It has become very apparent to me that the motivation behind both zombie and vampire attacks is based on primal instinct. Though calling this phenomenon the need to feed would simply be an oversimplification. In order to understand these animal motivations it is important to examine each monster separately and then compare and contrast them. I attempted to begin doing this in some notes that I made on 12/20/07.
Vampires “need” blood to survive. This is what we are led to believe in most fables and stories about these creatures. Does it have to be human blood? In many films and televisions shows we see the non-murdering vampire types drinking pig’s blood or other animal blood that is obtained at a butcher shop (ex: Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Drawing on this statement it appears that one difference between vampires and zombies is the need for human flesh and blood opposed to being able to use animals as substitute. In regard to vampires this also brings up the issue of freshness as well the idea of draining a victim versus siring them.
Zombies. Do they eat solely brains? Must they eat fresh brains or flesh to survive? Would a zombie ever resort to cannibalism? Or is it about a need for living flesh? In the movie Resident Evil Extinction we learn that they are feeding because of a natural inclination and primitive nature to do so. They don’t need food to survive because they aren’t supporting any human functions. If zombies did eat only brains, rather than flesh how could they continue to function and pro-create/multiply. Do zombies sire victims? Is there a thought process that they go through? Are they selective or non-selective? It appears that I am leaning more towards non-selective reckless feeding frenzies to answer this part.
Zombies that eat solely brains are strategically easier to kill and force into extinction. Technically brains are much harder to extract and zombies generally move rather slow. Starvation is a possibility for dealing with the epidemic demonstrated in 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later. A counter issue with starvation is that some zombies will actually remain functional without food, but only become more enraged and violent because there needs have not been met. Following standard zombie eating habits; the only way a person could escape and attack would also lead to them actually being turned. Escape from attack = escape into the zombie life. The unfortunate thing here is that it is better to let them eat you because your demise may be more appealing than “life” after survival.
Usually the bites from zombies are on the upper body from the waste up. They tend to bite the arms and neck. I always found it interesting that in older zombie films like the original Night of the Living Dead the zombies went around chanting “brains, brains, brains” but in modern films the creature’s ability to speak, reason, and communicate is completely absent.
Side Notes: It can be humiliating to a vampire when he attempts to enter a house and does not have an invitation. When I was watching Adult Swim last week on Cartoon Network there was a parody of American Idol called Zombie Idol on Robot Chicken. After Robot Chicken Moral Oral came on and they had a zombie episode as well because Oral was bringing the dead back to life like Jesus did to Lazarus. These were strange coincidences.