|Bub, from Day Of The Dead|
I heard a programme on Radio 4 the other day called Vampires vs Zombies.
Colon-stompingly awesome, you might think…but bear in mind that this was Radio 4, so there was less of the relentless visceral blood-spattered cerebellum chewing and more of the psychological investigation of the relative sociocultural evolutions of the vampire and the zombie as mirrors of our societal fears and whatnot.
Still, it was very interesting, and one of the conclusions they drew was that the vampire is in decline as a horror monster (as it surely is) because it is no longer scary. Think about it – the most popular modern vampire is a wispy angst-ridden celibate Mormon.
Zombies, on the other hand…now they’re a different prospect.
Unglamorous, unstoppable, remorseless. Unthinking automata. They can’t be reasoned with, they simply eat and make more zombies. And you could become one. They are the AIDS in the pantheon of horror antagonists.
The absence of sentience was emphasised in the programme – whilst vampires retain their memories and personality (which of course all feeds the wispy Mormon angst) and may even be reasoned with, zombies are just machines. Tabula rasa.
Or are they?
I’ve decided to write a short story that examines what it might be like to be a sentient zombie, beholden to urges more powerful than free will. So watch this space – it’ll either be a thought-provoking existential fable, or alternatively a trashy, amateurish horror romp. To be honest I’ll be happy either way.