The generic stereotypical zombie is a slow, rotting, drooling, mindless shell of a human with a desire for the consumption of brains to make up for their own lack thereof, with the “off button” being the destruction or detachment of their head. But there are many other kinds, and when — not if — the apocalypse happens, the odds of dealing with the standardized Hollywood walker are unlikely. These are five of the most common myths about “real” zombies and why they are wrong.
They eat brains. This one is somewhat obvious. When a person’s brain degrades so far that they become cannibalistic animal-like beasts, they attack to kill, and they don’t care what body part they are chewing on. If they are simply reprogrammed or repurposed by a substance or disease, eating brains is the last thing they would do.
They’re rotting. While it makes sense that a senseless creature would not have the sense to keep up a sensible appearance, it’s unlikely that a human could walk around with their guts hanging out of their stomach. To some degree they are probably filthy, but not rotting.
They make noise. “Brraaaiinnsss!” Hollywood walkers tend to make a distinct moaning sound almost constantly. While this may be a side effect of the brain damage/changes, it’s fairly unlikely, and would serve no purpose.
They’re slow. Wrong wrong wrong wrong. The only reason for a zombie to be slow is for the hero to get away, and that only happens on TV. There is no purpose for a slow zombie and nothing to hold it back from a full sprint.
A headshot kills them. This is not wrong in every situation, but it is not a reliable fact. For starters, the headless chicken effect probably applies for instinctive, impulsive, mindless creatures, and headless zombies are still dangerous. From another perspective, because some types of zombies have their brain activity reduced to the most primitive parts, even a clean shot through the head can miss the area that needs to be shut down. Many of these parts are located near the center of the head, which is a tough target from long range.