Stir: Zombies

It has been said that everything is better with Zombies in it. I’m not sure who said it first – or when – but rest assured it has been said and repeated many times; usually when commenting on something with zombies in it.  So in the interest of the zombification of the upcoming Christmas holiday, I thought I would seek out and recognize some of the people who “get it”.  People who, with a light heart – and a dark sense of humor – have brought new life to traditional things by infusing it with the undead.

Tim Burton

Tim Burton gets it.  Combining Halloween and Christmas in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was absolutely brilliant.  In fact – in this case Mr. Burton adds much more than zombies to Christmas – but an entire cast of ghouls, ghosts, demons and monsters.  This has become one of my favorite “Christmas” movies and I watch it at least once every year.

Fred Perry and David Hutchison get it.  They have created a pair of comics titled “A Very Zombie Christmas” available from Antarctic Press.  The covers are graced with a Zombie version of Santa Clause.

Treyarch Game Studios gets it.  While adding zombie levels to games has been common place for many years – in Call Of Duty: Black Ops we get to fight zombies playing as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Fidel Castro or Robert McNamara – at the Pentagon.  Oh hell yea.

Seth Grahame-Smith gets it.  Working together with the deceased writer Jane Austin, the classic book Pride and Prejudice has been updated to give us Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  About 85% of the original classic survives the makeover leaving 15% zombie content.  Well done!

James Silva of Ska Studios gets it.  Silva deduced that for something to be successful one only needs to add zombies to it.  Creating the 2009 tongue in cheek Xbox live indie game titled “I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1” he sold over 300,000 copies- breaking indie game records and winning awards and critical acclaim.

Max Brooks gets it.  In 2003 Brooks wrote The Zombie Survival Guide – a parody, but surprisingly real guide to preparing for and surviving a zombie outbreak.  With references to “actual” outbreaks and practical advice about weaponry and home fortification, this guide is a must read for any zombie fan or zombiphobe.  The 2009 follow-up titled Recorded Attacks documents past civilizations and cultures that have fought and survived zombie outbreaks.

Pop Cap Games gets it.  Who else could have conceived of adding zombies to a gardening game.  Plants Vs. Zombies is destined to be a long-lived classic for generations of addicts to come.

Rockstar Games gets it.  By adding zombies to their 2010 smash hit Red Dead Redemption with the Unead Nightmare DLC, they have completely changed the game experience.  They didn’t just add some zombies – they created a new story line and fused it into the entire RDR world making this the biggest and best DLC for the game.

Unfortunately, the same “makes everything better” moniker can not be stamped on Santa Clause. In fact very few things would be made better with the addition on Santa Clause.  Adding a Santa Wave complete with flying reindeer just wouldn’t add much to Call Of Duty.  And Plants Vs. Santa doesn’t sound appealing either.  There have been some really bad slasher films with Santa – and I just don’t see how adding Santa made them better – even for those that had nowhere to go but up.

Maybe we just haven’t tried hard enough to include Santa in other elements of our culture.  So bring on the Christmas DLC for John Marston to deliver gifts to reluctant enemies – spreading peace and joy.  Maybe Pride and Predjudice and Santa would be a calming and joyous read.  What if someone MAED A GAM3 W1TH 5ANT4 1N IT!!!1?  Max Brooks next book could be The Christmas Survival Guide – something many of us could use at this time of year.  Maybe it’s time we just give Santa a chance.


I asked our writers to respond to the following three questions and statements about zombies.

  • What is one thing that was better because it had Zombies in it?
  • Name something that would suck if Zombies were added to it.
  • Name something that would be awesome with Zombies added to it.

To keep with the theme – consider the responses both in the aspect of Zombies and then again with Santa instead.  I think we will all find that Zombies trump Santa nearly every time.  Sorry Santa.

Sarah Brannan | FFXPrincess | ProfileTwitter |

Better because of zombies: I’m zombied out, I’ve blocked that section of my brain off for the moment.

Would suck with zombies: Another video game!

Awesome with zombies: The offices of the people that put zombies in damn near everything!

Zac Campbell |

Better because of zombies: I often wonder what wouldn’t be better with zombies in it. Television, books, games, movies, there isn’t too much that zombies can actually make worse, they seem to only improve on everything.

Would suck with zombies: The only thing that zombies could be in that would probably suck would be real life, for obvious reasons.

Awesome with zombies: Zombies really need their own MMO game, which I’ve heard is in the process so I’m definitely looking forward to how that works out.

Scott diMonda | WCC5723 | ProfileTwitter |

Better because of zombies: Red Dead Redemption’s Undead Nightmare!

Would suck with zombies: Rambo

Awesome with zombies: Macy’s Parade

Brian Heitzenrater | FrehleyzComet | ProfileTwitter |

Better because of zombies: Shaun of the Dead

Would suck with zombies: Is this a trick question?

Awesome with zombies: A Justin Bieber Concert… never mind, it would still suck.

William Johnson | StylelessKnave | ProfileTwitter |

Better because of zombies: Thriller and Shaun of the Dead. Two things that have zombies within them, and are great. Thriller by Michael Jackson, is one of the greatest songs of all time, and there is really no need to explain and no argument to be had there. And Shaun of the Dead is an accessible movie to anyone open minded enough to enjoy the comedy and see how it pokes fun at the genre the movie itself is based in.

Would suck with zombies: I think nearly everything is starting to suck a little bit now that zombies are so common place. I hope that there is a break soon. I’m oversaturated with zombies.

Awesome with zombies: Now, despite what I just typed, I’m going to say that when this outbreak is over, I’d like to see the next Grand Theft Auto game with zombies. Liberty City looking like the apocolypse, gangsters, and Russian crime lords trying to hold on to whats left, references to old characters who are now zombies and such. I think that’d be pretty awesome.

Tym Kaywork | vttym | ProfileTwitter |

Better because of zombies: The Walking Dead

Would suck with zombies: Mall Santas outsourced to zombies

Awesome with zombies: River City Ransom: zombie gang

Mike Murphy | Chibi_Mike | Profile |

Better because of zombies: The Left 4 Dead series, Shaun Of The Dead, Dead Set, and The Walking Dead.

Would suck with zombies:  The only thing that would suck if zombies were added to it is the Puppy Bowl.

Awesome with zombies:  Speaking of, football would be a million times more interesting to me if you dropped two or three dozen zombies on the field.

Annual event in Chicago. Really. Google it. I'm not kidding.

Patrick Talbert | AzraelPC | ProfileTwitter |

Better because of zombies: Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

Would suck with zombies: ‘Adult Entertainment’

Awesome with zombies:  A LEGO ‘George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead’ game would be VERY fun.


From Evil Dead The Musical. Really.

Chris Forbis | MensaDad| ProfileTwitter |

Better because of zombies: Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare, Bruce Campbell, Broadway Musicals (Evil Dead The Musical!)

Would suck with zombies: Milkshakes, Surgery / Zombie Doctors, Day Care Centers

Awesome with zombies: Lego Video Games, NASCAR, The Olympic Games


I pick a topic and ask the Platform Nation writers, editors and staff to send me their opinions.

Thanks go out to all the Platform Nation writers who contributed to Stir this week.  They are all part of the best writing team in the industry and I couldn’t do this without them.

Now, drop down into the comment box below and answer the the same three questions for us.

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  • Brian Heitzenrater (FrehleyzComet)

    Awesome with Zombies: Sarah’s apartment for being such a zombie hater! :p