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 About Zombies

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PostSubject: About Zombies   Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:32 pm

According to the tenets of Voodoo, a dead person can be revived by a bokor, or sorcerer. Zombies remain under the control of the bokor since they have no will of their own. "Zombi" is also another name of the Vodou snake lwa Damballah Wedo, of Niger-Congo origin; it is akin to the Kikongo word nzambi, which means "god". There also exists within the voudon tradition the zombi astral which is a part of the human soul that is captured by a bokor and used to enhance the bokor's power. The zombi astral is typically kept inside a bottle which the bokor can sell to clients for luck, healing or business success. It is understood that after a time God will take the soul back and so the zombi is a temporary spiritual entity.[2]
In 1937, while researching folklore in Haiti, Zora Neale Hurston encountered the case of a woman that appeared in a village, and a family claimed she was Felicia Felix-Mentor, a relative who had died and been buried in 1907 at the age of 29. Hurston pursued rumors that the affected persons were given powerful drugs, but she was unable to locate individuals willing to offer much information. She wrote:
“ What is more, if science ever gets to the bottom of Voodoo in Haiti and Africa, it will be found that some important medical secrets, still unknown to medical science, give it its power, rather than gestures of ceremony. - Zora Neale Hurston.[3] ”
Several decades later, Wade Davis, a Harvard ethnobotanist, presented a pharmacological case for zombies in two books, The Serpent and the Rainbow (1985) and Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie (1988). Davis traveled to Haiti in 1982 and, as a result of his investigations, claimed that a living person can be turned into a zombie by two special powders being entered into the blood stream (usually via a wound). The first, coup de poudre (French: 'powder strike'), includes tetrodotoxin (TTX), the poison found in the pufferfish. The second powder is composed of dissociatives such as datura. Together, these powders were said to induce a death-like state in which the victim's will would be entirely subject to that of the bokor. Davis also popularized the story of Clairvius Narcisse, who was claimed to have succumbed to this practice.
Davis' claim has been criticized for a number of scientific inaccuracies. One of these is the unlikely suggestion that Haitian witch doctors can keep “zombies” in a state of pharmacologically induced trance for many years.[4] Symptoms of TTX poisoning range from numbness and nausea to paralysis, unconsciousness, and death, but do not include a stiffened gait or a deathlike trance. According to neurologist Terence Hines, the scientific community dismisses tetrodotoxin as the cause of this state, and Davis' assessment of the nature of the reports of Haitian zombies is overly credulous.[5]
Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing further highlighted the link between social and cultural expectations and compulsion, in the context of schizophrenia and other mental illness, suggesting that schizogenesis may account for some of the psychological aspects of zombification.[6]
[edit]The Virus

In popular culture, zombies have mainly been referred to have been created by an infectious virus, which passes on via bites and contact or fluids. This theory has been the most commonly accepted out of all the theories (others being radiation from Venus (Night Of The Living Dead) and rage-infested monkeys(28 Days Later), though the latter could fall into this category).
[edit]Popular culture

This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2009)
Main article: Zombies in popular culture

