Oh, sure, no doubt. But it’s interesting to throw around ideas about how it might really work, at least in part because it can inspire some alternative takes on the zombie genre. How would a zombie apocalypse movie work differently, if taking a huge doze of antibiotics right after being bitten could prevent someone from turning, for example? Or what if someone is protecting a bitten loved one, because he’s hoping that antibiotics might save them? I see to recall one of the Resident Evil movies playing with this idea, but the results proved to be less than what one could hope for. Or, here’s one: what if antibiotics are only partially successful in fighting the zombie infection? One of Russo’s Living Dead spin-offs featured a character who was infected by a zombie bite, but for some reason (which I don’t think the film ever explained) never lost his higher mental faculties. Not a good film, as I recall, but an interesting idea.
A couple of works have played with the zombie bite trope to good effect, too. The comic book Hitman featured an issue where a mad scientist invents a zombie gas which he wants to sell to the military. When he gets the cold shoulder from them, he breaks into an aquarium, kills all the animals, and floods the place with his gas. The book’s hero is hired to go in, kill all the zombie animals, and put down the scientist. One of his side-kicks is bitten by a zombie seal, and immediately hacks off his hand to prevent the spread of the infection. Only after he’s done, does anyone point out that the zombies are created by chemical exposure, not by a virus, and there’s no pathogen for a zombie’s bite to spread.
The Norwiegan horror film, Dead Snow, about a bunch of skiers on vacation fighting zombie Nazis, plays with a similar theme. Although the zombie in this film are the result of a curse, and are unable to spread the infection to others, the characters don’t know this. One of them gets bitten on the hand, and saws it off as fast as he can. As soon as he’s done, another zombie erupts from the snow between his legs and bites him in the crotch. He declines to attempt another disinfection at that point.