AMC's 'The Walking Dead' Trailer (Frank Darabont, Gale Anne Hurd)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by The Naughty List, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Zachary Smith

    Zachary Smith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    BTW, I don't subscribe to the "virus" concept as a source for reanimation of the dead--at least not so far as is concerned in the Romero-verse or any similar depiction. It makes absolutely NO sense from a medical or scientific perspective.

    I have, on the other hand, hatched a personal theory on the source of the reanimation of the dead and I'm currently writing a short book/report on the subject. So far, it's been a lot of fun! And, yes, it is TRUE reanimation of an otherwise dead host which is continuing to "function" based on a system other than biochemical reactions.

    Anyhow, a virus makes no sense because it requires a functioning metabolism to continue operation. Stop the metabolism and the body dies and so does the virus. Metabolic functions are based on wide ranging inter-related systems working in concert in order to maintain operation or "life". Disrupt ANY one of these systems and the host "dies".
     
  2. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Do you believe that the zombies we typically see onscreen are still conscious?
     
  3. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think most people do. A few years ago on this board, someone brought up a book or movie featuring a character with the power to create or command zombies. Another poster just laughed at him. "Everyone knows zombies don't have a master or take orders from anyone!"

    Indeed?

    The first poster wasn't even talking about voodoo, but the point was still made. How quickly we forget.

    They weren't actually called zombies in the original "Night of the Living Dead", were they?
     
  4. Zachary Smith

    Zachary Smith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'll assume you're referring to the zombies of the Romero-universe, in which case I would say no. There is no consciousness, self-awareness or concept of identity. Personality, intellect and memory are gone, though certain behaviors and habits "hard-wired" by long-term rote repetition may manifest. Their behavior is "instinctive", for lack of a better term and they react and respond to stimuli rather than act with reason, consideration or deliberation. The complex neural structures which compose the frame-work for consciousness, mind and identity are physically too fragile to survive the transition from the "living" to the "undead" state and are mostly or completely destroyed (varies to a slight degree in some circumstances--temperature of environment being one variable) by the time the reanimation process occurs. When the brain stops getting oxygenated blood, the neurons of the cerebral cortex immediately begin to deteriorate and they and their synaptic connections are physically disrupted, thus rendering consciousness and higher brain function impossible. Even if those structures were somehow able to remain physically intact through the period of transition, the energy level in the reanimated state is a fraction of the energy generated by normal biochemical processes of living systems and at a threshold below the demands of higher brain function. This low energy state also is, in large part, why the reanimation process must be considered at best incomplete and why the Walking Dead are generally slow moving, physically weaker and somewhat clumsier in their movements than the living.

    And, while they ARE "reanimated" the Walking Dead are not returned to any kind of "living" state because the living state is dependent upon a complex series of interactions among biological systems that result in metabolic activity producing biochemical energy via the intake of nutrients and the excretion of wastes.

    In the case of the Walking Dead, continued physical activity of the organism is not "system-dependent" but each individual cell of the the body is reactivated and powered by an alternative source of energy different from biochemical processes and not based in any way on metabolic activity. Yet, neither can these cells be considered "alive" BECAUSE of the fact that the process and method of their continued function are no longer depended on metabolic activity, the intake of nutrients and the excretion of waste product or the use of biochemical energy--which are among the defining traits of a living organism. For the Walking Dead, heart, lungs, liver, circulatory system etc upon which the survival of the systems which create and sustain the metabolic actions thus manufacturing the biochemical energy are irrelevant.

    A lot more details will appear in my short book, which I hope to have finished by mid-to-late September. I'm not sure if yet if I'll self-publish it or seek a publisher but I'm having a lot of fun working on it!
     
  5. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    ^^ I think the closest the Romero-verse ever got to an explanation for the zombies was the line "When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the Earth." I kind of like the mystery, as it's consistent with the themes of chaos and collapse. Other zombie universes may differ, of course....

    It's kind of amazing how that one idea has taken over. George Romero should sue everybody who has ever used the cannibalistic plague zombie idea. :rommie:

    No, nor in Dawn Of The Dead. I'm not sure about later movies.
     
  6. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What I was really after was, are they still aware *at all*? Or is it literally just the body moving around by itself, kind of like a leaf being blown by the wind?

    To put it another way: When a person dies in a Romeroverse movie, do they actually come back, from their own POV, as a zombie, or do they go on to their final reward (i.e. their soul) whereas their body is just left?

    In some of those movies (and in the 2004 remake), we see characters express fear at becoming a zombie. But if my suspicion is correct, they have nothing to be afraid of, for once they're dead, their consciousness or 'soul' moves on, and their body is all that's left - strictly on autopilot. They don't have to deal with "becoming" zombies, because the actual person is not there anymore - the zombie has no more consciousness than a piece of firewood. Get my drift?
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  7. watermelony2k

    watermelony2k Vice Admiral Admiral

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    in the comics it becomes clear that humans in the absence of law and order can become more dangerous than the zombies themselves
     
  8. Zachary Smith

    Zachary Smith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hmmm . . . It becomes an interesting philosophical conundrum. In my interpretation of the means by which the Undead become reanimated, there is no possibility for self-awareness, mind or consciousness. At the same time, if one assumes the existence of the "soul", it could be viewed as possible that the "soul" might remain tethered to the body, trapped as it were, and unable to "move on" in a parallel to the idea held by some that brain-dead person is not "really dead" until the body stops functioning also.

