Why Zombies Eat Brains
‘Zombies eat brains‘ is a phrase that has been a staple of pop culture for decades, and at that time, the concept of the resurrected of the dead somehow feasting on life has proliferated virtually all forms of media that exist.
One trait that seems to be synonymous with zombies is their apparent need to feed on the brains of the living. But why is this idea so intrinsically linked to zombies and where does it come from?
To be clear, when we say we’re going to talk about zombies, we’re talking about zombies in the sense that they hear it in modern pop culture. it is not zombies from Haitian folklore and West Africa, which constitute a totally different entity.
That being said, we initially thought that the answer to this question was going to be easy, because the modern media featuring zombies all have roots that go back to exactly the same source, George A. Romero’s cinematic masterpiece, Nuit the undead.
It is quite true that zombies existed in various forms before the publication of Night of the undead in 1968. It was Romero’s film which is widely regarded as having introduced the concept of modern zombie into the world and almost all media that involve them draw from his film in one way or another.
Although Romero is considered the source of many tropes of common zombies, the shambolic movement and the hunger for human flesh being the most important. zombies did not really eat the brains in any of the six series of films he directed.
In fact, Romero himself has no idea of the origin of this brain-eating idea and in a 2010 interview with Vanity Fair, when asked about the link between zombies and the brain, Romero bluntly explained that:
“Every time I sign autographs, they always ask me: “Write “Eat brains!”! I don’t understand what that means. I’ve never seen a zombie eat a brain. But it has become a historic event. “
Romero then explained that although his zombies eat well human flesh, he never thought too much about why they do it and even have fun at the idea of a movie exploring the idea of, as he said, “Do they [zombies] shit?”
The trope “eating the brains of zombies” only appeared in the media long after Romero’s film began in the 1960s, which first appeared in the 1985 film Return of the Undead. You might be forgiven for thinking that Romero participated in the making of this film because of its title, but it was published totally independent of his contribution.
You see, after the release of Night of the undead in ’68, Romero and his co-author, John Russo, parted ways and reached an agreement that Russo would retain the rights to the “undead” suffix, while Romero agreed to use ” “deaths” in all the media he would subsequently produce.
Although Russo participated in the creation of the original The Night of the undead, the return of the undead is not considered to be related to the official series “The Dead”. This is mainly due to the many differences between the zombies in the two male films.
While zombies from Romero’s films can be “killed” in one direction by destroying their brains, Russo’s zombies are actually immortal, it is shown that they survive after being beheaded and even burned.
As for why zombies feed on brains, the closest official explanation we’ve ever come up with is a quote from The Return of the Undead The screenwriter and director, Dan O’Bannon. He suggested that the undead felt the need to feed on the brains of those who had recently lived, as it reassured them to feel better by alleviating their pain.
Fans of the zombie genre have tried to develop this reasoning by claiming that zombies eat the brain and guts because of the high levels of serotonin they contain. it is alluded to but which is by no means confirmed in the official comments of the film. The film’s decorator, William Stout, notes that the idea of eating brains somehow alleviates the pain of the “logical” zombie.
As for investing so much time and effort in such a meticulous zombie, Romero, whom we consider the de facto authority over all that is zombie, has criticized the past for taking his work too seriously, including Max Brooks. , which you may recognize as the author of the best-selling Zombie Survival Guide.
Romero has always maintained that his films are not about zombies – that was our reaction, or rather our reaction to them, and that zombies and how they worked. An idea shared by the many media creators inspired by his work.
For example, Robert Kirkman, the creator of the hugely successful The Walking Dead The series said it will never reveal how the zombie epidemic started or how zombies are transmitted by biting because it’s “unimportant” in History.
Similarly, in the film Shaun of the Dead, The film revolves around the cause of the zombie apocalypse and the “work” of zombies is never revealed. it is a direct tribute to Romero’s films, where we also never know why or how zombies may exist.
Why has the idea that zombies eat the brain spread so well that it is not a trait shared by Romero’s zombies (and by extension almost all the zombies of modern fiction)? The Simpsons are suspected to be the main culprit in popularizing the idea.
The 1992 classic Treehouse Horror Segment Dial the Z for Zombies, which itself was a parody of Dead Return of the Dead Is One of the First Supports. It has the exception of back undead itself to present brain-devouring zombies. To quote Matthew Blinkie:
“Millions of children saw this episode before they were old enough to see a real zombie movie. I suspect that for an entire generation, this was the first zombie story we’ve ever seen. And that, my friends, is the reason why we think zombies eat the brain, even though most of us have never seen a movie where it is. “
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