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Zombies Vs. Vampires

Zombies Vs. Vampires: Who'd Win In an Un-Dead Brawl?

By Chad Derdowksi     October 02, 2009

Zombies Vs. Vampires
© N/A


Hell must be all booked up this weekend, because the dead are once again walking the earth. Shopping malls are overrun; not with frantic families looking for last minute deals, but with recently unearthed ghouls who want to fill their decaying bellies with the sweet taste of human flesh. Prime time television isn’t being broadcast anymore as the emergency networks have taken over and are directing citizens toward safe haven.
But the onset of a zombie apocalypse isn’t the only problem humanity has got to worry about and they aren’t the only creatures in search of a late night snack. After the sun has set and the moon is at its peak, another variety of undead hit the streets hoping to feast on unsuspecting humans. Their tastes are a bit more particular: Rather than simply eating flesh, vampires require blood for sustenance. As their food supplies begin to dwindle, the creatures inevitably turn on each other. Grab yourself a chair and get a front row seat (if you dare) for the battle of the century: Zombies vs. Vampires.

The Tale of the Tape

The Unbeatable Undead

The thing about zombies is, they just don’t quit. Shoot them, stab them, sever their limbs–it’s no use. Their methods are simple enough though. They eat, infect and congregate. You might think the slow moving creatures would be easy enough to handle, and when you’re only dealing with one or two of them, you might be right. But the trouble begins when you’ve got a pack of flesh eaters on your tail. Next thing you know, you’re surrounded by ghouls and you’ve got no chance to escape… and then you’re one of them.

Victorious Vampires

Now vampires are a whole different kind of undead. These guys are generally suave and charismatic, quite the opposite of the decomposing and brain-dead zombie. Depending on whom you ask, what superstitions you follow and what era you’re living in, vampires have a variety of different abilities. Shape shifting, flight, hypnosis, increased strength and the ability to turn teenage girls into googly-eyed, shrieking hysterics are but a few of them.   But their immortality is likely going to be key in defeating the hordes of flesh eating zombies they’ll be up against. Famous generals and war heroes have decades to amass information, technique and strategy. Vampires have centuries of knowledge on their side. 


If you wanna get rid of a zombie, you gotta get rid of the head. Smash it, blow it up, sever it from the body--that’s pretty much the only thing that’s gonna get the job done. Fire also works. You can burn a zombie, but that’s generally a far less effective way to eliminate them; you gotta make sure they’re good n’ gone or else they might end up coming after you again. Your best bet is a shotgun shell to the occipital lobe.
Vampires, on the other hand, have a bevy of weaknesses. Garlic, holy water and crucifixes are often used to repel them, but a surefire way to eliminate them is a stake through the heart. After that, you probably oughtta burn ‘em and scatter the ashes, because God knows we’ve seen more than one vampire come back from the dead. But are zombies likely to use any of these methods? It’s doubtful. The only real weapon zombies will have against vampires is if the battle rages long enough and is deadly enough that the vampire or vampires don’t notice the fact that the sun is about to come up and they are disintegrated.


Historical Movie Matchups

As usual, we’ll take a look at some of the previous opponents that these two combatants have faced in order to give us a better perspective on the outcome of this conflict. For the sake of this battle, we’re forsaking the various literary and comic book interpretations and sticking with movie incarnations.

Notable Zombie enemies include…

Cool Zombie Matchups

Sharks – Anyone who has seen Lucio Fulci’s 1979 classic Zombi (also known as Zombi 2, Zombie, Island of the Living Dead, Zombie Island and about a million other titles) remembers the battle between the zombie and the shark. The movie is notable for reinvigorating Fulci’s career, a scene featuring a character’s eye being gouged out by an enormous splinter of wood and this totally amazing shark vs. zombie underwater battle. 
Those of you who haven’t seen it, stop reading and get yourself to a video store. Needless to say, the shark doesn’t walk away from this fight. Because… well, he’s a shark, so he swims pretty much all the time.

