Sunday, December 01, 2013

The Rage virus

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned (Rom 5:12).
Some zombie films borrow a motif from the werewolf mythos. In the werewolf mythos, a bite (or even a scratch) from a werewolf will turn the victim into a werewolf. That's also one variant in the vampire mythos.
In zombie movies of this ilk, a zombie isn't dead. The victim never died. There's a transformation scene in 28 Weeks Later where Don kisses his wife (who's a carrier of the Rage virus). We see him turn into a zombie on the spot. 
Some people compare original sin to heredity. But a better analogy might be a communicable disease. Zombies are fictitious, but there are mood-altering and mind-altering diseases. Likewise, diseases can be contagious, congenital, or hereditary. 
At one level, a disease can be mood-altering in the mundane sense that if you feel rotten physically, that will affect your attitude or outlook. Closer to home are diseases which mess with the endocrine system. They can affect personality. Most directly are neurological disorders as well as brain cancer. 
Finally, we have the mysterious category of mental illness. Although some mental illnesses have a clear physical basis, others do not. They change personality. Distort the perception of reality. Mental illness can be hereditary. 


  1. At first I thought this was an article about PMS.

  2. I'm not one to pick fights with my colleague Steve Hays, but it seems at least one zombie genre does include death before transformation. In "The Walking Dead," the bite victim dies and remains dead for a period of time, but later his physical body resurrects as a different substantial identity, one with limited capacities. I could be wrong, but that is my read on the series.

    1. And in yet another twist, a human bites a zombie and the zombie becomes human! :-)

    2. That's why it's so essential to distinguish between the zombie canon and the zombie pseudepigrapha. I believe Bart Ehrman has a book on Lost Zombies: The Battles for Apocrypha and the Undead We Never Knew.