Written by: John Edward Betancourt
Our movie spotlight from the other day brought about a long standing topic of debate in the living dead universe. Which are more effective in the horror world? Zombies that can chase you down at top speed with little or no effort, or the slow movers that take your time to find you? It's a good topic for one reason, both can be effective in their own way. In fact many a film has made the case for both versions of the walking dead, but one particular type of monster wins every time...the slow mover.
Now I don't say that simply because of the fact that I am huge George Romero fan and his brand of zombie is as slow as can be. I say it because of the fast movers simply remove any sense of imagination from the story. I mentioned it briefly in my last post and felt this was a good opportunity to break it down a little further.
The fact of the matter is, a corpse will eventually rot away. That poses one big quesion for any film that presents a zombie than can run as fast as you or I, how the hell do they do it? With their muscle tissue slowly sloughing away, there is just no way that they can physically run like that. It's why I find myself so frustrated when I see them on screen, virus or not, they're dead. In fact, Romero himself was asked in several interviews when Diary of the Dead came out why his zombies never tried to do it, he himself stated that their ankles would simply snap.
This may seem like my only argument for the slow movers, but we have to remember we are talking about horror here. I also fully understand we are talking about a fictional monster that requires a suspension of disbelief with the whole concept of the dead returning to life as is. But horror is about our fears, and the living dead are our fear of death, how it creeps up on us and eventually overtakes us. That's what makes the slow mover such a terrifying zombie.
That to me is far more powerful than seeing these things run right at you. The thought of a corpse, walking around and able to take all the time in the world to find you is bone chilling, and it makes the slow mover my zombie of choice.