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Apocalypsed out
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Published Saturday, July 20, 2013 @ 5:51 AM EDT
Jul 20 2013

With one exception, I've never cared for zombie movies.

The original Night of the Living Dead held my interest because it was filmed near Pittsburgh, featured Chiller Theatre host Bill Cardille, and contained realistic acting, like this classic scene:

While all horror films require a certain suspension of disbelief, zombie movies are especially hampered by their very premise.

Vampires, werewolves and other mythical creatures don't exist in nature and have no basis in science. They're fantasy, period, and all rules are off.

Zombies, however, fall into two categories: the traditional Night of the Living Dead-type, who are essentially reanimated corpses, and World War Z-type, who aren't zombies per se, but victims of some type of disease which cause them to develop unpleasant behavior disorders and odd dietary habits.

Zombies, by their very nature, are self-limiting. The processes which turn them into the walking dead insure their destruction. Rotting corpses lose their mobility after a while, and virulent rage-inducing fevers have a way of turning brains into fatty piles of slush incapable of seeing, hearing, or controlling voluntary muscle functions.

So the stories devolve into what are essentially simple chase movies. And even if the heroes "win," they're facing life in a post-apocalyptic hellhole where human civilization as we know it has ceased to exist.

That's entertainment?

I've had my fill of the apocalypse, regardless of its form. I don't find the collapse of civilization to be entertaining. And to those who say the handful of survivors bravely marching off into a horizon littered with rotting corpses and shattered infrastructure demonstrates man's indomitable spirit, I say bull. When the hero runs out of ammo and potable water, he's going to learn that it's difficult to manufacture antibiotics and water filtration systems with macho posturing, mixed martial arts skills, and a delusional sense of self-confidence.

"The future ain't what it used to be," the saying goes. That may be true, but I wish Hollywood would tone down the pessimism a bit. If I want to watch humankind's slide into dystopia, I'll just watch cable news.


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