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