The Machete

So here is a story.

Yesterday, that day being Sunday March 15th 2009, I was really lazy.  Like along the lines of not even leaving my room until noon-ish.  This is fine, it is great to have quality “I don’t give a fuck Sundays” every now and then.  But when I did finally venture out into the strange and wonderful world which is the rest of my house, what should I find? How about a giant fuckin’ machete hanging out on the table in my dining room.

And by giant fuckin’ machete I mean, quite literally, almost a pirate sword.  The thing is huge and undoubtedly intended for mass destruction.  I was rather baffled for sometime.  Then I recalled that Mad’s friend of the male gender, Bryon, was leaving to move out westward and had been dropping off a lot of random stuff at our house.  The machete was by far the most random.

The funny thing is that yesterday afternoon Mad and I ended up watching “Dawn of the Dead” (the remake version, which, personally, is rather disappointing considering the Romero original material*).  The whole time watching the movie all I could think was how usefully the huge fuckin’ machete could be in a zombie apocalypse scenario.  In fact, just as it is recommended that everybody keep a fire extinguisher in the house, I suggest we all keep an emergency zombie hacking machete and/or axe, just to be on the safe side you know.

*Note on the Remake of “Dawn of the Dead”:  While Zach Snyder’s (of “300” and “Watchmen” fame) remake of Romero’s zombie classic has a few decent moments, all and all it misses the mark in my opinion.  While I could nitpick a number of details (say the fact that only those who die from bites of zombies come back to life instead of anyone who dies), the one thing that stands out more than any other blasphemy, is that Snyder made the zombies fast and strong.  God dammit people, ZOMBIES ARE NOT FUCKING FAST!  Sure giving the undead some unnatural speed and strength (and also making them skreetch and scream instead of moaning and groaning) adds some heightened suspense and creepiness, but seriously think about it.  If you are using the traditional undead theory of zombies, these bastards are fuckin’ corpses, they are in a state of decay and ruin, fast and Strong is not a feature included.  Part of the whole pleasure about them being little more than ravenous shambling corpses is that their gradual take over and approach to the apocalypse is far more blamed upon the stupidity of those people who are not yet zombies themselves.  I blame “28 Days Later” for the whole fast zombie thing.  While the monsters in it are not “real” zombies (in the sense that they are just infected and not really undead) the film still contributed greatly to modern zombie fiction.  While I will concede that my anti-fast zombie opinion is purely my own, I challenge you to compare the slow shambler with a running scream velociraptor version of the undead.  Slow and shambly gets my vote everyday.

~ by Nathaniel on March 16, 2009.

5 Responses to “The Machete”

  1. For further clarification. I like the slow shamblers better because then the fear degree of the monster has somewhat less to do with them being ravenous killing machine (which is still relevant, but to a lesser degree). Instead I think the fear factor of the slow undead zombie has to do with 1) the natural human fear of death in general and 2) a complex existential fear dealing with the mind/body duality. Essentially, in point 2, I think it is this disturbing idea of our bodies suddenly being a thing absent of our mind and/or self, becoming essentially a husk of our being. I feel that this is a very disturbing aspect of zombie infections (whatever their nature) and it is part of why you often hear characters in zombie fiction wishing to be killed instead of turning into one of the undead. Of course these two areas of horror can still exist with fast zombies, but I feel they become second rate to the fact that here is this bloody screaming super fast killer coming at people. Just thoughts and opinions here.

  2. I can’t help but associate zombies with rabies – the unnatural ravenous hunger for violence – so, fast zombies make sense to me. I agree from a cinematic perspective, slow zombies open more doors for creepiness, but the reality of the situation is that we should all be prepared for either types to arise and try to take over.

    • Definitely. I read an article about a year/year-and-a-half ago about the effects of rabies if left untreated in a human. Well just think about how the virus effects animals like racoons and foxes and then put it inot human proportions. Really really bad and scary and definitely probably something that has added to the concepts apparent in zombie fiction. I can definitely see “28 Days Later” being based on some super-rabies virus gone out of control. Of course the rabid have one major weakness, that being the aversion to almost all liquids, especially water (hence hydrophobia). The same article mentioned that people infected with rabies are more likely to die from extreme dehydration than from the virus itself (even though the virus will eventually kill it’s host). Kind of scary to think that such a disease exists in real life, especially when considering how viruses are known to change very quickly.

  3. Like the guy said in ‘Night of the Living Dead’ when asked if they could move fast “Nah..they’re dead, they’re all messed up”.

    I like the slow zombies because yeah, they cause more trouble because of the live people being stupid, not because of any particular power themselves. 1 zombie, not that bad. 5 zombies…you could just about deal with. 20 zombies and you’re a bit stuck….so on and so forth. And the scariest thing is, once you’ve seen one zombie, you know it’s only a matter of time before they’re all zombies.

    The reason I’m scared of zombies is the complete lack of control over the situation and knowing that the human race just wouldn’t ever be able to work well enough together to deal with something like that. Someone would mess it up on one level or another. People are too selfish, or too greedy, or too scared or whatever. That kind of apocalypse exposes so many human weaknesses, whilst being confronted with something which in singular form isn’t particuarly dangerous.

    That idea gets a bit lost with fast zombies.

  4. […] strange about this.  Heck, Beard is the fellow who gave us (Mad and I, Mad’s my roommate) a machete, a very pirate like tool if I ever saw one.  So I hold that Mad Beard is proper nomenclature for […]

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