As the leaves fall to the ground in this season of autumn, as the ghouls come out to play as we head around the halfway point in October to Halloween, I can’t help thinking about what would happen if the flesh-eating zombies of Walking Dead fame met the vampire-like creatures of The Strain in a winner take all mangiafest.
I guess once the sun begins to go down earlier than usual people like me tend to think about stuff like this. When I was little, all the neighborhood kids had comic books. They used to wonder if Superman would prevail over The Flash in a foot race; if the Incredible Hulk would best The Thing/Ben Grimm in a throw down of muscle-bound superheroes. We also used to debate things like would Rocky Marciano beat Muhammad Ali in a computer simulated boxing match. It was all about matchups that couldn’t happen, but if they could? It just made you wonder is all.
I think the Flash did race Superman and the Hulk fought The Thing. I can’t remember the outcomes but it doesn’t matter. Marciano and Ali were fighters from two different eras, so the matchup couldn’t happen unless it was done as a comic book or in a computer simulation.
Walking Dead and The Strain are two popular apocalyptic TV shows running on AMC and FX, respectively. I watch them. The Strain season finale was last week and Walking Dead is having its season premiere tonight. Walking Dead is in its fifth season and The Strain is in its inaugural season.
Walking Dead features flesh-eating zombies. They can be killed by lopping off their heads or running their heads through with pipes, knives or any manner of object. The vampires of The Strain can of course be vanquished by daylight. But, the “Master”—the vampire patriarch, survived a bout with daylight leading viewers to wonder if some of the vampires are at least somewhat immune to sunbeams.
Vampires in The Strain co-exist in a caste system of sorts, with the lowest on the vampire food chain gurgling and walking about with mummy-like gaits. Those blood suckers higher up in the dark world order are humans who have been turned and can speak like everyday, I mean, night, people.
The walking zombies of Walking Dead generally-speaking are slow, make mostly the same noises and enjoy the flesh of humans just like the vampires of The Strain do. The vampires of The Strain have this strange, snake-like apparatus that comes out of their mouths to suck the blood of their victims. The zombies of Walking Dead simply attack en masse—tearing the flesh of their victims from their bodies.
Both vampires and zombies “turn.” That is, they are people before they become zombies and vampires. So, they have this terminology in common. Now that I’ve given you the lowdown on the respective characteristics of both sets of apocalyptic characters, I am going to say who might take a winner-takes-all contest between these two seasonal favorites.
In an upset I pick the Walking Dead zombies. Even though they are mostly slow, make the same sounds and can be killed with head shots, they are formidable simply because they have large numbers and travel in packs. While The Strain’s vampires have the luxury of being able to move more quickly, they are not as yet in as great of numbers as the zombies are. Thus, the zombies, in my scenario, would just keep coming at the vampires until they were able to gang up on them and tear their immortal flesh clean from their inhuman bodies.
The matchup of walkers/zombies versus vampires/immortals is one all horror fans can appreciate. As the days grow shorter, we wonder what is lurking around the corner, especially when we hurry home with the daylight waning. Both of these creatures operate better at night, which there is increasingly more of this time of year.
I think the zombies should fight the vampires just to help keep us humans safe as we work towards and through Halloween. Freddy fought Jason. Let the vampires fight the zombies. Just so I can get home. Please.
Someone told me they’d like an official tally should these two camps ever get it on. I thought about it and wondered what the score would be. I don’t know if you could have a traditional scorecard. Would it be body counts? Hardly. I see the zombies winning by the slightest of margins. In fact, I see the zombies winning by a nose, albeit a thoroughly decaying one.
Pull down the blinds. Don’t go down into the basement. Nightfall is upon us and this one is over.