The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

"Left 4 Dead" vs. "Diary of the Dead"

Yesterday, I participated in two very different zombie experiences. First, I watched the 2007 (I think) George Romero movie, "Diary of the Dead". I thought, hey, it's Romero! It's GOT to be amazing, right? Wrong. It was nothing special. Cheese, for sure. Then, last night, I played the video game "Left 4 Dead", which I've actually done for the past three nights. (And, by the way, I finally beat all 4 main campaigns plus the extra Crash Course campaign, yay for me!)

The zombies in one were extremely different from the zombies in the other. According to most die-hard zombie extremists, the infected masses in L4D are not, in fact, zombies at all. Why? Because they move fast, they mutate, etc. We have no indication of whether the humans died before raising as zombies or if they just turned into zombies after getting infected. I guess, truth be told, you also don't really see them feasting on human flesh in the game. Mostly, they just seem to be leaning against walls or shambling around until they hear you or some other noise like a car alarm, in which case they run like crazies and try to kill you. Also, even though these infected scratch and attack you as a player character, you never seem to contract the infection yourself.

Romero zombies are the real zombies. Purist zombies. They are the living dead, corpses come back to life mysteriously craving human flesh. Anyone bitten by one of these zombies inevitably dies, then comes back as one. Interestingly, in this particular Romero movie, anyone who dies, period, comes back as a zombie. They walk slowly with stiff looking joints. You have to shoot them in the head to kill them (another difference, since you can kill infected by shooting them anywhere in L4D - although you do get special achievements for head shots). They are basically the same type of zombies you see in "Night of the Living Dead", Romero's cult classic, and the first of the real zombie movies.

The differences are important to me since I am currently writing a novel about zombies. I'm sure that if I write the L4D type of zombies and dare to actually call them zombies, some people will call foul by saying my infected beings are not pure zombies at all. Of course, I have to get published for anyone to have discussions about my work, but let's just assume that I do get published and that the novel does well. Do I want my zombies to follow the purist extremes? Or should I play around with the rules a little bit? From what I hear, the new movie "The Crazies" is also about zombie-like infected humans, but they are not true zombies at all. They are more like the L4D type infected than the Romero-like ghouls. Maybe I can talk my loving husband into taking me to see that tonight for a date night :P. Hey, it's research!

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Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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