293: Zombies Rule, Vampires Drool

Richard Dansky

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Jul 8, 2010
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Zombies Rule, Vampires Drool

When it comes to the great monster showdown, vampires may be popular, but zombies have the edge when it comes to scaring the pants off of us.

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brunothepig

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May 18, 2009
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An interesting article, well done.
Now I really want to see a movie about a vampire apocalypse. Supernatural disaster movie. Come on, that'd be awesome!
It's true vampires aren't so much "monsters" any more. But I do still like them. Possibly because of the humanisation and everything you spoke of. Hell, in True Blood you can like vampires. Because they're made of pure awesome. They kick ass, they're suave and slick and not at all stupid and mindless. It's good, in a way.
 

Taliesin Hoyle

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Nov 19, 2010
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30 Days of Night was a shot in the arm for the vampire genre, because the vampires were a force of nature. It is an excellent counter-example to this thesis.
 

Sodoff

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Oct 15, 2009
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Wasen't Daybreak a vampire apocalypse?

Very interesting article!

more zombies please.
 

XT inc

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Jul 29, 2009
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Daybreak was more like a we are dealing with the problem now, post apocalypse where they were moving on and everyone was a vamp already. 30 Days of night was a great horror vampire movie that I hope gets a sequel, but I think In the comic books the vampires lead a more hidden life, trying to get victims, I think the movie was about the kind of feasting they do when they have free reign for a month.

I can't wait for more zombies the walking dead's first season was such a number of episodes flop. They waited to long and couldnt put out a real 12+ episode season which sucked because it was so awesome.

Problem is zombies in games really have no hardcore representation it is always by some over powered player who has no fear of the zombies.
 
Sep 24, 2008
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While vampires can go surfing in the Californian sun for all I care, I'm now getting sick to death of my once beloved zombie. You can't throw a rock without hitting a designer who thinks "I have a great idea for a new mode: Zombies!"

It does play into our egos. We got the tools, we got the talent, let me mow them down and I'll survive it all. Hell, most games are about that now, but from a different stand point. Most games: You're out gunned and you're out classed, but you'll find a way to make it some how! Most zombie games: They are over there, you have guns, show them good old fashion Human ass kicking.

It's so EASY to put zombies in nowadays that it's just played out. Like any song you heard on the radio, it keeps playing and playing and playing until you are forced to try to remember when you found it to be innovating and cool.
 

Lazy Kitty

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May 1, 2009
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The less scary vampires seem, the scarier they are.

When a zombie aproaches you, you know you should either shoot or run.
When a vampire aproaches you, you won't see (or smell) a whole lot of rotting flesh, so you'll probably think he/she's (still) human. So you'll let down your guard.

Zombies seem to keep nothing if their former selves, so you'll probably want to prevent becoming one.

Due to vampires seemingly staying who they were when they were human, you might not even mind becoming one.

But once the vampire/human ratio becomes too big, humans will go extinct and soon after the vampires will follow because of a lack of prey.
 

AgentBJ09

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May 24, 2010
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Interesting article, but I do have to roll my eyes at two parts. One from Mythology is Hard.

"Your author confesses to having been part of the problem here vis-à-vis many years spent contributing to White Wolf's World of Darkness."

If you're talking about Masquerade, maybe, but I play Requiem from the NWoD line. It doesn't have as much mythos to memorize, and the powers between these different clans make them forces to reckon with. I would easily recommend this to any vampire fan, casual or otherwise.

Then, this quote.

"So bring on the zombies. As monsters go, they're much less demanding."

I'm not sure what you mean by this. If you're saying it in terms of cannon fodder for people to kill, maybe, but a villain is a lot more interesting when they have a history and motive.

Frankly, on the zombie phenomenon as a whole, here's my opinion on the subject: "Stop putting zombies in everything. Please." If the popularity of zombies are going to die out like Guitar Hero just has, this is the way I see that happening: Putting them in nearly every game under the sun.
 

Not-here-anymore

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Nov 18, 2009
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See, most of the eastern european vampire myths, the really old ones that pre-date Vlad the Impaler are, in essence, zombies. Zombies with a few more rules, but definitely not in control of their actions. Actually, they fit the modern image of zombies far better than zombies themselves, being people or corpses controlled by voodoo magic, and hence by a person.

Fast zombies, in particular, have more in common with the vampires of old (revenants, in Anne Rice terms) than they do with the magically brainwashed slaves of some old loa.
So yeah, vampires are still scary. We've just started calling them zombies, is all.
 

vxicepickxv

Slayer of Bothan Spies
Sep 28, 2008
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I'm glad to see we haven't touched anywhere near all of the vampire lore out there in the article. Yes, there's much more out there, go find it.
 

magicmonkeybars

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Nov 20, 2007
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Zombies aren't really monsters, they're victims, humans are the real monsters in almost every zombie flick.

Nice article though.
 

okogamashii

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Mar 15, 2009
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I agree with all of this except for one thing; on an article about shitty vampires, Vampire the Masquerade doesn't belong. It isn't supposed to be scary. It's supposed to be a bleak representation of life as a vampire. Also, they have a clan for almost every vampire myth, not just the stupid Victorian era ones, which people don't seem to realize aren't the only ones, or even the first.

