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RandomMrAdam's avatar

What type of zombie makes a better movie?

Asked by RandomMrAdam (1645points) November 15th, 2012

I’m speaking in terms of how to depict a zombie in a movie? Fast zombies? Slow zombies? Crazed zombies? Mutated Zombies?Examples of fast zombies would be Dawn of the Dead; Slow zombies like such in Shawn of the Dead; Crazed zombies would be best described as what you would see in 28 Days(or Weeks) Later; and Mutated zombies would be those depicted in Resident Evil.

If you were making a zombie flick, which kind of zombie would you choose to depict, and why? I ask because I recently got into a friendly debate on Facebook with real-life friends about the upcoming World War Z motion picture based on the book.

Here is a good link for a reference on the new World War Z motion picture coming out soon. For those who have read the book – do you think that making the zombies “fast zombies” was a bad idea and how would you have produced the movie if you disagree with what you’ve seen?

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23 Answers

tedd's avatar

I obviously (as the other end of the debate) favor slow zombies. Fast zombies ruins the horror of it, and makes them far more lethal than their slow counterparts. I would say all zombies are crazed, regardless of their speed.

My major qualm with the apparent portrayal that is coming in the film, is that it is very divergent from the zombies in the book. In the book they are the classical, slow, rotting, methodical zombies. One zombie in the book is not a major concern, multiple zombies are (vs fast zombies where just one could very easily be fatal). But more importantly, without ruining the book for those who may be interested in reading it, several key plot points in the book depend upon the zombies being slow. The very manner in which man kind finally fights back against the zombies would be rendered completely useless if the zombies were fast.

Not that I have a problem with someone making a movie with fast zombies, more power to them. But if they were going to ignore 90% of the book anyways, then why did they bother buying the rights to it?

bhec10's avatar

Ugh, I hate zombie movies, but from the few I’ve seen I was most afraid of the fast ones, they just came out of nowhere.

When the slow ones are really slow then it just looks stupid in my opinion.

Mutated zombies are also scary as $#!✝

fremen_warrior's avatar

I totally agree with @tedd zombies are slow, the infected in 28 days later are a different breed completely. On the other hand if you want your zombie movie to have a deeper meaning, speed is a powerful tool to express who you think the modern zombie is. Read up on Romero and how zombie flicks actually are a parable for society. People tend to overlook this aspect of Z-movies a lot.

Brian1946's avatar

It seems that beings that eat brains rather than use them, wouldn’t be very good at making any movies, much less one that’s better. ;-)

Coloma's avatar

I’m bored with human zombies, we need more animal zombies like zombie Camels and zombie geese. I think they should make a movie where all the worlds animals become infected with a zombie virus and humans must fight off the zombie critters.
Opening scene: A little girl sits with her pet bunny feeding it a carrot when the infected bunny attacks and kills her and then disappears into the woods to start the great animal zombie movement.

Next scene, a couple of fisherman pull a zombie trout of a lake and are massacred in their boat. lol

poisonedantidote's avatar

In my movie, the zombies would vary on speed depending on how fresh they are. If you have been dead for 30 minutes you get to sprint, if you have been dead a day you can muster up a stiff jog, and once you are a couple of weeks in you become slow. After a year or so of being dead, you become far more rotten and even slower than the regular slow zombie, maybe even so rotten you can no longer move at all.

I would go with headshot kills.

If you get bitten by a zombie you turn, if you bite them or drink water one of them rotted in, you also turn. It would be explained as a disease.

My movie would start comical, not many zombies about, all of them slow. You would get an occasional surprise when you come across a sprinter, but would mostly feel safe.

As the movie goes on, you would realize there are now so many slow zombies, that they are a real threat now. The movie would then set in to claustrophobic doom, as the survivors realize the only way to go on, is wait until all the zombies rot away.

There would also be references to the smell, more survivors puking or having trouble eating.

Seek's avatar

It depends.

“Undead” zombies are best when Romero-style. They are, of course, reanimated corpses, so they don’t get to be superhuman and still be convincing.

The only “hyper-zombies” I’ve liked were in 28 Days Later, but in that case the “zombies” are the result of an infection that affected living people. The ones in that horrible Will Smith movie were just stupid.

Berserker's avatar

Personally, I prefer slow shuffling zombies over the sprinters. Except I’m not going to say what in between those types makes a better zombie movie. If the chosen zombie’s characteristics are respected within the movie, then both types can work out fine. (like you don’t have walkers who start sprinting out of nowhere; I’ve seen this before, and believe me, it does ruin the feel and mythos of a movie)
I think shuffling zombies are scarier, because even if they’re slow and you can just walk right passed them, in the end, you’ll probably get busted anyways…it takes your small hope and crushes it, and that completely turns me on, haha. (leave it to Romero and Lucio Fulci to depress everyone XD) But sprinting zombies, it seems almost hopeless. It’s like being chased by Jason Voorhees, who’s practically indestructible…what are you gonna do besides get killed? I also think they really tend to exaggerate with the sprinting zombies, and how they make them screech and scream like maniacs all the time. But that does go with that type of zombie, and I do enjoy it. As long as they do something good with the idea and properly exploit the premise, really I’m good with both. I don’t think one is technically better than another, besides my own preference.

