Saturday, March 7, 2015

Zombies Crave Fat

After watching Episode 2 of Season 3 of The Walking Dead, on Netflix I've started to notice sort of a pattern regarding zombie attacks and fat guys. Obese men seem to be easy pickings for zombies, but have you noticed how few zombies are fat? Is it a reflection of our society's habit to regard fat people as inferior to thin people intellectually as well as physically able to escape or overcome pursuers, even dead brainless slow moving pursuers?

Without the complex characters that make up the group of survivors in The Walking Dead, the show would just be another boring zombie story. Face it, zombies are boring unless you or a loved one is the one who's being attacked. When The Group gains entrance to the prison and sets up residency there, they meet a small group of inmates; one of whom, a really huge guy called Big Tiny. At first I wondered whether the two groups could join together, keeping in mind these guys are convicted criminals guilty of who knows what. Wouldn't that have been a good sign for humanity and human nature in general? However, Rick decides they could live in the same prison, but not the same cell block. In aiding the prisoners along their zombie-filled path to the adjacent cell block Tiny is severely scratched by a zombie. I was disappointed since Big Tiny seemed to be the nicest guy of the prisoners. It would have been an interesting dynamic to add him to The Group. But no, not only was he the first of the guys to be tagged by a zombie, his crazy lisping leader chopped him into smithereens, showering himself in his blood.

In Season 2 there was poor sweet Otis who had more integrity than many survivors we viewers have met so far outside of The Group and a heart as big as his belly. His only mistake was trusting crazy, self-serving Shane who took advantage of Otis' physical size by marking him as weak and not as valuable as his own buff self and fed him to the zombies to ensure his own selfish escape. Otis knew his physical limitations but was smart and, until he teamed up with Shane, could figure out alternative ways of getting things done. Would he have survived even if Shane hadn't shot him in the leg to leave as zombie bait? Probably not. He was exhausted and on his last round of ammo. But, he did go a long way toward the success of their plan of getting needed medical provisions and fought a great fight despite his size. But he only last a couple of episodes.

After that, same season, Rick, Glenn and Hershel meet two strangers, Dave and Tony, in the town bar. Tony is pretty rotund and it's obvious, he's the dumb sidekick of the pair. He whips it out and pisses on the floor, remarking how he hasn't been laid in ages and asks the men if they have any women with them. Suddenly, it's the wild west as these strangers pose an obvious threat to The Group with their barbaric and misogynist remarks and their insistence that the men let them visit the farm. Rick skillfully shoots them both as Dave reaches for his gun in a 21st century old west showdown. Dave gets one shot to the head while Tony, the fat guy, gets three bullets.

It's not only The Walking Dead that kills off fat people pretty quickly. The movie Zombieland (one of my favorites) shows a fat guy futilely running for his life across a football field trying to escape a pursuing zombie. The image is an illustration for the main character Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) as he suggests the importance of cardio as a necessary attribute in surviving the zombie apocalypse. He sighs, "Poor fat bastard," as the terrified man is overpowered and devoured by the zombie. I don't think the contrast of the lack of fitness and the victim being portrayed on the athletic field was random. On the other hand, the other fat-guy zombies in the movie are shown wandering aimlessly in a grocery store as Columbus and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) enter on a quest for Tallahassee's constant search for Twinkies. Is the grocery store as a home for fat-guy zombies a random coupling? I don't think so.

Are heavy people born to lose, even in the highly humane show The Walking Dead? Why are they depicted as dumb or at least not as smart as thin people? Why are the obese live characters still heavy when they're scrounging for food and have been for months? Why are all the zombies skin and bones? Do they become that way over time or do they lose all flesh at resurrection?

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