Since I was a mere toddler I have been infatuated with zombies. From the original bad make-up covered sluggish rotters to the current fad of lightning-quick monsters with the reflexes of a jaguar. But somewhere over the course of the last few years the zombie craze has kicked into full force. They remade what seems like every single George Romero movie over again. I can’t complain about that, seeing as he directed the best of the best, but they also let some complete amateurs have their go at some of the classics. That pisses me off. It’s like watching the life story of Uwe Bole in cinematic replay. One huge fuck up after another.
Then there’s the attack of the undead video games. Resident Evil is the original, and by far the one with the best plot. But then they decided to make those three movies and instead of following up with the most hardcore of all games we get some crap that seems more like one man against a country of inbreds. What could possibly make this game worse? Let’s put it own rails for the Wii. Yeah, that’ll do it. Any game on rails deserves a slow and painful death.
After playing Left 4 Dead my faith was restored when I saw that the world of zombies hasn’t totally been screwed up by the corporate game makers looking for a quick buck off their awesome graphics and crappy story lines. While L4D’s plot is simply getting out alive rather than getting to the bottom of the outbreak and solving the big puzzle RE style, it gives the player a more human look at the way the world would be if every other person were trying to eat you. The graphics aren’t perfect, and the sounds are actually kind of goofy sometimes, but you feel like you are the character. You get scared. You get shocked. It’s the way a good zombie game should be. Hell, even the not-so-zombie thriller Dead Space had more flesh eating action than Resident Evil 4.
It just goes to show that when you move from video games to movies and then try to move beyond what the game is about, you end up screwing yourself hard. In my personal opinion there are few things as terrifying as being stuck in a world where the people are eating each other and can only be stopped by a bullet to the head. Aliens can attack all they want. Nuclear wars can wipe us all out. Armies of clone soldiers can kill us and robots can enslave us and eventually destroy our entire race. But when we kill ourselves by undead cannibalism, there is no greater high.
Bring on the zombies. Make them faster, meaner, stronger, and smarter. But make sure they stay zombies, and for the love of Romero give us free range to kill them from wherever we want. I don’t want to ride the trolley to the Land of Imagination and kill zombies each time it stops.