Welcome To Lazarus

Instead of a "BANG", humanity is passing away with the shuffling of dead feet, and hungry moans. Desperate men and women fight against the rising tide for the newly risen dead.Sometimes, though, the undead are not he most dangerous things out there. Civilization has failed the test; the only thing left is survival.

Lazarus is just one of many places where humanity holds on by a thread, and life and death come as easily as a roll of the dice.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fast vs Slow And The Pathology Of Zeds (Pt. 1)

Ok, I am going to take a little time to bloviate, here, and give my views on the fast vs. slow zombie argument. We aren't talking classical voodoo zombies; we are talking about the celluloid "BBBRRAaaaains" type we all like watching on the screen and gaming with.  Since both All Things Zombie and Ambush Z have rules for the different types, I think it's something to discuss, plus I'm a bit bored right now.

I'm not really sure which is more geeky; the fact that there is fast vs. slow zombie argument, the fact that I am going to post my thoughts on it all, or the fact that you are actually going to sit there in front of your computer and read what I am about to post.  You are here to begin with, so you have already embraced your geekiness, let's continue on full speed ahead.  Back to the matter at hand...

Fast vs Slow

Proponents of the "fast" zombie, as seen in, say, "Dawn Of The Dead (2004)", think that they are much more terrifying, in that there is no getting way from them, short of being a track star.  Fast zombies also open the door for a broader interpretation of the genre.  The "rage" zombies from the 28 Days franchise are a good example.  They are  zombies in every aspect, other than they are not "undead".  No matter where you stand, you have to admit the idea of being chased down and being eaten, by anything, is an unsettling thought.  Especially true if you were a slow poke, like me, as a kid.  I wasn't fat, I was "husky"!

Purists say that the genre has no place for "fast zombies".  They point to Romoero's vision of zombies as slow moving husks, which are only dangerous if they surprise you, or overwhelm you, as the one true zombie arche-type.  Their terror is derived from their slow monolithic pace.  No matter what you do, no matter where you go, they are going to come after you and eat you.  Fast zombie supporter's argument against them can basically be summed up in a word..."BORING!".  Personally, I blame computer games and the instant gratification impulses of the youth culture...that's another issue, though.

I fall in the middle.  I think that both types fit perfectly into the genre, and can in fact co-exist; especially in zombie games.  From a physiological approach, my stand point makes perfect sense...well okay as much sense as can be had in this discussion.  Think about what happens to the human body when we die.  Immediately, the body starts to decompose.  Within hours, rigor mortis sets in, making the body stiff.  hours, sometimes days after that rigor goes away, and the joints are again easily movable. If we apply what we know about horror zombies to the process, we see stages in the life (death?) cycle of a zombie.

If you've stuck with me thus far, I'm gonna leave you hanging, until the next post in a few days.  In it, I'll lay out the "logic" behind my stance, and walk you through the pathology of the zombie cycle in the world that Lazarus exists in.


  1. Always slow zombies for me, fast zombies are just trying to pass a virus on through contamination.

  2. I am right in the middle as well mate. And for a game I do not see why you can not have both kinds? Even in real life some people just move faster than others. React faster, run faster, talks faster etc you get the picture.

    Each group has its scare factor.

  3. I prefer slow zombies in most cases, but sometimes I can enjoy the fast zombies too. The Dawn of the Dead remake does alright with them. (The Day of th Dead remake...not so much. Those zombies were not only fast but also scaled walls and ran on ceilings like the xenomorphs from Aliens..

    But for fantasizing about surviving a Zombie Apocalypse, I only ever think about slow zombies. Fast zombies you cannot plan for, I don't think.

    Simon Pegg had a good article on it:


  4. I think zombie movie creators went for fast zombies because it is easier, in terms of narrative, to scare people with fast zombies. To make a slow zombie work you have to really effectively tell the story and build suspense. It also allows more action-oriented heroes (ala "The Horde") who could waltz through a field of slow zombies without breaking a sweat.

  5. I like both also, for the scare factor its hands down fast zombies, to actually be caught up in a Zombie Apocalypse I can only hope it would be the slow variety, if not then I would have to have a lot of fire power !! blah blah blah....

  6. Very interesting article. I prefer slow zombies, but throwing in an occasional fast Zombie can really keep players on their toes so I use both.

  7. fast zombies will take the fun out of the zombie apoc,i think they are part of the mtv culture,like movies nowadays,fast cuts and short scenes..i like the classic slow shammblers,but fast zedz do have their place in ATZ

  8. I prefer the slow almost sneaky types to the uber fast. Day of the dead was good apart from the ceiling climbing bits

  9. I'm old school and I much prefer the slow moving zombies. I thought Shintokamikaze phrased it very well and his views certainly reflect my own.

  10. To me the cinematic shambling Zombie is a metaphor for the inevitability of death. A relentless, unyielding, ever-growing tide of doom. You might avoid it for a little while, you might hold it off, you might even push it back a little, but you can't stop it.
    For the record I like having alternate zombie types in my gaming. Gives the Heroes a chance to be heroic. :)

  11. I enjoy both but prey for the slow ones. Z. A. Recht had some good ideas about combining both, which works very well in his two Morningstar novels. Pre or post rigour works as a reasonable explanation too.

  12. i too prefer the "traditional"slow zombie, to the fast (modern) one, perhaps it's an age thing. As to gamingthem, there will no doubtbe a place for, fast slow, and smart zombies !


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