Thursday, January 29, 2009

Zombie Muni-Muni

What is horror to you?

The thought came to me in the shower today. One man's horror could be another man's fantasy. You can tell a lot about a person by what scares them. Are their spooks real or imagined? Could they exist in someone else's real life? Is it something eventual? Is it alive, dying or back from the dead?

My interest in zombies started after I lost my dad. Not that I find then scary, but I've suddenly become interested in the imaginary problem of how to deal with the formerly dead, and what to do if the said formerly dead was someone you knew when he was alive. I haven't written a zombie story about my dad yet. I think the phone call from nowhere story (its called "Lao Peh," came out in the Free Press and is included in Waking the Dead, my upcoming book -- yes, I'm plugging) is enough for now.

But judging from the movies, zombies are relatively easy to battle -- all you need is brains (yours, as long as you keep them in your head) and a chainsaw (not necessarily yours). Even smart zombies can be taken down if you have enough firepower.

The Philippines doesn't have a zombie tradition, but what little can be found are more tragic or comedic (this one, not always intentionally) than scary.

Would the walking dead be sacry to Filipinos or would it be something welcomed? Whe the dead rose in Zsa Zsa Zaturnah, Zsa Zsa's encounter with his dead father was tear-jerking while the whole encounter was more funny than scary (which was Carlo Vergara's hilarious point). I don't know if Pinoys can be scared of the walking dead, perhaps because of close family ties. And should the dead turn rabid, well, I don't think Pinoys would have any qualms about offing them either, no matter who they were in their past life.

I still have to think about what scares me. I would have said that it would be my dad dying, but that's happened already and I'm still here. I don't know if I'd be scared if he came back to life. I don't know if I could shoot the zombie him in the head if he tried to eat me, or if I would want to shoot him in the head at all. My options are open at this point.

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