What can be more symbolic to represent a city’s helplessness at an army of the dead than a police station taken over by them? In the case of Resident Evil 2’s City Of The Dead, that precinct is also a museum.

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The police station has been taken over by the dead

What happens inside is everyone’s nightmare. The power of the law and evidence of decades of history are gnawed by several walking dead. All the things that build our civilization, order, and culture, are consumed by them, turning the city into nothing more than a graveyard.

The best and also the only way to break free from a bunch of zombies is to aim for the head, either shooting or decapitating. But why it has to the zombies?

The answer is, the term zombie was used in an era that a small number of human beings thought they had the right to enslave a larger number of other human beings. According to ancient African beliefs, if slaves took their own lives, they would be denied entry to heaven and were cursed and bounded to slavery forever. This used to be a convenient mean for the enslavers to control their so-called living property.

Resident Evil 2 Remake Zombies
Always aim for the head

In our modern time, we have our own version and story for zombies. They rise from the grave with no memory of their past and with a single goal, to torture the living.

This comparison sounds irony enough. While in Haitian version, zombification is the ultimate torment for those who go through it, what we have now granted the undead the power to tear life away from the living in the most painful way possible.

Thomas Ligotti suggested that what we find most scary about the zombies is the notion that we are facing a version of human beings that have been stripped away almost everything, with only the urge to consume and reproduce left to govern the rotting body.

The idea of zombies is not entirely fantasied though. If we look closer into what our Mother Nature is capable of, for example, undead roaches or psyker felines (a kind of parasite that can alter rat’s brain and trick them into thinking that a female cat is a potential mate), we will see that when it comes to surviving, nature can produce something truly horrendous.

In fact, we all have the urge to consume and reproduce, just like what zombies do. The only thing that sets us apart is the ability to restraint these pressing needs. Is that the most convincing piece of evidence about what we really are?

Let’s say in an alternate universe, the zombies do not take a bite of our flesh whenever they can, but gather us in farms, feed us with what will best fatten us, milk us and then when we reach the stage they want, we end up in a slaughterhouse? Does this idea sound any less horrible and inhumane? When we think about our domination over other species, we consider it the natural order of things. However, it was not until a new species emerges as our rival for the top of the food chain’s spot that we know fear.

The undead, in essence, is not an unnatural phenomenon. In some aspects, they are just predator, and they act like one too. The things that make them stand out are the fact that they are capable of hunting us and the absence of vitality that we usually see on a typical predator.

In place of sharp and strong teeth are the rotting ones and instead of toned muscles, there is decaying flesh.

The zombies are more of a nightmare to the American capitalist than any other cultures. A pack of half-living creatures that have only two drives, one is eating and the other is reproducing. They cannot be tamed, totally immune to the effect of social pressure like body shaming, advertising, or patriotism, which are all useful means in a normal society to control the mass.

Zombies are somehow more of a horror than any other monsters we create, such as vampires or ghost. For one, they outnumber all others, but the most distinctive trait is they can use our emblem of progress as the most deadly weapon against us. A single zombie in the middle of nowhere can pose no threat but put that same creature in a crowded city and we have the recipe for disaster.

The zombies have turned Raccoon City into nothing more than a puppet show and at the same time, a necropolis. All of the old infrastructure, the commercial areas, the military zones, the residential areas, the designed soil, and vegetation are now the stage.

In that show, there is a single line of Marvin Branagh told Leon not to hesitate to aim for the head and pull the trigger, whether that walking corpse is wearing a uniform or not. It is obviously a sign of loyalty of Branagh but at the same time, it is a piece of evidence that the zombies can use our own bond with the living form of them against us.

However, the horror does not stop there. Zombification is something that we cannot undo so all we can do is to cut off their head or put a bullet into their brain, and that is it. The inhabitants who have been zombified cannot go back being a normal human again. The culture, the economy, or history can never be restored. The government is no longer there. The business is long gone. Even in the brightest scenario where all the zombies are wiped out from the surface of the Earth, what left for us are run-down buildings, a handful of tattered human, some ammo, and nothing more.

In the mess of what used to be our life, cities, loved ones, and a pack of walking dead roaming every corner, we realize something that the zombies seem to figure out long before us. We can only comprehend this fact after we have suffered to a certain degree. That piece of knowledge is something you should take away from this article, always aim for the head.