Yeah, I'm a fangirl, whatever.
 

AnnaIME

Empress of Baked Goods
Dec 15, 2009
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Ooh, I liked this. Interesting topics abound on the Escapist, but not all articles are this funny.

I just loved the part about the awkward silences.
 

squid5580

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Feb 20, 2008
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Even George A Romero zombies were more ghoulish than you give them credit for. Day of the dead (original) had Bud who learned. In Land of the Dead the zombies started arming themselves. And Suvival of the Dead was based on them being ghouls more than zombies.
 

Daverson

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Nov 17, 2009
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To be frank, I can't see SyFy's adaptation of "Being Human" being anything other than terrible. Especially compared to the BBC's version, my advice to any Americans reading would be to watch the Beeb's series, it'd surprise me if there wasn't a channel showing it over there. (They've tried to reinvent BBC shows for Americans before, and it hasn't worked, don't see why anyone thinks it'll work this time)

Anyhoos...

Thinking Romero's zombies being more like Ghouls... well, there's actually a pretty good reason for this...

In the truest sense of the word, zombies are the bodies of the dead, brought back as servants. The idea originates from Voodoo, where a priest would poison someone with "Zombie Powder", then, after their funeral, are able to revive the dead body to use as a servant. (They also appear in a lot of fantasy, with the priest being replaced with a necromancer, and zombie powder being replaced by magic, other than that, it's pretty much the same thing). These zombies have appeared in movies, I'd recommend you watch "White Zombie", if you want to see this, it's available for free (legally) on a lot of video sites, so there's really no excuse not to (it's got Béla Lugosi in it. That should be enough to warrant watching it regardless)

(By the way, these zombies actually exist. They aren't really dead, rather, they're put into a coma by the zombie powder, which contain tetroditoxin, aka puffer fish poison, which is easily mistaken for death by a lot of doctors. They get buried, still alive, then wake up in a coffin, oxygen deprivation does the rest when it comes to the zombie-like state)

Modern Movie zombies are basically sort of a cross between Ghouls and Revenants. Hell, if you watch the first modern zombie movie (Night of the Living Dead), you'll see the zombies are always referred to as ghouls. Ghouls are creatures (either Demons or Undead, depending on who you ask), that feed off the bodies of the recently deceased, which allows them to take the form of this person. Revenants on the other hand, are dead bodies that return to life to accomplish a single purpose (usually vengeance of some kind).

So now you know, and knowing, is half the battle.
It doesn't really help you when it comes to killing them mind... stopping a walking corpse is one thing, but shape-shifting Djinn with an insatiable lust for human flesh? That's just... yikes...
 

Sabrestar

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Apr 13, 2010
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AgentBJ09 said:
Interesting article, but I do have to roll my eyes at two parts.
"Your author confesses to having been part of the problem here vis-à-vis many years spent contributing to White Wolf's World of Darkness."

If you're talking about Masquerade, maybe, but I play Requiem from the NWoD line. It doesn't have as much mythos to memorize, and the powers between these different clans make them forces to reckon with. I would easily recommend this to any vampire fan, casual or otherwise.
I knew I was feeling White Wolfish hints from this article, and then I saw it was from the writer of Clan Novel: Lasombra. Which is sitting on my bookshelf, waiting until I can assemble the entire series from used bookstores so I can read them all.

Vampire: the Masquerade did vampires in a totally different style than anything discussed here, really. It was more along the lines of Vampires as Illuminati: whatever you thought was a secret conspiracy, probably was, and they probably had something to do with it. VtM was huge in my college circle, and we used to brainstorm complicated theories late into the night. While fun, vampires as political intrigue definitely isn't for everyone.

I haven't been able to extricate myself from nostalgia long enough to embrace VtR over VtM. That's probably my own personal prejudices mostly, but I know what side of the Broken Fanbase I fall on. (I've never taken very well to massive continuity reboots, and I really miss the dry deadpan humour of the old WoD books.) Besides, to me the complicated mythos was part of the fun. But to each one's own, and it certainly wouldn't hurt the world to have more people roleplaying VtR vampires instead of Meyerverse abominations.
 

Fleaman

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Nov 10, 2010
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I don't get what's scary about zombies. They resemble mob violence, but as a direct threat they're not even close to the danger presented by a flood, or even a large bear. I always find it ludicrous that "you could become one" is treated as horrifying. The only fear that comes from zombies is that their presence implies an empty world in which a survival story is about to take place, for which their purpose could have been served by a natural disaster excepting the boyish fantasy gore.

Not that vampires are any scarier. Part of it is like the article says; developing the backstory for the thing makes it less scary, because when you know the rules you can try to beat them.

The Slender Man is an example of a monster that epitomizes fear of the unknown. The fandom that has formed around him was originally based entirely on analyzing the blogs and videos and figuring out what rules he worked under. By now, a whole blog culture has developed, with continuity and cross-over events. None even approach the scariness of Marble Hornets, in which his abilities and motives are unexplained and sometimes apparently inconsistent.