So I'm watching The Walking Dead premier right now, and I will say it is pretty good. We aren't far in yet, but so far the acting, setting, effects, etc. are all solid. A few issues with details here and there, but nothing big. So far, think 28 Days Later, but in the US rather than the UK. I know it doesn't sound like a big difference, but we have guns (kind of changes the game. you know, just a little).
Right, but the real reason for the post: the main character wakes up in the middle of a zombie outbreak, sees a bunch of dead people, then sees one corpse that had been ripped in half that starts moaning a crawling towards him. He runs away (understandable), but then, later, he sees another guy with gray skin silently shambling down the middle of the road. Now lets think... There is surely some serious shock associated with waking up in the middle of armageddon, but you've already seen that some corpses have the ability to come after you, and, if nothing else, everything you've seen is dead, so this guy shouldn't be so calm. Now why, oh why, would you think its a good idea to flag this strange, shambling man down (as our foolish protagonist did)?
Why does it seem that every zombie movie/show (at least every one I can think of) starts with the "Oh shit, zombies! But I've never heard of a zombie!" moment? Every zombie universe seems to include the general ignorance of the population as to what a zombie is and how to deal with them. What would happen if there was a zombie story set in the world where we live, where people are well aware of the zombie mythology, and many even have plans in place for a zombie-scenario. Hell, I own a book called the Zombie Survival Guide. Has fantasy/sci-fi in these slightly different universes just glossed over the living dead, thus leaving their citizens hopelessly unprepared? How would prior understanding of zombies change the way zombie stories go?