For humans and animals, the best way to make more humans or animals is through sex, or, if you’re really kinky, through cloning. For the undead creatures of horror movies and fiction, the best way to reproduce is through biting. If a zombie bites someone, it makes a another zombie. If a vampire bites someone, you get another a vampire. If a werewolf bites someone, you’ve got a brand new werewolf.
A question that’s been on my mind recently (if recently means the past 16 years) is what happens if a human is bitten by a vampire, a werewolf, and a zombie all at the same time. I tried asking this on Metafilter, and a rousing discussion began but the topic was closed by a moderator before it could really get underway (you can see the deleted thread here.) Since that thread was closed, I’d like to see if I can renew the discussion here, because (I thought) it was fun and interesting.
I know there’s lots of variables to consider, because depending on which movie you watch or which book you read, the undead can follow different rules. There’s also the question of how this could possibly happen in the first place.
Here’s my set-up for the experiment. Scientists, in an effort to understand and cure vampirism, zombification, and lycanthropy — or, more likely, in an effort to create a supermonster for a shadowy government weapons program — have captured a vampire, a zombie, and a werewolf. They are held in three separate chambers, and left to sit for a while so they get nice and bitey. Since the werewolf needs a full moon to become all werewolfy, let’s wait until there’s a full moon as well.
Now, our unfortunate test subject (Subject A) is brought in. One of his arms is put through a hole into the werewolf chamber, one arm is stuck into the zombie chamber, and his neck is shoved up to a hatch through which the vampire can bite it. (Since this is completely scientific, we’ll have a control group as well: another test subject (Subject B) is bitten by two completely uninfected people and one completely uninfected wolf (placebos) at the same time.
Let’s presume Subject A is bitten at the same time by all three monsters. I know, generally, a vampire bite doesn’t make you a vampire, because you also need to drink some of the vampire’s blood too, so let’s imagine some sort of blood draw is done on the vampire, and that blood is then squirted into the mouth of Subject A by some sort of robotic blood drawing/injecting contraption that the scientists invented. The zombie, meanwhile, is of the slow, shambling, classic zombie variety.
So, we’ve got Subject A with the zombie virus coursing through his veins, having been slurped on by, and consumed blood from, the vampire, and with the werewolf’s supernatural saliva also in his system. What happens to Subject A? Clearly, he’s going to die, and clearly he’s going to rise, eventually, as something. But will one of the infections win out over the others, or will he rise as some sort of supermonster? Is it dependent on which infection actually kills him? Could he be a zombie vampire who gets really hairy against his will once a month?
Bonus question: what if Subject A is a Frankenstein monster, who was assembled from cursed mummy parts (the kind of mummy who walks around killing people, not the kind who lie quietly in museums). What if the mummies, before they were mummies, were ninjas? Is it possible Subject A would eventually have all the combined characteristics of a mummy, a Frankenstein monster, a ninja, a zombie, a vampire, and a werewolf? If so, how would you ever kill him? With an incendiary silver throwing-stake through the brain?
Super bonus question: What if Subject A bites someone else (which he would invariably do: most likely, the stupid scientists who subjected him to this)?