Movie monsters always work with a strict set of rules, like how zombies have to eat the flesh of the living, Predators can see in infrared, or Terminators always seem to age poorly despite being immortal robots. But while writers spend a lot of time making their creepy critters as well-rounded and plausible as possible, they can never withstand the sheer volume of nitpicking which internet nerds (like us) can inflict upon their creations. However, instead of merely poking holes, we're going to offer some possible solutions to crazy hypotheticals. Could you defeat a Poltergeist by only watching Netflix on your laptop? Let's figure these things out together.
Warning: This article spoils certain movies both by discussing plot points and overthinking everything.
Werewolves are kind of the middle children of contagious movie monsters. They're not brainless, shambling corpses like zombies, but they're also not living in classy Gothic mansions with raves and orgies like vampires do. They're also part-time monsters, only having to clock in for maulings every full moon. That makes them excellent starter ghoulies for people looking to dip their toes into the whole supernatural lifestyle. And if you're rich, you might not even have to deal with the messy transformation at all.
Let us explain. By the many, many shots of clouds slowly moving away from the moon and causing the transformation, movies would suggest that exposure to moonlight is required. So does that mean werewolves could simply chill in a basement with no windows for one or two nights each month? No lupine downsides, and we finally have a great excuse to keep living in our parents' basement? Win-win!
But walls can crumble and basketball matches can run longer than expected, so hiding out is definitely not a foolproof method. So what if you really, really wanted to play it safe? Well, you'd have to find a way for the moon to never rise. Yeah, you're pretty fast now that you have those Teen Wolf powers, but not fast enough to actually outrun the moon, surely? But what about jets? If you could get aboard a jet and keep it in the air long enough to stay in the sunlight, would you avoid turning?
In 1973, the Concorde managed to keep up with a solar eclipse for 74 minutes. One year later, the SR-71 Blackbird flew from New York to London in less than two hours, including time to refuel in midair. That's four time zones in two hours -- plenty of time to stay ahead of fangs-o'-clock and spend 24 straight hours working on your tan.
So in theory, a rich-ass werewolf could drop a few dozen million dollars into acquiring a military-grade jet, stay immortal, and live the ultimate canine dream of successfully chasing the sun. And if the sweet release from a gruesome skin-bursting transformation isn't enough to convince you, remember: You'd be a werewolf flying around the world in a fighter jet. That may be the coolest sentence we've ever written.
We suppose you could also go the other way and have a psychotic werewolf who uses a Concorde to maximize werewolf time, but not even Warren Buffet could afford the costs of reupholstering an entire plane every month.
In It Follows, the "It" in question is a demon that tracks you slowly but ceaselessly until it finds you and kills you. The only ways to stop that from happening are to a) have sex with someone and pass the curse on to them or b) walk at a brisk pace, because it never moves faster than an old lady with a bad hip. Neither method will keep you safe forever. You'd have to stop to sleep eventually, and once it's done killing the person you've boned to get rid of it, it turns its sights square back at you. So the best way to stay alive is not just by humping once, but by humping everyone and everything in sight.
Which raises a good question: What counts as "sex" in the world of It Follows?
The film's director, David Robert Mitchell, only explained that "if it's sex, it counts," and that It does not discriminate between gay and straight people, making this one of the rare problems in life which cannot be satisfactorily resolved with butt stuff. But that doesn't really draw a line anywhere. Some people can totally get off by smelling feet, or being whipped, or reading online essays nerding out about tiny cinematic details (you're welcome). Can we doom somebody to a gruesome demise by an eldritch horror just because they did some over-the-shirt stuff and we got a bit too excited?
We'll assume for a moment that any sexual contact counts, which raises the question of bestiality. Look, we're not comfortable with the idea either, but with a large enough sample size, you're bound to get someone who lets their dog lick peanut butter off their genitals. So then what? Does It kill the dog? Can the dog then pass on the curse by humping someone's leg? Because to a dog, that definitely counts as sex. It also appears to humans as other humans, so will it appear to a dog as a dog? Butt-sniffing would never have been more dangerous.
So while we're definitely not pro-bestiality, it seems that that easiest and, oddly, most ethical way to survive It Follows would be to get it on with a very promiscuous animal. Take a trip to Africa and take a bonobo to dinner; in a matter of days, the chain between you and It would be so long that you'd die of old age long before It ever came back to you. Also, it'd be a joy watching Its slow ass try to catch a bunch of gamboling apes. If that doesn't appeal to you, humans have a surprisingly long history of avisodomy, which is better known as "laying a bird." So if you can survive until spring or fall, find yourself a goose ready to migrate, pop a finger or two in its cloaca, and then set it free. The excruciatingly slow demon will spend the rest of its days wandering up and down the country, trying to find that goddamn goose.
