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Zombie Talk: Gruesome, Gory and Grabby

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Ok I just rewatched the very first episode again and noticed something weird.  The very opening scene where Rick walked down to the gas station and found the zombie girl she did something unusual.  She walked up to a stuffed bear, stopped, bent over and picked it up and continued walking.

 

I have never seen a zombie do anything like this in the show since.  You would need some sort of cognitive ability to do this and we know zombies don't have it.  Weird.

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Ok I just rewatched the very first episode again and noticed something weird.  The very opening scene where Rick walked down to the gas station and found the zombie girl she did something unusual.  She walked up to a stuffed bear, stopped, bent over and picked it up and continued walking.

 

I have never seen a zombie do anything like this in the show since.  You would need some sort of cognitive ability to do this and we know zombies don't have it.  Weird.

We did see the walker at the department store pick up a brick/cinder block/piece of debris to smash a window. Don't forget the walker in the RV that looks around at things, including the bathroom door, and rattled the door handle, in a sort of foggy confusion.  As did Morgan's wife!

All I could suggest is that when looking at that little girl...she has the wound to the side of her mouth, but her skin color isn't too bad really. I thought Amy at the quarry had greyer skin and milkier eyes than the little gas station girl. So it's possible she just turned right before Rick got there?

Or it's just one of the show Mysteries...created for effect but then never pursued or explained or correlated with what we learn later.

 

I'll list:

the gas-station girl and the walker with the brick.

 

whatever the hell was in Bob's box!

 

how Rick laid in a coma for so long and may have been safe from walkers with the door blockaded but still should have dehydrated or woken up in a bed full of his own waste or a really really infected catheter etc.

 

the little pile of blankets and a pillow that Daryl found in the cupboard of the abandoned farmhouse when searching for Sophia...the linens were not all moldy or strewn with mouse turds and he did smell the can of partially eaten sardines and it wasn't rotten so this had to be recent. Yet right after that, they found Sophia had been in the barn for some time captured by the late Otis. Daryl had made a point of saying "whoever was stayin' in that cupboard could only be yay high" indicating up about his waist height. So if it wasn't Sophia, it's funny neither our group nor the Greene's had any curiousity about the little boy or girl who'd been hiding there just in the last 48 hours. (Hey, not our kid, not our problem!)

 

How Maggie can say to Glenn when she picks up a gun hey you grow up on a farm you know how to shoot...when it's established that Beth, Patricia, and Jimmy don't know how.

 

Hell, half the fun of watching is keeping score of the inconsistencies.

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Season 1 walkers did seem to have some traces of memory or very limited sentience.  Remember Morgan's wife rattling the doorknob of the house where her family was?  I remember reading that that was Frank Darabont's conception and of course we know that Darabont got canned and replaced at some point during the start of the making of season 2.

 

I've always been a little sorry subsequent showrunners scrapped that particular detail.  It gave the walkers so much more poignance because it wasn't then so easy to escape the fact that these awful things used to be living people.  Maybe nearly two years out it wouldn't matter anymore anyway and maybe they wouldn't have been able to retain that bit of memory longterm but it was a nice little detail.

 

I am glad they seem to have scrapped running zombies though.  I just don't like running zombies.

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OOPS! I forgot the most egregious example...how we first meet Maggie Greene bombing in on a horse and taking out a walker with a bat to it's head, thus saving Andrea's life.

Maggie subsequently is shown as thinking walkers should be sympathized with, not killed, actually shouldn't be called walkers, and has conversation with her father after the drugstore attack about Glenn saving her life "when one of those things you think is sick tried to kill me."

 

 

I've always been a little sorry subsequent showrunners scrapped that particular detail.  It gave the walkers so much more poignance because it wasn't then so easy to escape the fact that these awful things used to be living people.  Maybe nearly two years out it wouldn't matter anymore anyway and maybe they wouldn't have been able to retain that bit of memory longterm but it was a nice little detail.

 

I agree, and I think it would pep up the show's walker encounters if people really couldn't be sure if "newer" ones might not have some abilities : climbing, throwing objects, operating handles etc.

