Some horror fans, like myself, have an affinity for zombies. But why? Is it because we're crazy and simply MUST see copious amounts of blood and gore in order to be entertained? Are we secretly cannibals? Or, psychologists might agree, are we desperately searching for proof that death is not the end? We may never know the reason, but one thing is for sure - zombies are fucking awesome. They allow for something beautiful: the ability to love something so completely taboo. And it's all right, because they're not cannibals. We're not sickos who get off by seeing humans being eaten by other humans. We're just sickos who get off by seeing humans being eaten by MONSTERS. Zombies take an awful taboo like cannibalism and make it okay to love. But where do zombies come from? Somewhere in the world, did someone actually rise from the dead and eat his or her family? Is it just justification, or an explanation, of cannibalism? Well, no. Actually, they come from Haiti.
Back in Haiti, if you pissed off your family, they could call a voodoo priest to take care of you. The priest would give you some kind of powder, making you appear dead. You'd be treated like a corpse - buried and forgotten. But later on, the priest would dig you up. You'd still be completely human, but your senses and memory would be erased - thus, making you a "zombie." Of course, this doesn't mean a zombie as we see them today. You would basically be in a comatose state, while still awake and mobile. So it is quite obvious how the modern zombie came about. But why do the zombies we know and love eat people?
There are many arguments on this subject, but sadly we may never know. I've asked my pet zombie, but all he had to say on the topic was "Brarrrgggh." So, unfortunately, we have only theories to go on. I have a few myself.
1. Zombies have lost something very important - their lives. They're empty. They can sense life in others, and they crave it. They are desperate for the life they once had, and they will do anything to get it. And upon ingesting the life of humans, they are revitalized.
2.To put it simply: they're hungry. And they're not smart enough to figure out how to work a microwave, so they revert back to the caveman ways - with an obvious twist, of course. You know what they say (I can't tell you who they are; I've been sworn to secrecy) : if you get hungry enough, you'll eat anything.
3. As depicted in Return of the Living Dead, they eat us to relieve pain. After they have been dead for a period of time, rigor mortis sets in, which explains why they move in such a slow, stiff, and shuffling manner. With the rigor mortis comes the pain. It hurts them severely. And eating people (or brains as the zombie in question states) alleviates some of that pain. [this theory is actually contradicted in Return of the Living Dead 3, where the zombie finds that pain decreases the hunger she feels for human flesh.]
4. It's instinct. Cats know to use the litter box; zombies know to eat people.
We may never know what goes on in their heads, if anything. If anyone has a zombie who's not a complete asshole, or has access to one that can be used for research, I would love to know. I'm very interested in these creatures, and would love any knowledge anyone might come by. Until then, I will have to be satisfied with my own theories, and continue to be intrigued by these elusive creatures.