Episode 272: Faster Would Be Better

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Timing

Surviving against zombies simply cannot consist of equal parts running and fighting. As human beings, we have a number of essential needs that must be fulfilled regularly (eating, sleeping, etc). There is also the question of certain tasks that simply must be completed in order to continue on. Finding the key to a door, reloading your gun, helping an injured compatriot. These are the weaknesses we’re cursed with, and one of the most fearsome strengths the zombies claim. For zombies do not tire. They do not stop to eat, or use the bathroom. If a fellow zombie falls into a ditch, the rest of the pack continues on, oblivious.

And because zombies do not tired, survivors are often pressed to rush, but constant hurrying without addressing other need is as fine a recipe for disaster as you are likely to find. Making a mistake is easy enough, even when doing simple tasks that you’re used to. Up the stress factor by reducing sleep and food, and adding in the constant threat of being eaten alive, and people are going to be bumbling through damn near everything until they can adapt to the new way of life. Most won’t survive the adaptation process.

About this Episode:

The episode title is an allusion to Jurassic Park (the film, not the novel), specifically when the Tyrannosaurus is chasing several characters in a jeep, and Jeff Goldblum’s character makes several quips about the speed of their escape.

Jurassic Park is one of my favorite action/horror films (second to Aliens). I think that it finds a perfect balance of action, horror, and fantasy that you rarely see in movies. It has its flaws, of course, but I think one can glean much of how to tell a light horror story from this film.

Discussion Question: Influences

What non-zombie stories have influenced your take on the genre? Like George Romero being influenced by a vampire story, we should also be looking for ideas beyond just this narrow

32 thoughts on “Episode 272: Faster Would Be Better”

  1. They’ll probably also need him to help with the zombie onslaught about to come out of the woods! 😀

    This will really tell which of the group Barb joined up with are people she can trust and rely on, and which she should be wary of! 😉

    • She should definitely be wary of Ted. That dude is just shifty looking.

      • True, but if he can actually be counted on to defend against zombies in a fight and does reasonably well, he may be looked upon favorably by Barb and the group! 😉

        So, shifty-looking or not, if he’s willing to be out on the fringes where the likelihood of becoming zombie chow is high, Ted’s definitely in the right place! 😀

  2. Not to disagree with you, but operating with a lack of sleep is becoming rather common these days. Might not be as big an issue as you think. (I’m just talking about sleep here, none of the other stuff.)

    • See, I think lack of sleep is a lot more dangerous than people think it is. They disguise it with energy drinks and coffee, but it wears you down. You think less clearly, loose coordination, drive. Frustration and stress goes up. Bad stuff.

      • I’m going to agree with Dave here. Yes, you have some people who are naturally nocturnal and can handle the night shifts. But lack of sleep really isn’t good. One factor is your body’s ability to regulate it’s own body heat along with other factors. Emotions, irritability are going to set in. Everything else Dave mentioned.

        As to Barb… well, wouldn’t it just be too bad if Ted were to get “cut off” from the group here?

        • Poor Ted isn’t going to get any Christmas cards this year, is he?

    • Reactionary time is slower, fighting ability is dumbed down, and health plummets. A good survivalist gets as much sleep as possible, and don’t exert themselves. As mammals we need plenty of rest to be able to do very much, because if were to sleepy to keep our eyes open we might as well just go ahead and start chomping on ourselves.. That is if you can stay awake while doing it.

      I think the main purpose most people don’t think it’s as big a problem is because there’s more than enough people working desk jobs, or taking short naps during work or school. It’s an unhealthy life style that some are saying is becoming something we are adapting too, but that seems highly unlikely. As well coffee won’t be as well in supply if there were no one to grow it or ship it.

      The nasty fact is that we need sleep far more than we need food or water.. Because with out sleep we wouldn’t have the energy or will to find either.

      • Good points Calicade, and I definitely agree.

        I think a lot of us don’t realize how tired and run down we really are because we don’t have to expend a lot of energy on a daily basis. Sitting in front of a computer all day isn’t too bad on four hours sleep.

        • Speaking as someone who did rear-end someone on less than 3 hours of sleep (I had time to stop, I just didn’t do the math needed to figure out the driver had stopped dead and didn’t just slow down quickly enough), I do get the issue. But I’m wondering how little sleep you would expect to be getting. Most zombie flicks do not involve non-stop action and do have breaks, sometimes for days in movie time. I get the impression you’re expecting something as non-stop as Navy SEAL Hell Week, which quite frankly means almost every character featured in a zombie movie would be eaten in the first day, never mind about sleep. (And almost all of us posting here too.)

          On the other hand, if you’re like my sister, you’re so spastic that in a zombie outbreak you won’t sleep for fear of being attacked, even if there are three hundred armed badasses personally guarding your door with the latest in weapons, a minefield blocking every approach, and Cobras flying oversight with nightvision.