 

In the Will Smith version of  I Am Legend, I'm never scared by the CGI lions and wolves and shit running loose. What terrifies the crap out of me was that these things could set up that booby-trap for Robert Neville where he ends up dangling upside down over the street as the sun sets. That was so scary it was sick!

 

I like the idea of them having lost humanity and many physical abilities, but still retaining some basic skills especially cooperating in groups. And the possibility that as time goes on and the virus does what all viruses do---mutate for it's own survival---the humans couldn't get so blase/complacent dealing with them as if it's just tiresome stepping on insects.

Edited by kikismom
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I've always been a little sorry subsequent showrunners scrapped that particular detail.  It gave the walkers so much more poignance because it wasn't then so easy to escape the fact that these awful things used to be living people.

 

I think it was decided not to continue showing walkers having any spark of humanity because it may have been felt that viewers would find all the ensuing, very brutal, zombie slaughters a little distasteful. The only way it's acceptable is if they have zero human characteristics, IMO and are just walking (not very fresh) meat.

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I think it was decided not to continue showing walkers having any spark of humanity because it may have been felt that viewers would find all the ensuing, very brutal, zombie slaughters a little distasteful.

Possibly!

Or:

TPTB worried that viewers would become so exasperated with our group that they might start rooting for the walkers. A one-sided conflict can only retain loyalty for so long; once you give the monsters a stake in this fight it could get awkward.

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I think I read TPTB hand waved it away that as the ZA continues the zombies decompose and slow down and lose what few trace memories remained. But I think fresh zombies should still be shown to have some rudimentary skills instead of being utterly brain dead shambling pieces of meat (and they aren't technically 100% brain dead as Jenner illustrated).

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I totally buy that the zombies that have been meandering around for a year or more out in the elements and have been steadily falling apart would have nothing left of the person that they were.  They're just basically husks at that point.  But they could have continued to show that that spark remains at least for the short term.  It would have made the scene with Milton and the newly turned Mr. Coleman not feel like such an utterly pointless waste of screen time.  I also felt like maybe that's what they were going for when Daryl found the newly turned Merle but couldn't commit to the idea.  Zombie Merle looked at Daryl for a long time before moving toward him but even then there was no real sense of the aggression you often see when they're confronted with fresh meat.

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It would have made the scene with Milton and the newly turned Mr. Coleman not feel like such an utterly pointless waste of screen time.

 

This is very true. If we saw some sort of even fleeting glimpse of people we've come to know in newly turned zombies  it would certainly make these scenes much more powerful and conflicted.

 

Zombie Merle looked at Daryl for a long time before moving toward him

 

I was thinking of that scene. Even though Merle was a zombie, the closeup of those dead eyes as he looked at Daryl was very touching, mainly because we knew Merle before and still saw him as a person.

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I've long fanwanked this very reason as how the zombie virus or whatever you want to call it managed to spread so quickly or even how Herschel justified keeping his family and neighbors in the barn.  If their dead loved ones instantly reanimated as completely unthinking unfeeling monsters trying to eat them, people probably would have much easier accepted that they had to be immediately put down.  But imagine if your husband or your child comes back and still seems to know you or shows you some glimmer of the person you knew. (Season one, but think how Zombie Amy seemed almost tender with Andrea and didn't automatically move to attack her.)  By the time you're able to fully wrap your head around the reality that that's not really them anymore and steel yourself to put them down they've probably already bitten you.

Edited by nodorothyparker
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I can see how if they would have let the zombies retain some form of consciousness it would made for some very interesting stories.  I hate how it so drastically changed and now, even if just changed, they are completely gone and just want to kill you.  The change is pretty noticeable.  Its like the change in Klingons from the original series to The Next Generation.

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Here is your thread to discuss, dissect and analyze everything and anything about the poor rotting corpses.

Are they sentient? Are they alive? Do they make good pets?

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Keep in mind, however; at this point in the ZA, every human who dies has already been carrying the Z virus dormant in their bodies for an extended period of time. Their autoimmune systems are accustomed to Z, and will no longer react to it as an invading infection. This was not true of the earliest infected, so their bodies' responses to the infection may have slowed down the progression to full zombiedom.

