Ever since the remake of Dawn of the Dead came out in 2004, there has been a heated debate among zombie movie fans. As a writer who focuses on horror, and a regular speaker on horror panels, I am often asked about the significance of the, “slow moving zombies vs. fast moving zombies debate.” As with most of the horror topics that I focus on, there are many deeper symbolic issues that lay under the surface of this debate.
The Heart of the Debate
At the heart of the, “slow moving zombies vs. fast moving zombies debate,” is a simple question, “Which one is better?” While there might be other questions, such as, “Which one is scarier,” or, “Which one is more effective,” but the core question remains a matter of opinion.
Conservative vs. Liberal
Interestingly enough, under the surface of the arguments in the, “slow moving zombies vs. fast moving zombies debate,” is an argument between horror conservatives and horror liberal. The horror conservatives point to George Romero’s, Night of the Living Dead as the movie that set the ground rules for zombie movies. The horror movie liberals believe that since the times have changed since the late 1960s. So should the creatures that Romero made famous.
Symbolism vs. Scare Factor
There is no doubting that there is a definite scare factor that is added to fast moving zombies that is not present in slow moving zombies. The, “slow moving zombies vs. fast moving zombies debate,” though, brings horror symbolism into play.
The supporters of slow moving zombies are usually quick to point out that fast moving zombies lose some of the symbolism that made zombies scary in the first place. Slow moving zombies can be taken out easily if there is only one. The real danger comes when a mass of them are coming at you. Fat moving zombies are more difficult to take out when there is only one, so it loses the symbolism of, “One problem is easy to take care of. If you wait, more will come and overwhelm you.”
Traditional vs. Change
While close to the conservative vs. liberal aspect of the, “slow moving zombies vs. fast moving zombies,” the traditional vs. change argument does stand on it’s own. The traditional zombie movie fans would prefer that the old ways stay in place. On the other side, there are those that want to change the ways that zombies are perceived just for the sake of change.
Whichever side of the, “slow moving zombies vs. fast moving zombies debate,” that you are on, remember that there are many more aspects of the debate than most people think about. Even if you are just a casual zombie movie fan, chances are good that you might finally enter one of the sides of this debate now that you know all that is at stake.