Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
But in a very real sense, these zombies are exactly that. Their bodies HAVE stopped functioning.
A brain-dead person is still alive, because their bodies - brain included - are. There is no real such thing as "brain dead" and still being alive, because if the brain IS dead, it cannot sustain the body, and thus the body will die.
I admit my views on this are colored by my faith. The soul is not permanently attached to the body - somebody dies, they go to either Heaven or Hell, end of story. I would like to think that when we see these zombies in a movie, that still applies. It's not like somebody's attacked/bitten, then all they want to do is go rrarrarrararrr and eat brainz. There is no consciousness OR soul in the zombie. The person dies, they go to one place or the other, and that's it - a zombie is not controlled by anything at all, just like my example of a leaf floating around. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Once we bring spirituality and the supernatural into it, it's much easier to explain zombies by saying the reverse:
That the body has died [taking the higher functions of the brain with it] but the "soul" is somehow stuck and can't leave, and is carrying the body around like a puppet or marionette.
And since these are damned souls we're talking about, they aren't in good moods.
What, you're automatically condemned to hell because you got bitten by a zombie through no fault of your own? (In some cases, anyway.) I don't believe that any more than I believe a gypsy can arbitrarily send you to hell for eternity for refusing to extend her loan.
It might be better to suggest that the real soul has moved on to the afterlife, and the reanimation of the body has left it open to possession by an evil spirit of some kind, one that gives it enough volition to walk around and munch brains. Maybe even a spirit that knows enough about the host-body to mimic some of its habits in life.
I think it may be a bit like with Spike, even before he got his soul back. Certain habits and desires were so fiercely imprinted, some vestige just kept on in whatever was left from them.
I compare movie zombies to an old Gyro Gearloose cartoon. In it, he goes outside to have a picnic, and is bothered by ants. So he builds a raised table to sit on, but the ants climb the legs. He sticky-glues the legs, and the ants are stuck, but now mosquitoes bother him. He builds an enclosed screen, but it begins to rain. He puts four walls and a solid roof up and beats them all--only to discover that he has defeated the entire purpose of going outside to enjoy things. With zombies, too much power, cunning and wherewithal just makes them rotten-looking bandits with a skin problem and a nasty diet. Keep em' slow and stupid. If they are aware enough to figure out a doggie door--then they are not zombies.
And one more thing? Ditch the 'they won't eat each other' bull. Every other species will, if hungry enough, eat their own, and these things are never NOT hungry.