Food for Thought: Plot holes in Zombie Films

In class we have read Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep? which synthesizes an overall diagnosis for Zombie syndrome based on symptoms that perceverate many zombie movies. The authors deduce that zombies suffer from Consciousness Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CDHD) in varying degrees. This disorder is what causes zombies to stumble around ravenous for flesh. However, while reading the book, several questions surfaced that seem unanswered in current zombie films. The first of which being: why do some zombies seem less effected by “zombieism” then others? The book hypothesizes that something that differentiates traditional slow zombies and the fast zombies, seen in movies like World War Z, is the rate of infection. The longer it takes for the infection to infect the host, the more brain damage occurs, and the slower the zombie is. This may adequately explain they difference between fast zombies and slow zombies, but it does not entirely explain why some slow zombies can use tools, and some cannot (this is assuming that as a whole, zombie movies portray zombies in similar fashion). In Land of the Dead, Big Daddy actually teaches other zombies how to do things, however, his path to zombieism was no different from many of the other zombies that trudged the earth.

Another apparent plot hole in zombie films is the lack of zombie animals. Where are all the zombie dogs, cats, birds, or even elephants? Surely many animals in the animal kingdom could not escape the vicious zombie hordes. The quick response to this question is either, the animals are eaten, or the virus, or fungi, or zombie causing agent kills the host if it is not human. However, chimps seem to have similar brains to humans, but the only ape horde present in modern film are the genetically intelligent apes of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and the apes in that film are far from zombies. I do not have an answer for either of these questions other than human’s natural egocentric views toward the human race. Neither of these questions can truly be answered unless we enter some sort of zombie apocalypse, and if that is the case, some things are better left unsolved.



Verstynen, T., & Voytek, B. (2014). Do zombies dream of undead sheep?: A neuroscientific view of the zombie brain. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


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