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I have a question. I have no religion, and do not believe in an afterlife. However, for people who do, particularly those on the show, I wonder about the concept of souls. Are the souls trapped inside of the walkers until someone takes them out with a blow to the brain, or do they go off to the great beyond and their bodies reanimate without them? Probably a stupid question, and I hope I don't offend anyone, but I am curious as to anyone's thoughts on the situation.

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I would think that when they first die, their soul would leave. Jenner at the CDC said the part of the brain that didn't reanimate was the part that made "you, you". All that's left is a mindless husk of a human.

Let's go ask Father Pee Pants...

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I was thinking of that scene. Even though Merle was a zombie, the closeup of those dead eyes as he looked at Daryl was very touching, mainly because we knew Merle before and still saw him as a person.

 

Now that you've said this, I wonder if maybe it somewhat goes like this: Right after a person becomes a walker, they still have their memories, some random thoughts maybe, or at least a conscious sense - maybe in flashes, maybe like a hallucination or vague memory. But the zombie basically starts decomposing right away, because technically it is dead. That's what we learned at the CDC - that only the brain stem is alive, functioning, etc.

 

But as time goes on, the body rots, and so does the brain. So those little things that seem to humanize them in spurts, eventually rots away. So with Merle, he was a fresh new walker, so he still had flashes, vague cognition of Daryl. If allowed to continue existing in the state, it would quickly go away as the brain rots. Just my thoughts.

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^^^ That's how I would have envisioned the process too.  The further the body gets away from being alive and being "you" the less that's left that could even retain any sort of residual memory or whatever it was that made you "you."  So then you're fully gone.

 

at this point in the ZA, every human who dies has already been carrying the Z virus dormant in their bodies for an extended period of time. Their autoimmune systems are accustomed to Z, and will no longer react to it as an invading infection. This was not true of the earliest infected, so their bodies' responses to the infection may have slowed down the progression to full zombiedom.

 

This is an interesting thought and sounds as plausible as any other explanation I've been able to come up with.

 

I really thought at the start of season 4 with the mystery flu and the walkers with bleeding eyes that we were about to see some full-on mutation of whatever the virus is that animates walkers in the first place.  I'm still a little annoyed that they chose to go the murder whodunnit route and then just dropped the whole thing but I suppose they thought it would have been too sciencey when they were planning on introducing the mullet of doom and his magical mystery cure in the same season.

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All good ideas. Remember how when Shane was turning he had those flashes of zombie life? I always wondered what was going on there (I think Jim experienced it too) and was hoping marvelous Milton would shed some light on that but it just seems to have been dropped. They don't seem to be terribly interested in the "science" behind all this. The best we had was the CDC and that was Darabont's thing so I doubt we'll get any satisfactory explanations, Dr. Mullet notwithstanding.

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I'm watching Land of The Dead, and there is a zombie operating a jack-hammer. Which makes TWD seem incredibly concerned about credibility.

 

On the other hand, the people in the movie refer to the zombies as "the stenches" which is a fabulous name.

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I love the stenches! Great name. Of course, that could apply to our Merry Band of Travelers at this point. The Walkers vs. The Stenches. Hahahahaha!

Yes! They aren't really Camp Dinner Bell anymore, and they just got rid of the Yahoos! "The Five Stenches"---another good name for a band too!

 

Oh the zombie in the movie is now operating a self-serve gas pump.

Edited by kikismom
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OMG, we're all joined at the hip!  I watched some of that this afternoon, wondering why Patrick Jane was fighting zombies.  But then, because I'd had the insane work week from hell, I left at 3.30 to watch Keanu Reeves shoot the crap out of everything that moved in John Wick.  Thank you, Keanu, I feel much better now and I'm calling John Wick on my ZA team.

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One thing that bothers me about the walkers is that they now have cardboard skulls, basically. Fine - you say that all body parts weaken after a certain amount of time, bones included. Fine, okay.

But how come other bones aren't weakening like skulls? Shouldn't walkers' femurs, tibias, and fibulas be like cardboard as well? And so zombies should just be dragging themselves around or just lyin' and snappin'- because their leg bones snapped under their weight. When Glen was trapped by Merle in the room with the zombie at Woodbury, I believe it was pretty easy for Glenn to snap the ARM bones.