I used to think sprinter zombie movies weren’t as good because with those types, you can’t have the ambiance and creeping fear factor of a slow zombie movie, and the tension, I thought didn’t build up properly. But sprinters are relatively new, and since I’ve had those thoughts, I’ve seen plenty of sprinter zombie movies that have changed my mind. Both types can have the very same feel, when done right.

What annoys me is zombies that learn to talk, use key cards or wield firearms. That works fine in a comedy, but in a serious zombie movie, that’s like, meh. That’s why I’m glad The Crazies wasn’t zombies, even though everything about it was ’‘zombie movie’’. But it does come from an original older movie, so they probably had something to respect here.
See there’s some rules and a set you have to respect in a zombie movie; a swarm of dangerous beings that bring about a case for survival, and while the brains and zombies are the stars, ultimately you focus on a team of survivors and their adventure within this idea. Zombies are simple, and that’s the point I believe. You can’t have them do too many different things because it breaks the charm. That’s why zombie movies not set in an ruined civilization tend to be sneered at…but I’m always willing to check those kinds out too, since originally a zombie really isn’t what we know them like on da big screenz.
But both walkers and sprinters usually respect the norm when it comes to what builds the zombie movie, so I find it hard to complain. Lol.

@Coloma Well then, I have a movie for you. Check out Black Sheep. Technically they’re not ’‘zombie sheep’’, but the whole of the movie revolves around the zombie premise. And while it’s depicted as comedy…it’s actually pretty scary lol. (good gore too)

tedd's avatar

@poisonedantidote I like the idea there, with their speed being dependent upon their time of death. But it also ignores the reality of how your body decays, and the stages it goes through in the immediate aftermath of death (rigor mortis for example). Another factor would be what drives them to be zombies. In the show “The Walking Dead” the dead are brought back by a disease that enables the most basic functions of their dead brain, with “pulses” of life going through their nerves. Such a pulse likely wouldn’t give you a smooth walking pattern.

Seek's avatar

@Symbeline I thought the new The Crazies did the original movie justice, except for leaving out the incest scene. That was really important to the feel of the movie, and * poof * magically gone.

Berserker's avatar

I haven’t seen the original, so you reckon it? I liked the remake.

Seek's avatar

The original is excellent. Of course it’s going to be all 70s-y, but it’s still really great.

rojo's avatar

Slow zombies. But still, what do zombies eat when there are no live people around? Would they not die (again) from starvation?

Berserker's avatar

@rojo Nah, they’d keep searching for humans to eat, but they wouldn’t die of starvation. Eating the flesh and brains of a human does not, in any way, regenerate or otherwise enhance the zombie’s faculties and state. Eating won’t alter the decomposition process. Technically they don’t even need to eat. They don’t breathe, they can walk around even if their neck and spine are broken…hell, even if they don’t have a stomach, they still ’‘live’’, and eat.

Ultimately, they would hang around until they rotted enough, and that the part of their brain affected by the ’‘virus’’ would rot. When there isn’t enough of it left to contain the virus, it would have nowhere to go, and the zombie would finally ’‘die’’. Going on Romero logic, here. (and some slight Brooks, which is basically the same as Romero…) Sources may often suggest otherwise, but in any case, rarely does a zombie get affected by starvation; the only way ’‘starving’’ affects it is that it makes the zombie a lot more agitated and aggressive.
Otherwise, a zombie could, technically, walk around until it’s just a skeleton, and then when THAT would start falling apart into dust, the zombie would finally stop ’‘living’’. (that is, while ignoring the idea that a portion of the brain needs to be present for the zombie to exist)

rojo's avatar

Ok, this is scary @Symbeline because what you said just made sense. Maybe it is time for me to retire to the bedroom. But…....... Thanks for clearing that up!

Berserker's avatar

Actually one thing I left out, in the skeleton scenario. If the zombie could continue living as a skeleton, if legs were broken, then I’m guessing that unless it’s a fracture, without all the meat to keep the bones together, it might suffer a serious loss of motor skills…hmm…zombie skeletons. Someone should make a movie about a buncha animated skeletons that fuck shit up! :D

rojo's avatar

Wasn’t that the scenario in the “Jason and the Argonauts” movie?

Berserker's avatar

Maybe? Never saw it. :/

rooeytoo's avatar

One that looks like Taylor Lautner without his shirt. Oh wait, he is a werewolf I think, whatever, just keep his shirt off!

Seek's avatar

How bad is it that the first thing I thought was “Zombie skeletons wouldn’t work, because there’s no muscle or tendon to make them move.”

Seriously, though, amputated zombie parts don’t move (unless the movie sucks, or sucks ironically. This is pretty much a rule). And according to the batshit Doctor in Day of the Dead, it’s all in the brain.

While they don’t technically need to eat, some zombies can be trained using food as a reward.

Berserker's avatar


Seek's avatar

My hubs named his pit bull after Bub. ^_^

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