Seriously though, we don't fuck animals.
Besides a few hangers-on who wander the astral plane being bored all the time, ghost in movies tend to have a reason to keep hanging out on Earth. Often, this reason is some sort of "unfinished business," which seems to exclusively revolve around either angrily killing people, like in Paranormal Activity, or wanting to bone ex-girlfriends, like in Ghost. So what happens when the Earth is dead? Or we all migrate to Mars? Ghosts might be able to stick around forever, but not even planets have that luxury. Earth's going away eventually, and then what? What happens to all those quiet Victorian girls whose joy in the afterlife was stacking chairs on top of each other? Will the cold darkness of space be littered with our old ghosts, floating through the infinite abyss like protoplasmic McDonald's wrappers?
Hosting talk shows just to pass the time?
Drifting through the vastness of space would certainly be boring as shit, but at least you'd end up somewhere eventually, bugging the shit out of some aliens who've never even heard of the Civil War. But what would really suck is if you're stuck on Earth and a plague or nuclear war wipes out your girlfriend before you get a chance to make an ashtray together. Also, in a situation wherein the population dies off quickly, there's going to be a huge upswing in the number of people who have unfinished business, meaning that the last survivors of Earth are going to have to battle giant scorpions while having to listen to the incessant wailing of the undead asking them to squeeze in a quick game of catch before the radiation poisoning kills them.
The same way everything is a thousand times cooler if you stick the word "space" in front of it (space ship, space battle, space burrito ...), it also makes disasters so much more terrifying. A monster in space makes an Alien, while a monster on Earth just makes a sequel to A Dog's Purpose. But while confining most ghoulies to a claustrophobic spaceship is a recipe for utter terror and devastation, there's one you'd think wouldn't fare as well out there: zombies. With all the emergency steel doors and airlocks, closing a door and asking the AI to open the hangar bay and suck those bad boys out into the deadly cold grasp of space would do the trick, right? But would that be enough?
While it might rid you of the zombies on your ship, would it truly kill them? Or have you made them essentially immortal? In World War Z, zombies are known to occasionally meander out of the ocean after having spent time on the sea floor, so clearly, massive pressure differences and lack of air aren't a big deal for them. But you know what is killed by the vacuum of space? Bacteria, like the kind which causes zombies to continually decompose, making them less of a threat. By ejecting them out an airlock, you effectively sterilize them, keeping them shiny and new for all of eternity.
It gets worse! In Night Of The Living Dead, it's implied that the zombie plague is the result of cosmic radiation. So if you fire your crew mate into space for having a case of the brain munchies, all you'd be doing is removing the only blockade that stood between them and a healthy dose of extra radiation. Would it turn them into super zombies? Is the zombie apocalypse really the time you want to run that little science experiment?
The only hope is that the zombie will eventually starve to death, but that's not looking good either. In every classic zombie movie, it's quite clear that all of the biting and brain eating is more of a lifestyle choice than a necessity. The zombie hordes are always thriving, even when there haven't been any fresh human brains for weeks. Being dead means having no metabolism, which means eating becomes entirely optional. Only feeding them bullets to the temple seems to change anything.
And don't start thinking those super zombies are someone else's problem the moment you fire them into the inky void. Zombies still obey the laws of physics (if not nature), so while they might float away from the spaceship a little bit, they're still traveling in the same direction as you, genius. During Apollo 13, even though the ship literally blew up, the astronauts could see debris from the explosion floating outside their window, moving alongside them. So now you'd be completely surrounded by zombies, which is the one thing all those fictional manuals tell us is the last thing you want, hoping they don't gnaw their way through a panel before you reach reentry.
So maybe dumping them in space is the wrong move. Maybe they can be used for good! Forget solar power, the ability to keep moving despite having no food would make zombies the most attractive renewable power source of all. Just put a bunch on a treadmill and bam, you have your zero-emission, renewable energy source.
Well, maybe not zero emissions. The smell would get pretty bad.
When he's not not sodomizing birds, Chris can be found on Twitter.
Outrun the sun is not the name of a Tom Petty album, but it should be!
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