Now I'm willing to suspend a lot of disbelief for zombies, but the skulls should still be pretty hard if the showrunners are leaving the legs strong enough to walk on.

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But how come other bones aren't weakening like skulls? Shouldn't walkers' femurs, tibias, and fibulas be like cardboard as well?

That is an excellent observation.

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One thing that bothers me about the walkers is that they now have cardboard skulls, basically. Fine - you say that all body parts weaken after a certain amount of time, bones included. Fine, okay.

Skulls turn into cantaloupe rinds at the instant of death—to make sticking a knife in a loved one's head easy peasy lemon squeezy.

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If anyone hasn't seen "Zombieland", I recommend it highly!

 

Best movie ever - Double Tap!!

 

One thing that bothers me about the walkers is that they now have cardboard skulls, basically. Fine - you say that all body parts weaken after a certain amount of time, bones included. Fine, okay.

 

I noticed that too. When Tyreese took out poor Bob, and the doctor in the hospital room to the guy he couldn't save, the bones seemed so fragile. Flesh rots, but there is a reason we find the bones of humans from 2000 years ago. Bone is pretty strong and resilient, even buried in the ground for centuries. Unless the virus causes osteoporosis also???

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I noticed that too. When Tyreese took out poor Bob, and the doctor in the hospital room to the guy he couldn't save, the bones seemed so fragile. Flesh rots, but there is a reason we find the bones of humans from 2000 years ago. Bone is pretty strong and resilient, even buried in the ground for centuries. Unless the virus causes osteoporosis also???

Yes. Even if you fan-wank that the virus causes weird bone decay, it doesn't explain the inconsistency between bone types. And last night we saw them stab through the skull of one of the patients that had *just* died, which was like when Tyrese knifed Bob. Instant skull softening? I find that incredibly annoying.

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I believe, but I'm not sure, that Tyreese stabbed Bob through the temple but yeah, stabbing right through a skull would never be as easy as we see here.

 

 A couple of guys on YT have been experimenting with using the zombie killing tools and methods seen on the show. Some of them, like Maggie splitting skulls with a street sign, just did not work.

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It's kind of the same thing as with vampire movies, where people easily drive a stake into their hearts by hand because that's how you kill them. While I'm sure it's possible to inflict an eventually fatal wound on a living person that way what with profuse bleeding, try driving a sharpened stick six inches into a side of beef with one motion sometime.

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Skulls turn into cantaloupe rinds at the instant of death—to make sticking a knife in a loved one's head easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I watched with CC on; when Tyreese put the knife in Bob's skull in the church, the caption read  SQUELCHH!

 

 

Their teeth should be falling out too. No way the zombies can bite your flesh off like you're a KFC drumstick.

Yes, I am still mad about when Zach got bit in the Big Sp!t and the walker took a bite right through his blue jeans. But Bob's first bite, he was saved by a gauze bandage.

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I was taken aback when Tyreese lined the knife up against Bob's temple last week.  I thought he'd go through the soft palate or the nose or the eye (and I didn't particularly want to see that because eye gore grosses me out)  I can fanwank the hell out of softer skulls on older zombies while the leg bones linger (muscle memory keeping the legs moving?) but the freshly dead are a harder ask.  Zombies need teeth, though.  I will not compromise on that, regardless of how melon-like the head. 

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I was taken aback when Tyreese lined the knife up against Bob's temple last week. 

Temple, or ear? I thought both Tyreese and the Grady doc were giving the freshly dead a hot shot through the ear canal.

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when Zach got bit in the Big Sp!t and the walker took a bite right through his blue jeans.

 

It seems zombies miraculously attain the bite force of a predator like the hyena, about 1100 psi, and without the large and powerful canines of hyenas.

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Human beings could probably bite pretty damn hard if not concerned about pain or breaking teeth. Eventually you'd get a zombie messing up its own mouth with such behavior, but there's always more of them.

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Human beings could probably bite pretty damn hard if not concerned about pain or breaking teeth. Eventually you'd get a zombie messing up its own mouth with such behavior, but there's always more of them.