Zombies from George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, a zombie film
The flesh-hungry undead, often in the form of ghouls and vampires, have been a fixture of world mythology.[citation needed]One Thousand and One Nights is an early piece of literature to reference ghouls. A prime example is the story "The History of Gherib and His Brother Agib" (from Nights vol. 6), in which Gherib, an outcast prince, fights off a family of ravenous ghouls, enslaves them, and converts them to Islam.[7]
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, while not a zombie novel proper, prefigures many 20th century ideas about zombies in that the resurrection of the dead is portrayed as a scientific process rather than a mystical one, and that the resurrected dead are degraded and more violent than their living selves. Frankenstein, published in 1818, has its roots in European folklore,[8] whose tales of vengeful dead also informed the evolution of the modern conception of vampires as well as zombies. Later notable 19th century stories about the avenging undead included Ambrose Bierce's "The Death of Halpin Frayser", and various Gothic Romanticism tales by Edgar Allan Poe. Though their works couldn't be properly considered zombie fiction, the supernatural tales of Bierce and Poe would prove influential on later undead-themed writers such as H. P. Lovecraft, by Lovecraft's own admission.[9]
One book to expose more recent western culture to the concept of the zombie was The Magic Island by W.B. Seabrook in 1929. Island is the sensationalized account of a narrator in Haiti who encounters voodoo cults and their resurrected thralls. Time magazine claimed that the book "introduced 'zombi' into U.S. speech".[10]
In the 1920s and early 1930s, the American horror author H. P. Lovecraft wrote several novelettes that explored the zombie or undead theme from different angles. "Cool Air", "In the Vault" (which includes perhaps the first recorded character bitten by a zombie), "The Thing on the Doorstep", "The Outsider" and "Pickman's Model" are all undead or zombie-related, but the most definitive zombie story in Lovecraft's oeuvre was 1921's Herbert West--Reanimator, which "helped define zombies in popular culture".[11] This Frankenstein-inspired series featured Herbert West, a mad scientist who attempts to revive human corpses with mixed results. Notably, the resurrected dead are uncontrollable, mostly mute, primitive and extremely violent; though they are not referred to as zombies, their portrayal was prescient, anticipating the modern conception of zombies by several decades.
In 1932, Victor Halperin directed White Zombie, a horror film starring Bela Lugosi. This film, capitalizing on the same voodoo zombie themes as Seabrook's book of three years prior, is often regarded as the first legitimate zombie film ever made.[12] Here zombies are depicted as mindless, unthinking henchmen under the spell of an evil magician. Zombies, often still using this voodoo-inspired rationale, were initially uncommon in cinema, but their appearances continued sporadically through the 1930s to the 1960s,[13] with notable films including I Walked With a Zombie (1943) and the infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959).
The 1936 film Things to Come, based on the novel by H.G. Wells, anticipates later zombie films with an apocalyptic scenario surrounding "the wandering sickness", a highly contagious viral plague that causes the infected to wander slowly and insensibly, very much like zombies, infecting others on contact.[14] Though this film's direct influence on later films isn't known, Things to Come is still compared favorably by some critics[15] to modern zombies.
[edit]Impact of Night of the Living Dead
In 1968 director George Romero released the independent black-and-white zombie film Night of the Living Dead. The story, which was cited as groundbreaking, was the first modern zombie film. Although not the first zombie film, Night of the Living Dead became the predecessor of many films with the same plot.
The movie ushered in the splatter film sub-genre. As many film historians have pointed out, horror prior to Romero's film had mostly involved rubber masks and costumes, cardboard sets, or mysterious figures lurking in the shadows. They were set in locations far removed from urban and suburban America.
The film and its successors spawned countless imitators that borrowed elements instituted by Romero: Tombs of the Blind Dead, Zombie, Hell of the Living Dead, The Evil Dead, Night of the Comet, Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Creeps, Braindead, Children of the Living Dead, and the video game series Resident Evil (later adapted as films in 2002, 2004, and 2007), Dead Rising, and House of the Dead. Night of the Living Dead is parodied in films such as Night of the Living Bread and Shaun of the Dead, and in episodes of The Simpsons ("Treehouse of Horror III", 1992), South Park ("Pink Eye", 1997; "Night of the Living Homeless", 2007) and Invader Zim (Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom, 2001;).[16][17][18] The word zombie is never used, but Romero's film introduced the theme of zombies as reanimated, flesh-eating cannibals.
[edit]In other media
Modern zombies, as portrayed in books, films, games, and haunted attractions, are different from both voodoo zombies and those of folklore. Modern zombies are typically depicted in popular culture as mindless, unfeeling monsters with a hunger for human flesh. Typically, these creatures can sustain damage far beyond that of a normal, living human. Generally these can only be killed by a wound to the head, or being set on fire, and can pass whatever syndrome that causes their condition onto others through bites or cuts.
Usually, zombies are not depicted as thralls to masters, as in the film White Zombie or the spirit-cult myths. Rather, modern zombies are depicted in mobs, flocks or waves, seeking either flesh to eat or people to kill, and are typically rendered to exhibit signs of physical decomposition such as rotting flesh, discolored eyes, and open wounds, and moving with a slow, shambling gait. They are generally incapable of communication and show no signs of personality or rationality, though George Romero's zombies appear capable of learning and very basic levels of speech as seen in the films Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead.[19][19]
Zombies are a popular theme for video games, particularly of the first-person shooter and role-playing genre. Some important titles in this area include the Resident Evil series, Dead Rising, House of the Dead and Left 4 Dead.[20] The popular, multiplayer online role-playing game Urban Dead, a free grid-based browser game where zombies and survivors fight for control of a ruined city, is one of the most popular games of its type. Some games even allow the gamer to play as a zombie such as Stubbs the Zombie in "Rebel Without a Pulse". Commonly in these games, Zombies are impervious to most attacks, except trauma to the head (which would instantly "kill" the zombie).
There are still significant differences among the depictions of zombies by various media; for one comparison see the contrasts between zombies by Night of the Living Dead authors George A. Romero and John A. Russo as they evolved in the two separate film series that followed. In some zombie apocalypse narratives, such as The Return of the Living Dead and Dead Set, zombies are depicted as being as quick and nimble as the living, a further departure from the established genre stereotype.
Another departure may consist of the image of zombies as loveable creatures, "being tamed, Disneyfied and made suitable for children", as featured in "zom-coms" (derived from the abbreviation of situation comedies, sit-coms) such as Fido, starring comic actor Billy Connolly as a boy's pet zombie [21].
[edit]Zombie Apocalypse

Main article: zombie apocalypse
The zombie apocalypse is a particular scenario of apocalyptic fiction that customarily has a science fiction/horror rationale. In a zombie apocalypse, a widespread (usually global) rise of zombies hostile to human life engages in a general assault on civilization. Victims of zombies may become zombies themselves. This causes the outbreak to become an exponentially growing crisis: the spreading "zombie plague" swamps normal military and law enforcement organizations, leading to the panicked collapse of civilian society until only isolated pockets of survivors remain, scavenging for food and supplies in a world reduced to a pre-industrial hostile wilderness.
The literary subtext of a zombie apocalypse is usually that civilization is inherently fragile in the face of truly unprecedented threats and that most individuals cannot be relied upon to support the greater good if the personal cost becomes too high.[20] The narrative of a zombie apocalypse carries strong connections to the turbulent social landscape of the United States in the 1960s when the originator of this genre, the film Night of the Living Dead, was first created.[22][23] Many also feel that zombies allow people to deal with their own anxiety about the end of the world.[24] In fact the breakdown of society as a result of zombie infestation has been portrayed in countless zombie-related media since Night of the Living Dead.[25] Kim Paffrenroth notes that "more than any other monster, zombies are fully and literally apocalyptic ... they signal the end of the world as we have known it."[25]
Thanks to large number of films and video games, the idea of a zombie apocalypse has entered the mainstream and there have been efforts by many fans to prepare for the hypothetical future zombie apocalypse. Efforts include creating weapons,[26] selling posters to inform people on how to survive a zombie outbreak
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PostSubject: Re: About Zombies   Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:48 pm

Umm . This didn't or did help me . . . in anyway . what so ever .

But it was still interesting , I read most of it :]

But could Sam be the bokor ? Or somebody controlling them :O

. . .

Or not
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