Posted in Monday Mayhem

My Favorite Zombie Scenes

How many remember the scene in the movie World War Z where one of the zombies bites a human and a little girl initiates a countdown? It’s one of the most harrowing depictions of an undead change I’ve ever seen on film. So many elements make that scene work—the muted colors, the pounding score, the cold setting of the street while an infected rampage attacks others like a pack of ravenous wolves. Gosh, what a great scene.

For today’s Monday Mayhem I’m going to talk about my favorite zombie change scenes, and why I think they make for great viewing for any zombie lover out there.

28 Days Later
28 Days Later

Let’s start with 28 Days Later. No scene can compare with the one where Frank (Brendan Gleeson) steps under an infected body overhead and a drop of its blood hits him in the eye. He was one of the primary characters in the movie, delivering others from the evil that had spawned in the laboratory to consume the world. After much wiping and rubbing and contortions, he doesn’t have a chance. The way he had taken the role of father figure made the scene even more ironic in that he’d become the victim he attempted to prevent others from becoming.

Next up is 406 (Amber Heard) from the feature Zombieland. She’s Columbus’ (Jesse Eisenberg‘s) attractive next door neighbor a few apartments over. She pounds on our hero’s door looking queazy, running scared, but looking all the more beautiful than when Columbus first remembers her. Naturally, he offers her refuge from the homeless man who had attempted to bite her. All she wants now is to sleep. She grabs a pillow, rests it on Columbus’ shoulder, and falls into a deep sleep. After a quick fade-to-black, He awakens to find her changed and chasing him in his apartment. The scene works incredibly well because the audience, enchanted by her beauty, wasn’t expecting what she looks like after the change takes place. It also proves the cliché to be true—beauty is only skin deep.

The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead

The last scene comes from the TV show The Walking Dead. Andrea, the woman who seems to be the most ordinary and plain character of the lot, holds a vigil for her sister who falls victim to a walker’s bite the night before. The day after, while the other survivors make due with everything they have as their possessions, Andrea maintains her silence holding her sister in her sight and never letting go. She knows what’s to come. She understands that if her sister fell to the walkers the next step in her life will not be that of resurrecting as a living being, but a monster. As the morning draws on, movement in her sister sparks a smile in Andrea. Yet, the pale eyes, the subtle growl reveals a different story. Andrea may remember her sister as a loving, compassionate girl, but the body rising from the dead says otherwise. Andrea knows what she has to do.

The gunshot resonates throughout the valley liberating her sister and initiating Andrea’s hatred for the walkers.

These are the scenes I remember the most about characters who have met an untimely death and came back less than in stellar shape than what they were when they were alive.

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Do you have any zombie scenes of which you never tire?

Posted in Monday Mayhem

Zombie Characters

A few days ago, I watched World War Z—again. This movie will not go away, will it? I remember thinking how quickly humans had turned into zombies. The bite. The convulsing. The white eyes. The shreaking. And the cycle continues. I’d noticed this before, but never really analyzed it in depth. Not something I’m about to do either. I suppose that’s a good thing since it means the story kept me entertained enough for me not to wonder about these silly little nuances in character design.

R from the movie Warm Bodies
R from the movie Warm Bodies

In past posts, I’ve used Monday Mayhem as a springboard for fleshing out (pun intended) new concepts in the zombie genre in order to understand what makes a good story regarding the undead creatures. Because that’s what they really are—creatures. Anything that’s not human is inhuman. I think we can classify zombies as inhuman. Wouldn’t you say? Anyway, after a quick survey of my past posts, I realized I’d omitted one key topic that would come in handy in any zombie discussion. Who are the zombie characters I’ve grown most fond of during my fascination with all things undead?

I’m not going to limit this to a single character, but I would think a type of zombie would also constitute a character. Wouldn’t you think? Nonetheless, let’s see how it goes then you can tell me if it makes sense or not.

R—I’d written about Warm Bodies‘ R once before, yet I always seem to feel I haven’t done justice to this character. He’s a zombie with a heart who falls in love with a girl who just as rather put a bullet in her head than spend the afternoon with the undead. Why do I like him? He’s vulnerable and displays childlike qualities. He wants to learn and wants to teach. He’s a monster who becomes more human as the story progresses.

406 from the movie Zombieland
406 from the movie Zombieland

406—Known as the girl from apartment 406. In my opinion, she is Zombieland’s most interesting undead character. Played by the beautiful Amber Heard, 406 makes her appearance early in the movie and with a quick resolve, makes an impression on the audience. Her advances toward Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) are anything but sensual. When she tries to take a bite out of him, he knows better and the mad dash begins. Fun fact about 406? Even though infected with the zombie virus, she’s still as attractive as ever.

28 Days Later Zombies—Some of most malevolent zombies make 28 Days Later a zombie lover’s delight. They’re fast. They’re tough. They’re strong. These true creatures of the undead bite, kill, and eat. They’re ferocious, crashing through windows and tearing apart doors. No matter the circumstances, if the armies weren’t there, they’d decimate an entire city, which they’ve done before. How else to describe the devastation they cause?

Shaun of the Dead Zombies—They happen to be my favorite zombies of all. They’re slow, dim-witted and sometimes hilarious. How else can I describe Shaun of the Dead zombies? When victims throw vinyl records at these misfits and survive, you know we have real winners here. The best way to distract them from eating you is to act as a tour guide in order to steer them away from friends by appearing as the only tasty snack they ought to consider as their only option to consume.

I wanted to talk about a number of other characters including those in World War Z, but then we’d be here all day. I’m sure you’d appreciate a shorter post with fewer characters and an opportunity to add your own, than a longer one with a gamut of zombies to read about. Perhaps one day I’ll explore the whole zombie universe, but that day isn’t here yet. For now, have a go adding your favorites and see how far you can take it.

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Which characters haven’t I mentioned that you like? What makes them memorable?