Vampires are everywhere these days, biting at you from the covers of glossy magazines and haunting your multiplex and channel-surfing dreams. Surely, it won’t be long before there’s a vampire on “The Bachelor” or cooped up in the “Big Brother” house.
Nothing against vamps, but I prefer my undead a little less beautiful and media savvy, and a lot more bloodthirsty. In a word: zombies.
Now, it’s not like zombies have been ignored. But, of late, zombies have been taking a back seat to the fang-boys, and it’s time to put things right. Here are five reasons why zombies rule:
1. My undead can beat up your undead
Ghosts can be scary (think “Poltergeist”), but they can also be romantic (think “Ghost”). For the past 50 years or so — from “Dark Shadows”’ Barnabas Collins through “Interview With a Vampire’s Lestat” to “Twilight’s” Edward Cullen and “True Blood’s” Bill Compton, vampires have become increasingly moody, broody, and seductive. But if ghosts can be romance and “Unchained Melody,” and vampires are now all emo and Death Cab for Cutie, zombies are just straight-up gangsta and N.W.A. No apologies, no remorse.
2. 24-hour party people
Granted, vampires have got the super-human strength going for them and they can be as smart as Bill Gates’ accountant. But vampires have one big flaw: They’re useless during the day. And don’t get me started on werewolves, which are only frightful at night, one night of the month. Big whoop. (Technically they aren’t undead, either, but if you believe the “True Blood” saga or the BBC America series “Being Human,” they’ve got an interesting relationship with vampires.)
Zombies may be as dumb as a pudding cup, but they are zombies all day long, every day, forever. Or until someone shoots them in the head. There’s none of this anguish about transformation and duality of human nature. For zombies it’s kill, eat. Lather, rinse, repeat.
3. Walk this way
The biggest controversy in the zombie community, of course, has been which is better: fast zombies vs. slow zombies. “Night of the Living Dead” perfected the slow-motion shuffle of zombie ambulation but, in recent years, the “Dawn of the Dead” remake, “28 Days Later” and its sequel “28 Weeks Later,” and now “Zombieland,” among others, have given us zombies worthy of Olympic time trials. In either case, zombies — which are the ultimate believers in group-think — tend to work in huge packs, overpowering their prey through sheer force of flesh-feeding numbers. Personally, I like ’em slo-mo, like an inexorable tide washing over the planet.
4. Dead man laughing
Zombies can have a sense of humor — or at least the people who make movies about them can. The 2004 British film “Shaun of the Dead,” the 2007 mock-doc “American Zombie,” the 2007 satire “Fido” (in which a zombie is kept as a household pet) and now “Zombieland” show that zombies can laugh at themselves. Or that we can laugh at them. Vampires? Not so much.
5. Zombies now, zombies forever
If zombies are hard to live with, they’re harder to kill. After the apocalypse, there won’t be any vampires lounging around in their posh mansions. But zombies, like cockroaches, will still be here. Will Smith found that out the hard way in “I Am Legend.”