Episode 28

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Zombie Cliché Lookout:
In zombie films there is an unspoken rule that the word “zombie” should never, ever be uttered. When the rule is broken, other characters should quickly dismiss or correct the rule-breaking character. Perhaps the finest example of this comes from Shaun of the Dead in an exchange between the titular hero and his dimwitted friend, Ed:

Ed: Any zombies out there?
Shaun: Don’t say that!
Ed: What?
Shaun: That!
Ed: What?
Shaun: That! The “zed” word. Don’t say it!
Ed: Why not?
Shaun: Because it’s ridiculous!
Ed: Alright… are there any, though?
Shaun: I don’t see any. Maybe it’s not as bad as all that…  Oh, no, wait, there they are.
Of course some movies go way to far trying to avoid this trope, like Will Smith’s I Am Legend, in which the zombie/vampire monsters were referred to as “Dark Seekers”. Seriously.

13 thoughts on “Episode 28”

  1. 28 comics later they finally said “Zombie”

    • Hah, I never noticed the “28 Days Later” coincidence. A clever man might have planned that; I simply bumbled my way into it.

  2. good job with the comic.normally i just see something contains zombies and dismiss it as a cheap attempt to use something popular to get fans and sales and/or views butthis is actually quite good.

    • Thank you!

  3. I’m a little late to the party, but the discussion of what to call the zombies reminded me of “The Walking Dead” comic, in which the characters have a number of alternate names for the zombies (roamers, lurkers, biters) but they have yet to use the word “zombie” to my knowledge.
    I did a Star Trek fanfic involving Klingons fighting some zombie Borg (among other unassilimated aliens that were zombified) and it was really hard to not use the “Z” word, though I had to as the Klingons don’t have a word for zombie that I could find.

    • That’s a pretty common trope, and one that can get pretty irritating. Take the TV version of the Walking Dead, for instance. For whatever reason all the characters call the zombies “geeks”. It’s bizarre.

  4. dark seekers arnt zombies they think and retain memories and can even make complex traps. and they run around and cant go into the light there more of a mix between vampire and zombie but it would of made me pissed if they got called zombies!

    • Oh I know. In the book (which I highly recommend) they’re clearly vampires. The movie made them a lot more feral and zombie-like. Regardless, “dark seeker” is a clunky sounding name.

  5. I am Legend movie was rubbish at the end 🙁 Did they even read the chuffing book!?…

    • I think they maybe leafed through it a bit. I’d love to see a more faithful adaptation.

  6. Reminds me of Left 4 Dead:
    Francis: I’ve had it to here with these vampires!
    Bill: They’re zombies Francis.
    Francis: Whatever.

    • That’s such a great exchange, thanks for posting, WJS.

  7. Like The Godfather (the movie, I dunno about the book) never used the word mafia, and Grosse Pointe Blank never said hitman.