Myth Bashing – Frontal Lobe à la mode
We are back once again to bash myths Zombie Survival Crew style. Our researchers wracked their brains to gather this knowledge so you, loyal brigadiers, don’t end up with your bones as toothpicks for the undead.
Myth: Zombies prefer to chow down on grey matter.
Fact: Well if that’s the case, I know more than a few people that will be perfectly safe once the Zombiepocalypse kicks into high gear… [RC ducks a crossbow bolt] I’m kidding!
The zombies we know and see most often on film and in television shows are based on George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. In that film the word “zombie” never once occurred. The undead were called ghouls.
What are ghouls? Ghouls stem from Arabic folklore. In those tales, ghouls were demons that took the form of animals to lure victims in and devour them alive. Alternative tales state that ghouls assumed the form of their last meal, often appearing as human-munching children. Still more stories tell us that ghouls prefer to haunt graveyards and eat freshly interred corpses.
The main theme through all of the variations of the term ghoul is, of course, devouring flesh. Which is why Romero used that term for his animated corpses. At the time, it fit far better than calling them zombies. Zombies had been something solely derived from magical means in movies like White Zombie.
So where the heck did the masses get the idea that a zombie is only interested in our brains? Five words, my friends: Return of the Living Dead. That one movie became such a cult classic that the myths they created to tell their version of the zombie creation process seeped into popular culture. “Braaaiiins” is something easy for people to remember—a quick way to let someone know that their buddies were doing their best zombie impersonation… that didn’t involve an abstract interpretation of the Thriller dance.
Brain-eating zombies took off in popularity for a little while, but we’re seeing the reemergence of the ghoul-like zombie. I prefer to think of the former as picky eaters. Be adventurous, grab a leg and gnaw away. Don’t turn up your nose at an “inferior” cut of human. You can’t be picky during the Zombiepocalypse.