Zombie Cliche Lookout: Details, Details
When you say that a character “didn’t make it” in a zombie story, that can mean a few different things, and the distinction can be important. Are you saying that they were attacked and killed by zombies? Completely devoured by the zombies, leaving nothing to reanimate? Were they bitten and infected? Have they already reanimated? Or are they simply trapped and unable to break through. That last one means that a rescue is possible, if pursued quickly enough.
About this Episode:
I know what you guys are thinking, why am I dancing around using the zed word? Well, once again, it’s a trope of the genre, and one that I think is a lot of fun. That said, I don’t like the ludicrous lengths some shows and movies take the trope. The big example at the moment is, of course, The Walking Dead, which calls its zombies “walkers”. That is, perhaps not so bad, but let’s not forget they only settled on “walkers” after trying and rejecting some less than ideal terms, like “geeks”. It’s a wonder why that one didn’t take off.
Discussion Question: The Zed Word
Let’s take the “About this episode” into the discussion area, shall we? Today we’re going to have a two part question. For the first part, what do you think of the trope of the word “zombie” not being used in zombie fiction? Does that mean that those stories exist in a universe where zombie movies simply don’t exist? Part two: assuming that there is no zombie mythology to build on, how do you think people would refer to zombies if they were suddenly faced with them?
They’d call the zombies “geeks”, right? Of course they would. Let’s ignore that obvious one, and get a little more creative, shall we?