Picking up on a thread initiated in today’s film review on Mayo’s R5 show, how indeed do you kill what is apparantly already dead? How do you kill a zombie?
Let’s list the usual flip – you can redead them, discontinue the pesky gits, negate ’em, oblivate them or maybe whisk them up with a helicopter. You can even go biospherical and state in a matter-of-fact way that you’ve reintegrated them into the carbon and nitrogen cycle.
Consider this though: a zombie is not powered by voodoo or magik, the zombie is a biologically reanimated corpse. It’s not the same individual person raised through supernatural circumstances to reinhabit the hold host, plot and backstory withstanding. The zombie is a vegetable – a lump of dead flesh optionally killed by and then hotwired by a super-evolved cellular gestalt or a bespoke bioweapon to provide a vehicle to furnish itself with rich, creamy brain proteins. The zombie is a machine used to feed and promulgate the parasitic puppeteer. Enough to jumpstart the reptillian and mamillian brains to autopilot the husk, feel hunger and recognise the airborne chemical cues of fresh, unoxidised meat; restart the heart and liquify congealed bodily fluids to re-establish bodily circulation of anaerobically-released oxygen and sugars to bootstrapped tissues and organs; enough – just barely enough – to sustain and spread the infection. The parasite is a virus, human bodies their one big subverted cell.
The zombie is alive – in the same way that slimemould or fungus is alive. The zombie is a bipedal mushroom. The zombie is exactly what it’s imagined to be: undead. The zombie is a disease vector, a walking mouth and stomach to locate and digest protein succour. The zombie is alive, and it can be killed.