    In my vision, the body HAS ceased to function as a living organism in every definable category. But it does open the possibility that some may see the "soul" as trapped in the body and "earth-bound" until it is released by destruction of the brain.
     
  9. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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. :p
     
  10. FluffyUnbound

    FluffyUnbound Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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. :wtf:

    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.
     
  12. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    These are Horror Movies. If one wants to include the soul in the equation, it would be much more horrible to think an innocent person is tethered to these monsters and must uncontrollably take part in the violence, death and cannibalism.

    In Day Of The Dead, one of the scientists experimented on a Zombie-- "Bubba" or something, his name was-- and found evidence of consciousness. I'm not sure if this was ever followed up. I must catch up on the Romero movies.
     
  13. Gojirob

    Gojirob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Chaos Descending

    Chaos Descending Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If you do that, their menace diminishes because then all you have to do is outlive their hunger. They will eventually eat each other.

    One of the defining pre-requisites for the zombie genre, in my opinion, is that the world has spiraled fully out of control and there will never be anywhere truly safe again.

    Obviously World War Z takes liberties with that idea, but you get the picture.
     
  15. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh, I can accept that, but if they have no control over what's going on, then that doesn't explain where the apparent memory and higher functions come from in some of the zombies. It seems contradictory to imagine a soul tethered to the body and unable to act, and simultaneously the body acting on its own due to imprinted memory. :vulcan:

    Wait, I've got it. The soul of an innocent person is tethered to the reanimated body and cannot leave, but also cannot exhibit normal control over it. (The body has a "mind of its own" so to speak, enough to allow it to shamble around and so on as Zachary Smith describes. Not evil per se, just unintelligent and aggressive.)

    It is possible for the soul to gain partial control over the body to some degree, but it can only do so by indelibly twisting itself to match the zombie's bestial nature. Turning to the dark side, so to speak. This allows for certain zombies to speak, reason to some extent, and possess at least partial memory, but it also means those zombies become truly evil in practically every case. And those souls truly are damned.

    And keeping the soul in this particular equation allows for another nasty catch-22: Either be stuck in your own body unable to affect anything forever, or regain conscious control of your body at the cost of your soul.

    I'm kind of making this up as I go. Does it make sense or contradict anything?
     
  16. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm cool with that explanation.

    IMHO, the soul is never forcibly attached to the body. The host dies, the soul goes to the afterlife. So the zombie cannot therefore be conscious. Either it's a mindless husk, not controlled by anything at all and without consciousness, or it's an alien/demon possessing it.
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    The zombie's name was "Bub," and it's followed up with "Land of the Dead." "Diary of the Dead" and "Survival of the Dead" take place during "Night of the Living Dead" and "Dawn of the Dead," more or less, so they have less to do with zombie intelligence. And the most recent one is pretty terrible.
     
  18. Gojirob

    Gojirob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I doubt it would be a winning strategy. They would still vastly prefer the living, IMO. My idea is to just remove something that makes them virtually infinite in number and make it merely overwhelming. It would also, if implemented, have to be something they only do after a period of time that makes it impractical as a strategy unto itself, only as part of a larger survival plan. My thing isn't making the zombies manageable; my thing is removing the current atmosphere of 'Nu-uH! We thought of that and now zombies can phase their hands through walls and infect you just by knowing you're there' kind of amping up.
     
  19. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Not really. Just think of the soul as the equivalent of paralyzed-- or in the grip of a slow seizure. There's consciousness, but no bodily control. Except, perhaps, with extreme effort....

    How did they follow it up in Land Of The Dead?

    That's interesting. I had no idea those movies were set during previous continuity. That makes me more curious to see them. My idea for a Dawn Of The Dead TV anthology, mentioned earlier, would have pretty much done that.
     
  20. melancholymecha

    melancholymecha Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Am I the only one that would like to see a movie/tv show about fully conscious zombies? what happens when youre still you but youre slowly decaying, limbs falling off, and you can pass it on to other poeple by touch? I guess it would sort of stop being a horror film & more sci-fi, kinda like Outbreak with all the body horror scenes in District 9 happening to many people at once.

    Or to still make it somewhat horror related, what if the virus(or whatever causes the zombification) only causes half the affected to become mindless predators & the other half keep their personalities? So then there's this problem of how do you treat the self consious good zombies? Some of them will probably want to be put out of their misery but what do you do with all the others who still want to live their lives but they are actually a public menace b/c they can infect others & they stink & leave body bits all over the place?:p Do they get advocates & become a zombie minority? ok actually this is starting to sound like X-Men & mutants. :lol: