November 10th, 2008

breaking bad

This one will run and run

A nice Guardian exchange between two masters of Zombie horror, over the vexed question: do zombies run?

To recap, Simon Pegg was the creator and writer of the massively successful Shaun of the Dead, and Charlie Brooker is creator of Dead Set, the five-part zombie TV drama which was on the week before last every night on E4. In Shaun of the Dead, zombies of course shamble in the traditional manner, in Dead Set they run, snarling like feral beasts.

In an article last Tuesday Pegg argues that zombies should not run. In an article today (half way down that page) Brooker replies as best he can to the charge (the whole debate is charming). Pegg's argument is thoughtful:
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Brooker's counter-arguments are merely pragmatic, but compelling in context.

They HAD to run or the story wouldn't work. The outbreak had to knock the entire country out of action before the producers had time to evacuate the studios.

We had to clearly and immediately differentiate Dead Set from Shaun of the Dead, which had cornered the market on zombie-centric horror-comedy. Blame yourself, Simon: if you'd made that film badly, it wouldn't have been so popular, and drawing a distinction wouldn't have been an issue. Each time one of our zombies breaks into a sprint, it's your own stupid talented fault.

...Running zombies are, to be frank, cheaper than stumbling ones. You only need one or two to present a massive threat.


(But read them both in full if you like zombie stories)

ETA metafilter have a discussion here.