The Entire Human Race – Well, yeah. Basically, zombies just tear ass all over the countryside, wiping out anything that stands in their way. And while a variety of humans have found ways to deal with the undead menace and even kill a whole lot of them, the bottom line is that sooner or later everybody gets bitten. 
It pretty much boils down to this: have you ever seen a zombie movie that ends with the zombie threat extinguished? Probably not, huh? Now, have you seen any zombie movies that end with a big fat question mark and a tiny group of survivors praying that they can survive until tomorrow in the hellish landscape that they now exist in? Yeah that’s pretty much all of them.

Vampires have seen their fair share of fighting too…


Billy the Kid vs. Dracula was a 1966 movie in which the big bad himself, Dracula, found himself in the Wild West. The film ended with Dracula getting stabbed by a kitchen knife wielding Mr. The Kid--a humiliating ending, but not nearly as humiliating as some of his other defeats.

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein was a 1948 film in which the two comedians not only met Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, but the Wolfman and Dracula as well. As you might expect, it didn’t end well for Dracula, but the big guy always seems to find a way to bounce back.

Van Helsing was another great opponent of Dracula, as well as a variety of other vampires. But we’re not talking about that crappy movie starring Wolverine; we’re talking about the baddest of the bad, a man by the name of Peter Cushing. Non-horror fans might be familiar with Cushing’s role in a moderately successful film called Star Wars. Ever heard of it? In that movie, he blew up a planet. In the Dracula series produced by Hammer Film Productions in the 1950s through the 1970s, he kept on fighting vampires and they kept on coming back.

The Outcome

At first, the legions of the undead co-exist in peace. Zombies have no interest in dead flesh and vampires can’t get any blood out of a zombie, so they’ve got no reason to be antagonistic towards each other. That is, until the vampires realize that their food supply is dwindling quickly. So a small team of vampires organize and decide to rid their town of as many ghouls as possible.
The battle starts when the sun goes down. By this point, fans have been camped out for three days waiting for the sexy vampires to show up. A few zombies wearing t-shirts depicting Marvel Comics characters seem to moan their disapproval, but it goes unnoticed. Besides, can anybody really tell if zombies are unhappy? At first things are pretty one-sided. Vampires strike fast and sever the heads of their opponents with ease. It looks like this is going to be a pretty easy fight.
Or maybe not. The raucous sounds of battle draw nearby zombies to the melee and before you know it, their numbers have doubled. And we all know what happens when zombies start their own unique brand of mosh pit. It would be irrelevant to the vampires but for the teeming throngs of teenagers clad in black clothing who surround the battle zone. It isn’t long before the zombies start in on them as well and as it turns out, just because you think you’re a vampire doesn’t mean you actually are a vampire. The good news is that now they are the undead. The bad news is that they aren’t exactly the type of undead they wanted to be.
The battle rages on. For as many of the zombies as the vampires destroy, more seem to keep popping up. Sooner or later somebody knocks over a gas can which leads to an explosion and blazing fire that eliminates zombie and vampire alike. It’s pretty much a stalemate until the sun rises and the remaining vampires are forced to go into hiding. 
And so it ends… not with a bang or even a whimper, but with a long, slow wheezing. Every night the vampires rise from their coffins to battle the zombies and while they may eventually clear the city streets of them, sooner or later their food supply is gone as well. Eventually every human on the planet is either dead or undead and vampires are forced to subsist on wild game. In due time these too will dwindle and the vampire will be forced into extinction or a long hibernation. They might not be wiped out, but they won’t be roaming the countryside doing as they please; that role will be reserved for the zombie.
Take a lesson from the classic tale of the Tortoise and the Hare… slow and steady wins the race. 
The winnah and new champeen: ZOMBIES!



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Alphanumeric 10/2/2009 2:00:08 AM

Hmmmm, at first I was on the Vampire side, but your argument did at least make me question my stance.