That brings up a good point. Why aren't the walkers' gums and teeth decaying? I'd think on the first chomp that their teeth would just fall out or break off.

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Probably for the same reason that we've seen our gang snap off obviously brittle arms or hands with little effort while the walker that attacked Dale apparently still had enough strength or sharpness or whatever in its hands to gut a full-grown man.  Because that's what the script says that day.

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As the show goes on it's getting harder to believe the zombies are still animated and walking around. It's like they rot to a certain point and then stop. You'd think that survivors could hole up somewhere and just wait out the natural decomposition forces or weather, bugs and microbes. Even if the last season showed the walkers all gone and the survivors had to rebuild some version of society, it would be pretty interesting.

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As the show goes on it's getting harder to believe the zombies are still animated and walking around. It's like they rot to a certain point and then stop. You'd think that survivors could hole up somewhere and just wait out the natural decomposition forces or weather, bugs and microbes. Even if the last season showed the walkers all gone and the survivors had to rebuild some version of society, it would be pretty interesting.

 

Yeah - but in the interim until final decomposition, survivors still have to, you know, EAT and stuff.  And thangs.

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Some thangs we just have to ignore, like our people with their gleaming, shiny, white teeth that look as though they just had a professional polishing.

 

I guess even in the ZA, flossing is very important, just as shaving one's pits seems to be.

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I was watching some season 1 and 2 earlier. I think Rick's teeth are whiter now. Must have been the judicious brushing after eating fruit leather.

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Actually, dental care would truly be one of my highest priorities following the fall of societal structure.

It's not like you can run down to the dentist to get a bum tooth or cavity fixed, after all.

And I'm pretty certain anybody who ever saw Cast Away would agree.

 

 

 

 

ETA: Correcting damn autocorrecting.

Edited by Nashville
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Rustbelt Writer, I'm hoping this show sticks around long enough to reach the point where society is rebuilding despite the zombies.  They're still there, they're still a threat, but they're no longer unbeatable and life is going on around them.  Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy started at the point and I really liked it, before getting thoroughly disenchanted with the last two books in the series and scurrying back to the warm embrace of The Walking Dead.

 

And, yes, I'd be meticulous about the dental hygiene too.  I don't want to be the person who turns zombie after dying of a tooth infection.

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Why aren't the walkers' gums and teeth decaying? I'd think on the first chomp that their teeth would just fall out or break off.

Very true and even freshly turned walkers would be lucky to have any teeth left to rot after a meal or two.

 

Living humans consider what we are eating and use the bare minimum bite force needed for the task at hand. We don’t chomp down full force on salads and spaghetti, while for tougher things like steak, we cut pieces off with a knife and chew rather than try tearing chunks off with our front teeth. Additionally, pain tells us to cease and desist immediately if something harder than our teeth can handle, like a pebble, gets mixed up in our food.

 

Walkers OTOH, have only one mode; chomp down full force on any part of a human that gets into bite range. The average human during the initial outbreak would be like a minefield of buttons, zippers, necklaces, pens, watches, car keys, Zippos, cell phones, belt buckles, coins etc. Nor will they stop after losing a few teeth. Without the ability to feel pain, if a walker gets, say, a piece of metal zipper along with the meat in their mouthful, they’d simply keep munching on the whole package until they’d ground out all their teeth.

 

By the time Rick got to Atlanta on his horse, he’d have thought there was a hockey convention in town with all the gap-toothed walkers shambling around.

 

Here’s a humorous article on why any zombie outbreak is doomed to failure. Sample quote, “if we look at zombies as a species, they are pretty much designed for failure. Their main form of reproduction is also their only source of food and their top predator. That's like having to fight a lion every time you to want to have sex or make a sandwich.” http://www.cracked.com/article_18683_7-scientific-reasons-zombie-outbreak-would-fail-quickly.html

 

While some points (like biting being a shitty way to spread a disease) are mitigated somewhat due to specific TWD rules that differ from general zombie ones, some, like #3 are pretty immutable.

 

ETA: Why is this thread marked with a spoiler tag? Caused me to avoid it completely until, while going back to read some stuff in the  "Guide to survival" thread, I saw HalcyonDays description on what this thread was about.

Edited by Trek
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