A series of particularly horrific murders should normally spark fear, outrage, and a deadly serious response. But it turns out that when cannibalism is the theme, it’s an opportunity for tongue-in-cheek (so to speak) marketing and an unlikely official statement.
In early May, a Miami man attacked a homeless man and ate an estimated two-thirds of his face. The attacker — who was allegedly under the influence of bath salts of all substances — was shot dead while the victim is to have reconstructive facial surgery.
Since the attack, there have been several reports of cannibalism-based attacks, including a Maryland college student eating the heart and brains of a victim, a Texan mother eating the brain and toes of her newborn child, and a Swedish professor cutting off and eating the lips of his wife after suspecting an affair.
Perhaps inevitably it’s led to the phrase “zombie apocalypse” being thrown about all over the media. Because cannibalism (and zombie behavior specifically) isn’t usually listed as a cause of death in official figures, it’s hard to tell if this is a particularly busy period for such attacks, let alone anything more than a freaky coincidence. After all, once you’ve had a couple of such attacks reported nationally, journalists are much more likely to look out for such stories and then cover them.
Still, brutal and horrendous as such attacks are, one company is cashing in. Ammo supplier Hornady is promoting the Z-MAX bullet range, available in a series of different sizes. It supposedly has an “ultra-flat trajectory” that will “make dead permanent.”
The bullets, which the company openly admits are a marketing gimmick based on its founder’s love of zombie flicks, have apparently become the best-selling product on the company’s site.
Meanwhile the Center for Disease Control has been drawn into the affair. It’s previously attracted publicity with a spoof guide (pictured above) to surviving a zombie apocalypse. Now a spokesman for the agency has assured the Huffington Post there’s nothing to worry about:
“CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms.)”