The Friday Cool: ZOMBIES DON'T RUN

Zombies_NightoftheLivingDead.jpgThis past Friday, I spend a couple of precious hours of free time playing a surprisingly fun game, “Left for Dead”, a first-person shooter that plops you in the middle of a scary-ass struggle for survival in a world overrun by zombies. Tons of fun. But I have one big problem with the concept of the game, and with the more recent entrants into the zombie film sub-genre. And I’m going to brandish the clout of Simon Pegg, co-writer and star of top shelf zombie movie *Shaun of the Dead*, to add legitimacy (and perhaps some plagerisim) to my cry: ZOMBIES DON’T RUN!!!

Pegg’s written an article for the [Guardian](http://www.guardian.co.uk) on this very topic. In it he lays out the two chief reasons why fast zombies have cheapened and diluted the power of a really scary monster concept:

Argument 1: Fast zombies aren’t believable

>I know it is absurd to debate the rules of a reality that does not exist, but this genuinely irks me. You cannot kill a vampire with an MDF stake; werewolves can't fly; zombies do not run. It's a misconception, a bastardisation that diminishes a classic movie monster. The best phantasmagoria uses reality to render the inconceivable conceivable. The speedy zombie seems implausible to me, even within the fantastic realm it inhabits. A biological agent, I'll buy. Some sort of super-virus? Sure, why not. But death? Death is a disability, not a superpower. It's hard to run with a cold, let alone the most debilitating malady of them all.

Argument 2: The slow, relentless zombie makes for a more sophisticated and multi-layered fear

>More significantly, the fast zombie is bereft of poetic subtlety. As monsters from the id, zombies win out over vampires and werewolves when it comes to the title of Most Potent Metaphorical Monster. Where their pointy-toothed cousins are all about sex and bestial savagery, the zombie trumps all by personifying our deepest fear: death. Zombies are our destiny writ large. Slow and steady in their approach, weak, clumsy, often absurd, the zombie relentlessly closes in, unstoppable, intractable.

Fast zombies make for more exciting video games and can give an audience a startle, but they don’t have the same power to frighten us that the slow zombie and his shuffling, moaning glory.

### Links

[The Dead and the Quick - Simon Pegg](http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/nov/04/television-simon-pegg-dead-set)

[Simon Pegg - Wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Pegg)