Simon Pegg, co-creator and star of the awesome zombie spoof Shaun of the Dead, has a column in the Guardian today where he weighs in on the age-old debate: slow or fast zombies? For those of you not immersed in the world of Zombie lore, let me explain. For years, Zombiephiles have argued whether zombies can be fast. In their original, Romero-esque iteration, zombies were stumbling, moaning horrors, more terrifying in their implacability than their ability to run down potential victims. But lately, a rash of films (such as the admittedly awesome 28 Days Later) have depicted zombies as track stars, sprinting about and eating people.
To me, and many others, this is wrong. As Pegg says:
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.
However (and herein lies the sublime artfulness of the slow zombie), their ineptitude actually makes them avoidable, at least for a while. If you're careful, if you keep your wits about you, you can stave them off, even outstrip them - much as we strive to outstrip death. Drink less, cut out red meat, exercise, practice safe sex; these are our shotguns, our cricket bats, our farmhouses, our shopping malls. However, none of these things fully insulates us from the creeping dread that something so witless, so elemental may yet catch us unawares - the drunk driver, the cancer sleeping in the double helix, the legless ghoul dragging itself through the darkness towards our ankles.
If you like Zombies, check out the article. I think Pegg is right on the money.