Zombie Cliche Lookout: Reliable Unreliability
Today’s cliche is by no means exclusive to zombie fiction. Rather, it’s a mainstay in modern horror in general. I’m talking, of course, about vehicles that stubbornly refuse to start when a character needs to use it to get away. That car might have worked flawless in every other scene (although writers often foreshadow this cliche by having the character have minor vehicle problems earlier), but when it really counts, the car just won’t start. As someone who once drove a vehicle that regularly burned up starters, I can tell you this is a very frustrating problem, even when not being chased by the walking dead.
About this Episode:
While the truck isn’t starting, between the noise of the attempts and the zombies already chasing Barb, it seems like she’s already garnered a pretty good audience. While she is indeed off the ground a fair bit, she does seem to be within the possible reach of one of two of those zeds. I really wish I would have thought to modify this set more to include more of a real window.
Discussion Question: Cars Today
I feel like this trope should begin to die out in the near future. Cars today just seem much more reliable than the cars of yesteryear. In fact, when I picture a car not starting, it’s never a vehicle manufactured in the last couple of decades. It’s generally something from the 1980s or earlier, especially vehicles from the 1960s and 1970s.
Now I don’t know a damn thing about cars, so maybe I’m completely misinterpreting this. But in the case that I’m not, what would have changed between now and then to make the cars that much more reliable? Computer controls? No more carburetors? Come on, car people, school me on this.