Two Sides of the Undead: Zombies vs Vampires

A friend asked the other day about the popularity of stories/movies featuring zombies and vampires and whether there was any correlation between the two, since they both revolve around an undead being.  We had a pretty good discussion on the topic and I’ve thought some more about the particulars.

For me the only correlation is that in most stories the zombie and the vampire are both former humans who, through some event, have undergone a change.  Though the “event” is often violent in both cases, the outcome is decidedly different.

Given a choice, I would bet that most would prefer the vampire route.  The modern vampire incarnation has relatively few downsides, the exception being the no daytime playtime rule.  The zombie experience, however, is pretty much all downside, the only saving grace being that there’s no mind left to mind.

The vampire is portrayed as an elite evolution, usually an outsider careful to hide his true form while picking and choosing victims.  The zombie, on the other hand, has little choice but to thrash about, having devolved into mindless pursuit in the grip of hunger.

Since the basis for each genre comes from different parts of the world, the vampire from Europe and the zombie from Africa by way of the Caribbean, it’s not surprising that there are vast differences in the particular points to which, through tradition, each adhere.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
About Tim Giron

There are some who call him... Tim.


  1. Neat post.. Zombies are the almost the lowest of all undead maybe only skeletons are lower than zombies. Vampires on the other hand are the elites of the undead world second to only arch liches and maybe a magnitude 5 ghost.

    I’ve been a zombie fan all my life and I still can’t figure out why they have gotten so mainstream.. I wonder how long it will last?
    .-= zman´s last blog ..Zombies and Assholes Interview with Cast and Crew “the biggest challenge was the meaty arm” =-.

  2. Eric Bahle says

    It occurs to me that vampire stories are about cheating and conquering death. Zombie stories are more about the inevitability of death. Even if the zombies don’t get you (and they will) you would die of something else and still become a zombie. At least in the Romero type zombie situation.