          That could be an issue for those who need meds just to get through the day and night under normal circumstances. Me, I’d expect to spend a sleepless night in the beginning followed by a number of restless nights before finally returning to something resembling a normal sleep schedule.

        • Oh, and just as a point of reference I do not drink or take anything with stimulants, unless I’m sitting around somewhere and there’s free coffee or someone gives me a pop. These are rare occurrences and I am under no circumstances speaking from a caffeinated perspective. On these occurrences I’ve never noticed anything from the caffeine either, so it may not be something that my system does much with to begin with.

  3. I don’t know if I’m answering the question properly.. But Cthulhu related subjects, and 1700’s to 1800’s technology. I just think it would be cool to have Lovecraftian zombies, and that technology era mixed together… Would be a wonderful start to mixing into the genre.

    • That would be a sweet mashup right there.

      • Ive always liked the idea of zombies that are re-animated by some type of weaponized nano-technology. Maybe its the enginerd in me, but it neatly wraps up all the pesky questions about how the undead would function. The nanites for some kind of amorphous nervous system for control of the body and the most basic physical functions. They provide the energy to power muscles and do enough maintenance to keep the body functional but dont waste energy on keeping it too “fresh” They derive thier power by keeping just enough of the zeds digestive processes functioning and stimulating its predatory response. Zeds would prefer to eat meat as it contains the most food value per pound and because the nanites could use the basic proteins and amino acids directly from the meat to help maintain critical systems. The would eat people because people are easier to catch then deer or rabbits and because even a near miss bite would spread the nanites and create another zed. Plus it open up the idea of zombified animals like the “T” virus from teh Resident Evil series.

      • Now that I think more about it, the nanites don’t necessarily need to originate as a weapon. They could be some type of medical technology that went haywire. Plus you could explain the zeds decay as a consequence of the zombies not being able to catch enough meat after the first few days of the outbreak and being forced to subsist on lower quality food sources and thus the nanites dont have quote enough energy to keep them in really good shape. Maybe I need to stop sharing this in the forum and start writing the book

        • I think the medical technology is probably a better starting point. Sort of like nano-stem cells that were developed to rebuild damaged or necrotic tissue, and they went out of control. Definitely a cool idea.

  4. Barb should be able to do head-to-toe assessment in no more than five minutes; but if I was in her shoes, I would forgo the head-to-toe and make it focused: Is he alive, or close to death? Does he have any bleeding or bones sticking out? Head wounds?

    My biggest concern at that point is that I would get Massive Head Wound Harry there into the van and then he’s zombie-out inside the van at sixty miles an hour. That’s a hard choice. Do I take the guy on death’s door with me, put him out of his misery, or leave him for zombie chow?

    On topic. I don’t read much fiction at all; but I like some other survival fiction, things like Andromeda Strain can certainly influence zombie apocalypse stories.

    • Nice choice on Andromeda Strain. Wildfire!

      As far as balancing the time for a complete assessment versus the chance of Clark zombifying in the car, it’s definitely a hard choice. I think most of us would err on the side of caution if we could, but with zombies pressing in, that’s not always an option.

      • Depending on how much space they have in the van, I would think it would be better to get him in there immediately and check his condition as they go. I look at it like this – if he does have, for example, a spinal injury that would normally prevent you from moving him, what are you going to do? Leave him still and call an ambulance? These guys don’t have the firepower to hold their position against more than a handful of zombies, even if Gene has plenty of extra ammo on him. (Granted, there are few enough zombies that he wouldn’t need to reload, but they don’t know that)

  5. This is the point in the game where a 2 minutes timer would appear in the top-right corner of the screen and you have to hold off the on-coming zombies, also adding a trope to it’s page on TV Tropes. Dave, have you ever played the Walking Dead by Telltale games?

    • I’ve played it, I can’t wait for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.

      • I’ve heard of that, but I’ve never seen any gameplay of it.

  6. I just finished watching The Walking Dead, I think T-Dog got what he deserved.

    • … Wrong area?

      • Even if it’s the wrong area, I still feel that he is wrong.

        • I’ll rephrase that- I think he got what he deserved- the death of a hero.
          He saved the lady with the scarf! And the reason I wrote it here is because last time I wrote on the review page, I was a week late.

  7. im back!

    • It seems like you’re back an awful lot. Where do you keep going?

  8. sorry the legomaster is me forgot to add the 3700

    • it doesnt matter

    • thats classified Dave

  9. I think that Doom 3 or Quake 4 would be good influences… The games… They are scary as all get out, but They have good scare tactics… for instance the creepy music, the monsters coming from the very walls, be it by destroying it, sliding though an air duct, or having the thin open up to the mouth of a giant one… almost made me crap myself about 20 different times… even though that would have been my 20 time playing… lol