Charlie Brooker, Autor der fantastischen Zombie-Serie Dead Set, hat eine Replik auf Simon Peggs „Anti-Rennende-Zombies“-Artikel geschrieben, in dem er von Obama über Skeletor bis hin zu rennenden Zombies thematisch alles abdeckt, was mich montagmorgens so halbwegs interessiert und ich muss zugeben: Er hat in ein paar Punkten sogar Recht. Schlurfende Zombies sind aber trotzdem creepier.
Last week Simon Pegg wrote a piece for this paper complaining about the running zombies in my preposterous horror series Dead Set. Proper zombies don't run, they walk, he said. I was all ready to write a stinging riposte until I read his article all the way through and realised it was dauntingly well-argued. So I'll keep this short and combative and hope I get away with it.
Simon: your outright rejection of running zombies leaves you exposed, in a very real and damning sense, as a terrible racist. And if the recent election of Obama has taught us one thing, it's that the age of such knee-jerk prejudice is firmly behind us. Still, let's indulge your disgraceful bigotry for a moment by assuming speedy zombies need defending, and list the reasons why ours ran, shall we?
1) I like running zombies. I just do.
2) 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.
3) 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.
4) Even George Romero, the godfather of zombies, bent the rules from time to time. Witness the very first zombie in Night of the Living Dead, which moves at a fair old whack and even picks up a rock to try to smash a car window. Or the two kiddywink zombies in Dawn of the Dead, who burst out of a room and run - yes run - towards Ken Foree. I know you saw these scenes. You know you saw these scenes. And you also know that if this were a trial, this would be the moment where you splutter in the witness box and admit you're completely wrong.
5) Running zombies are, to be frank, cheaper than stumbling ones. You only need one or two to present a massive threat. I love a huge mass of shambling undead as much as the next guy, but we couldn't afford that many crowd scenes. The original plan was to set the final episode six months in the future, by which time the zombies were badly decayed and could only shuffle (although "freshies" would still run), but budget and time constraints ruled this out. Which would you rather see - running zombies or absolutely no zombies at all?
Face facts. It's time to embrace diversity, Simon. Make room in your heart for all breeds of zombie. Except ones that talk. They're just silly.