Pop culture may already be saturated with zombie films and features (<em>World War Z</em>, <em>The Walking Dead</em> and <em>Warm Bodies</em>, to name but a few), but it’s Halloween and so we feel the need to revisit the nagging question: Who would win a fight between a vampire and a zombie?
Unlike many other specter inspectors who might take a … ah … stab at predicting the outcome of zombies vs. vampires, we are committed to remaining impartial; to investigate the issue with as much objective science (fiction) as possible. To do this, we’re going to approach the supernatural showdown with five key questions. First up:
<strong>1. Are both vampires and zombies “undead”?</strong>
<strong>Yes.</strong> The concept of the undead – defined as a human that has died, yet retains some of its <em>anima</em> – is not new. It has been visited by many prominent suspense novelists, from Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley to Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, not to mention ancient references like that of 1st century Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso in his work, <em>Metamporphoses</em>.
Taking these references together as a whole and including more contemporary treatment of the undead, we are forced to conclude that yes – both zombies and vampires are undead. And so we have our baseline - both of these things are already dead and, so far, equally matched.
<strong>2. What happens if a vampire bites a zombie?</strong>
<strong>Nothing (to the zombie, anyway).</strong> Revisiting the mythology tells us that a vampire bite <em>can</em> result in an “infection” that <em>may</em> lead to vampirism. The problem here, however, is the presumption that a circulatory system – not to mention blood – is needed to carry the vampire pathogen in the victim.
Zombies, being the equivalent of animated cadavers, have neither blood nor circulatory systems and so would arguably be immune to infection. Regardless, both old and new vampire folklorists agree that vampires need blood to survive and may even be weakened by “dead” blood (so says <em>Interview with the Vampire</em> author Anne Rice), so a vampire would never bite a bloodless zombie anyway.
<strong>3. What happens if a zombie bites a vampire?</strong>
<strong>It depends.</strong> Zombies are biters, too, and what’s worse is that they don’t care about the outcome. A vampire’s only real bodily defense is something that’s up for debate among many vampire storytellers (including Stephanie Meyer of <em>Twilight</em> fame), and that’s whether a vampire <em>even has blood</em>.
If they do, it would certainly be a disadvantage that leaves vampires vulnerable to zombification. If they don’t, however, it could help explain all the teleportation, flying, lack of reflection and turning-into-animals razzle dazzle that comes with the standard vampire package. Speaking of which …
<strong>4. Are vampires stronger than zombies?</strong>
<strong>Yes.</strong> We could quibble by saying that it “depends on the vampire” – and it probably would – but a majority of enthusiasts and mythologists agree that vampires <em>do</em> have superhuman strength, because they are supernatural beings. Zombies, on the other hand, are wicked strong simply because they don’t acknowledge the limits of their muscular range or capacity. They just keep going and going, like murderous, mindless battery bunnies … minus the annoying cymbals.
So, vampires may have an advantage when it comes to strength, but the living dead never say die.
<strong>5. Can a vampire’s ancient wisdom and superpowers overcome a zombie’s relentlessness?</strong>
<strong>Yep!</strong> Answering questions 1-4 to the best of our abilities brings us to this: Vampires of lore have a host of weaknesses (sunlight, silver, garlic, etc.), but a zombie would never know it. A vampire, though, is basically an immortal ninja wizard. Forget the teeth – it can <em>fly</em>, man. How does a zombie fight that? With more aggressive moaning?
Now, there are a bunch of what-ifs that could put the zombie on top, but this is what vampire lawyers call “letting the exception swallow the rule.” We’re talking about a proper fight; not a zombie stumbling into a vampire nest during daylight hours and enjoying a bloodsucker buffet.
But, what do you say? <a href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx">ATGStores.com</a> wishes all of you a Happy Halloween and invites you to voice your opinion on the likely victor: zombie or vampire?