Wow, my second year of Halloween-themed blog posts. I thought I’d kick it off with something quick and light; namely, my idea for a zombie movie.
Since this is the Internet, I know I will be corrected if I’m wrong, but I can’t think of any zombie movies that start with the very first zombie attack. 28 Days Later came close, as they showed the infected rage monkeys and how they got out, but 28 Days Later isn’t truly, technically, a zombie movie. And even then, they cut away and skipped ahead to, what was it, like 20-something days after that, with the main character waking up in a hospital, which brings us to The Walking Dead (AMC’s version and the comic book). Same thing here, main character coming late to the brain-eating show. (And also waking up in a hospital. Hmm.)
Also Night of the Living Dead (original), Dawn of the Dead (remake), and a shit-ton of others. I’m too lazy to Google them all, and again, I’ll assume that none of them started with the very first zombie, our Patient Zero. Because the zombie apocalypse has to start somewhere, right?
And here comes my movie, a mishmash of Night of the Living Dead and Contagion/Outbreak. It would begin with a man walking into a hospital ER, cradling his arm, bitching quite loudly about that stumbling weird guy outside the restaurant, the one who lurched up to him and took a bite out of his arm. Our first victim is eventually examined, and the doc notices that the bite looks infected. And, in just the little time the guy’s been here, his condition has deteriorated. He’s hospitalized, gets feverish, gets violent, and is restrained and put in a quick ad-hoc quarantine, as this hospital really isn’t equipped for anything more serious than a flu outbreak.
The guy dies soon after, and since he’s still restrained, when he re-animates, he’s not going anywhere. And now the hospital staff freaks out: the guy’s still hooked up to monitors, and even though he’s thrashing about, he has no blood pressure, no heart rate, no breathing. Maybe a little bit of brain activity, but not enough to justify his attempts to break free and, judging by his snapping jaws, make them his lunch.
The CDC gets in on it, and a team is sent out. Blah blah blah, science, and they figure out they’re dealing with a zombie. I suppose they would argue about calling it something else, something scientific, but the end is the same: they want the dude who bit this guy, the Patient Zero who’s lurching around out there unsupervised.
Anonymous blog person: Wait a second, Spielberg. You still haven’t explained how the very first zombie came to be; wasn’t that the point of your movie?
Me: I’m getting to that. I figure, this Patient Zero, the scientists find video footage from a security camera outside the restaurant and get a description of him. Or her. And they track him down and find out he was in a car wreck a week earlier, a really bad one, the sort that ends in death. Only this guy walked away from it . . . or lurched away, more accurately. No bite by a zombie worm or anything; he died, then he came back and started chewing on people.
Which would be the scariest part of the movie: that the dead come back as zombies without being bitten. Think about that, about how many people die every day, with no help from the walking dead. The CDC team soon figures out that this will be a very bad thing. New protocols have to be put in place; cremation an hour or so after death is mandatory, and never mind what your religion says about it.
Anonymous blog person: This still sounds familiar. Face it, the zombie thing has been done into the ground. Nothing new to see here. The dead coming back without being bitten; that’s out of The Walking Dead, the TV show and the comic book.
Me: Yeah, and I remember a Stephen King story, based on the George Romero zombies, that had the same concept. This guy suffers a heart attack, and reminds his family to chop off his head or burn him or whatever, because after he dies, he’s coming back. It’s hard to do an original zombie story; the best you can do is toss a bunch of interesting characters into your movie and hope for the best. But I thought that my idea, of starting at the beginning, would be kind of neat.