies are in the process of decomposing into (eventually) skeletons.  At what point does the zombie brain - starved of all oxygen, water, blood flow, electrolytes & nutrients it needs (since even IF the zombie finds a fresh meal, the zombie cannot digest it) - cease to function as this amazing battery that can over-come rigor-mortise, lactic acid build up, parasitic infestation (not enough emphasis has been placed on flies, rats, and crows, who would have a population explosion with so many slow zombies stumbling around unburied), neuro-muscular decay, et al.  And the digestive tract would slowly eat out all the torsos from the inside, with the hydrochloric acid therein eating through the non-replinished stomach walls - remember, all mitosis has stopped, no new cells are being made or added.  Decay & decomposition are progressing.  Nothing is getting repaired.  Lost parts are not "growing back", zombie wounds are not healing, they're festering.

I could understand a "recent zombie" being a fairly formidable opponent.  But a zombie who has been stumbling around the heat of rural Georgia for more than a year, as anyone who has watched CSI can tell you, would be a goopy mess of skin hanging on bone with not enough remaining muscle tissue to move a single arm, leg, or jaw.  It is this "eternal zombie" paradigm and next week's preview of "we're all haunted" being stated that are making me just want to retch.  Please, kill off all the characters except Michonne and Daryl, and let them go live on an island somewhere.  Everyone else has made some really terrible choices, and should no longer be alive.  End the series soon, like "BReaking BAd" did, and stop trying to milk it.  The first two seasons were ok, but now it is just devolving to a bad comedy.

Maggie's use of a "No Parking" sign as a cleaver was hilarious!  But in a meeting of unsharpened sheet metal vs cervical spinal cord, driven by an angry human (not by a speeding school bus) a decapitation would be highly unlikely, even if the zombie had started to decompose slightly.  It was effective at making me laugh, but not effective as an plausible anti-zombie weapon, in a world governed by physics.

And Maybe that's what really bugs me?  They can screw up the biology to the point where Dr Desert Flower refuses to watch it, but I can still keep watching, suspending disbelief about SOME of the biological aspects, until the point where they mess with physics
- nearly every head shot (no matter how dull of the weapon, or how weakly delivered by the human) easily penetrates zombie skull? ⬇⬇⬇
- no matter how many rounds of bullets are fired, 'The Governor' never got hit? ⬇⬇⬇
- no matter how dull an object, or how weakly it is swung, it can easily decapitate any zombie? ⬇⬇⬇
- Daryl's cross bow bolts can take out hundreds of zombie skulls, unscathed, but miss one squirrel and hit just one tree, and the bolt breaks?  ➵ ⬇⬇⬇
Don't mess with physics.  It's a deal breaker.  Toy with biology...  ok...  but not physics.

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