However, I would like to point to the 1990 remake of "Night of the Living Dead" Where once the sun came up, humanity looked pretty in control at the end (You know the whole "We're the REAL monsters" bit)

But I don't know if the fact that it's a remake cancels that fact out.

Others will have to decide.

Richard J. 10/2/2009 3:33:56 AM

Humans appeared to be doing pretty well at the end of the original Night of the Living Dead too.

Zombies winning?  Not a chance.  Vamps have all the brains of the living and few if any of our weaknesses.  Humans do well against zombies when they don't panic and have access to firearms.  Vampires, with superior speed, strength, immunity to zombification and potentially shape-shifting and other magics?  They'd mow down hundreds of zombies an hour.

They'd have to ignore the zombies for a long time before they'd even get close to being a threat.

And is anyone else reminded of the Astronauts vs. Cavemen argument from Angel?

Darkknight2280 10/2/2009 4:17:04 AM

Zombies could possibly have numbers on their side depending on how fast it would spread and if they are the running type or the lumbering type. But i think in the end vampires would win. Also what if a vampire was bitten by a zombie? Would they be immune? Or would they become zombie vampires which would have the best of both worlds? Theres something to think about :)

Darkknight2280 10/2/2009 4:31:08 AM

"Those of you who haven’t seen it, stop reading and get yourself to a video store." What is this 1991? lol

Chopsaki 10/2/2009 4:51:07 AM

What it really depends on is what kind of vampires and zombies were talking about...

George A. Romero zombies = slow

Zach Snyder zombies = fast

Blade = total badass

Edward Cullen = total pussy

OmegaDean 10/2/2009 7:22:09 AM

I'd disagree with this... Only because Vampires are smart as hell also.  They don't live for thousands of years being stupid.  They Lure heaping loads of Zombies to there doom.  Just set traps with a one otwo humans as bait.  And blow the Zombies dumb asses to pieces and then burn the rest.  It be slow and tedious process, and then they'd just set up human cattle plants and live happily ever after

monkeyfoot 10/2/2009 7:52:03 AM

OmegaDean, I agree with you.

Every filmmaker or writer adds and changes Zombie or Vampire abilities to suit their story needs. But on average, Vampires are smart, sophisticated, fast, and powerful and Zombies are slow, hard to stop(kill?), and damn near mindless. I think the Vamps centuries of experience with this sort of thing would win out in the end over slogging brain hungry simpletons.

monkeyfoot 10/2/2009 8:15:41 AM

Another thing, Vamps wouldn't just be limited to their own natural abilities to fight. As we've seen in films like Underworld, they can amass and use their own firepower, and they wouldn't just use pistols and machine guns. Bombs ,helicopters, missles, chemicals and more are able to be used by the bloodloving goth to eliminate this threat to their food supply.

I wouldn't even be suprised if humans would fight alongside them to defeat the foot-draggers. If you had a choice, who would you rather be in charge of things, intelligent, witty, and cultured Undead or just plain Undead?


bennyhill 10/2/2009 8:30:35 AM

I think Darknight and Chopsaki have it right...  you need to first determine what kind of zombie we are talking about to answer the question.  If we're talking the lumbering Romero Zombie, I say Vampire's win no contest.  If we're talking the Danny Boyle, "infected" fast moving Zombie, then I say the Mania writer, Chad's scenario holds true.  In that scenario the zombies are essentially a fast, wide spreading plague.   A plague that can spread even at night when the vamps are hibernating and are vulnerable.

What happens when a zombie bites a Vampire or vica versa?  I think you would get a brainless hybrid that also has the vulnerability of sunlight.  All of the logic, and cunning that make Vampires great would be gone and you would have a being that was too dumb to realize that they need to go into hiding before the sun comes out.  The result... burnt and dead on the street.

thorin02 10/2/2009 9:31:17 AM

The smart vamps will team up with humans in a symbiotic relationship.  Vamps protect humans and take the offensive during the night.  Humans protect the vamps and secure gains during the day. 

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