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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Zombies - why they walk that way



My curiosity on why zombies walk the way they do was finally satisfied when I was watching television on Discovery Channel high tech developments on movie special effects.  There were several segments on how they do special effects but what really caught my attention was the one they create actual make up instead of doing it through computer graphics.

The host of the television show underwent the process of having make up to show a gaping wound on the neck and is in the state of rigor mortis.  That means temporary rigidity of muscles after death.  Well, the make up on his face also showed how a person looks after having bled to death.  He looked like a zombie until the scene changed to him being autopsied.  The woman beside his 'body', an expert embalmer, had a face shield similar to that of a welder's face shield.  After some kidding scenes and the host went on interview the woman and asked why movie zombies looked that way and walked in a weird manner.

The woman said that in the state of decomposition, blood no longer circulates and sort of 'dry' solid.  Going on, calcium also does not circulate anymore with the blood and the body's muscles start to decompose becoming liquid-like.  Therefore, she says being a living dead, zombies could no longer flex and move like regular human beings because the muscles no longer work!  That is the main reason why zombies, as portrayed, have a stiff gait.  No wonder if we have stiff muscles or leg cramps we walk like zombies in the movies. 

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