My Problem With Zombies

L .Vera

Zombies. They’re everywhere. I’ve written perhaps . . . two stories about zombies. I thought that number would be higher, but compared to vampires, werewolves and any other creatures of horror, zombies usual involve character interactions. Zombies are rarely the main character and so you can easily paint circumstances and include other elements. There’s no real formula besides someone gets infected and others have to deal with it. But that’s not my problem.

The problems are with zombies themselves. I think they are a very flawed creature. Okay, vampires and others have flaws too but they all have strict formulas. Here are the basic formulas which can be tweaked or changed:

Vampires: Weakness to sunlight, silver, holy artifacts, garlic and/or virgins. They have super strength, super intelligence and can fly. Many can change forms from animals to a simple mist of air. They are sexy and can mesmerize a person with a stare or with some strange rape power, vampires have.

Werewolves: Weaknesses include silver, I think everyone hates silver, and  . . .well that seems to be it. They also tend to rip their clothes off during transformation, usually during a full moon. So they usually run around naked killing things. Fun night, I’m sure. They are super strong, super fast and gosh darn it people like them. Lately the also seem to be very buff in human form, and almost hairless.

Zombies: They are sick, infected and eat brains. Wait? Do they? Then they bite people and they in turn also become infected and in days the whole world is infected except like a handfull of people. Really?

Okay, so you see where this is going. First of all brains. Let’s talk about brains. It’s a lie. Zombies just eat anything with meat, always have and always will. I cannot recall a moment in a movie or novel where brains were eaten. I’m sure it has happened; but it’s got to be more of a delicacy. To me it looks like they like flesh and guts over anything else. There’s never a shortage of intestines being eaten in any zombie movie. Mant times the brains are intact, so is the whole head. Matter of fact, most zombies have a whole intact head. Any damage to the brain and they die. So on to my next point.

Zombies are those that only got bitten enough to turn and get the hell away. Otherwise they’d get completely devoured. We aren’t talking about vampires who can bite someone and vanish into the night leaving a warm human to slowly turn into a cold creature of the night. Zombies are hungry, like a mindless pack of wolves. So those that turn into a zombie must have gotten away after their first bite. Then they turn and slowly make their way to the crowd of zombies. Seems a bit unlikely. I think in most cases we’d find them locked in rooms, or held up in a quite place.

Now my biggest gripe. The infection spreads like a rumor of Justin Beiber being a lesbian. Really? Days and only a handful of people live. I personally write all my zombie stories either years in the future after the infection and/or a slow infecting virus. One where people, as a mass, have a chance. It’s not like the have super strength, or super anything really. They’re mindless diseased people. The only thing that gives them an advantage is numbers. It just makes more sense to me, of course I like to be as realistic as possible in any story even if I’m writing something already outrageous, like killer rabbits from outer space or something.

In conclusion, I still prefer a good zombie story over vampires and werewolves.


Review: Werewolf of Paris

Werewolf of Paris

by Guy Endore (1933)

From Publishers Weekly:

Out of print since 1972, this gruesome classic is based on a true story from 19th-century France; the author of Psycho adds an introduction to this new edition.Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author:
A Hollywood screenwriter who collaborated on scripts like “Mark of the Vampire” with Tod Browning, as well as receiving an Oscar nomination for GI Joe, Guy Endore wrote several novels in addition to his film work. He was blacklisted by the studios in the late 1940s for his political beliefs, slowly faded from the scene and became more involved with the Synanon Foundation (later renamed Synanon Church.)

I think that this is one of the books I gave away while jettisoning my library for the move to Ireland, which I probably regret (but surely I can get an ebook). It was the primary source for Hammer’s Curse of the Werewolf with its cursed child born out of wedlock on Christmas day, his mother violated by a priest. The young child Bertrand discovers strange hungers as he grows up, dreaming that he has changed into a wolf (oops, guess what — the dreams are real!) and his uncle finds it difficult to cover up the increasingly nasty shenanigans of his nephew. After an explosion of assault, incest and murder, Bertrand runs off to Paris. He tries to find ways to manage his affliction and joins the Guard to fight in the Franco-Prussian war. He falls in love with an innocent girl. They try to cope with his hungers by letting him drink her blood in a wonderful sort of sadomasochist relationship. But eventually Bertrand fears he will hurt Sophie and ventures once more out into the city to satisfy his dark desires, exposing his secret and resurrecting danger for them both. The rest of the story is suitably gothic and tragic against the historic backdrop of the Paris Commune.

This is a fine gem and one that horror and Gothic fans will enjoy. It was certainly one of my influences for writing “It’s a Curse” for Paul D. Brazill‘s Drunk on the Moon.

~ K. A. Laity

Review: Drunk On The Moon

Reviewer: L. Vera

Book: Drunk On The Moon

Author: Various

The idea is simple. Use a successful story, give other writers a chance to stretch the world of that story, wrap it in a pretty bow and sell it as a collection. I like the idea especially since that successful story is good, full of meat to work with. The anthology opens with the original story by Paul D. Brazil. It’s a mix of crime pulp and The Goon. (If you haven’t read The Goon you need to.) Roman Dalton, a werewolf detective is just an all-round, nicely created character that cracks skulls and bangs like a hard boiled detective should. I could see him easily in his own tv spot where we see him sitting in a diner, like an old Casablanca setting, alone and full melancholy fighting an itch that only the full moon could bring. I just think television needs more noir.

The book dances in a world of werewolves, zombies, detectives and gangs. The first story is exceptionally good, almost good enough to just drop 2.99 on it alone. After that we still see some other solid work. Allen Leverone does a great take of the werewolf detective, like he owns the character and does it without even having the detective using his werewolf form – nice. It’s smart writing you don’t see anymore and I love it.

K. A. Laity and Julia Madeleine also deliver, they always do. And B. R. Stateham did a wonderful job, he really out did himself in his story “Insatiable”. It’s the only real detective type story in this collection and his story is truly the hidden gem in this book. Just these few stories would have easily made me shell out money for this book. These authors never let me down.

Now Jason Michel story “Back To Nature” seemed to stop my express train through the book. The other stories were fast, no fat, all meaty stories. Then SCREECH! We come to “Back To Nature”. It starts with fat, a piece you can actually cut off. I found myself uninterested in the whole beginning, it was slow and pointless. You can actually skip it and jump to where the story picks up, where our detective finds a women alone in her cabin. Now the story grabs me. I wished he had just started here. But alas, he did not.

Now we get back on track with “Blood and Alcohol” by Frank Duffy. It was a solid read, nothing crazy just clean writing. But the next two stories seemed almost distant from the others. One was about a man who loved to hurt women and the other was about a man who liked to torture people. Both seemed like it was pushing towards snuff, which I like reading (mostly because it requires an art to keep it from being a straight up gory piles of mess). But come on, it’s just a werewolf put in situations. They didn’t take advantage of the characters in the first story or any of the good stuff that Paul D. Brazil had laid out.

Once you get past those two the rest of the book is good. It ends on a nice sweet note, with a prequel written by Paul D. Brazil. Good stuff. I would love to have read just a large array of short stories from Paul D. Brazil, he’s just a really good writer, who brings great edgy images to the surface. I like that.

I say buy this book. Buy it to read more of Brazil’s and Stateham’s work. Buy it to get connected with Laity’s and Madeleine’s, creative styles and stay for Roman Dalton, a detective that just so happens to grow hair were it doesn’t belong – we’ve all been there.

Like oversexed dames, werewolves and zombies? This one’s for you. Buy it on Amazon Here.