Feb 21st, 2008, 03:15 PM
Something that's always struck me as stupid in zombie movies...why does shooting them kill them? Bullets kill living people by organ trauma or blood loss. A zombie is not alive, they aren't pumping blood or using their organs. Is this more a matter of the pathological American idea that all problems can be solved with guns?
Besides, how are zombies supposed to move? Organisms not undergoing metabolic processes (i.e. living) cannot generate new adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which powers nearly all cellular reactions by releasing the energy stored in its phosphate bonds. The binding of ATP to the myosin-actin filaments of the sarcomere (the fundamental unit of muscle) allows dissociation of actin and myosin allowing contraction or relaxation. When ATP is exhausted (at death, since oxidative phosphorylation coupling to ATP synthase ceases), the actin-myosin associations in the sarcomere are unable to be broken, resulting in rigidity (rigor mortis) which lasts several hours until degeneration of the sarcomeres either by spontaneous denaturation or by bacterial decomposition occurs. But even then, there's no ATP to power further contractions--which at best would only give you paralyzed, floppy zombies.
Another thing that sucks about zombie movies now, is the bullshit attempts to explain the cause of the zombies. In the good old days, it was curses or evil magic that reanimated the dead. Now, zombies (as well as werewolves and vampires) are attributed to "viruses." This is ridiculous. Viruses do 2 things: lytic viruses (like influenza) hijack the cell's ribosomal machinery to make more copies of itself until the cell dies, and latent viruses (like herpes)insert themselves as a DNA provirus into the host cell's genome and sit tight. Sometimes they are triggered into a lytic phase by cellular stresses. Latent viruses are linked to cancer, as they insert randomly into the cell's genome, and if they insert into the middle of a tumor supressor gene, that can result in cancer. Some latent viruses produce proteins (viral oncogenes) that closely mimic enzymes involved in cell cycle regulation, but are constitutively active, inducing uncontrolled cell division and cancer. Some viral proteins bind to and inhibit tumor supressor proteins (as HPV does, which causes over 99% of all cervical cancer). However, to even attempt to believe that a virus is capable of making people immortal, altering them morphologically, or giving them super powers is absurd.