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The Evolution of the Zombie

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Forget what you remember about your slow, shambling, rotting, flesh-eating corpses, also known as zombies. What used to be bland, boring, and not that scary are now taking the place of the “sparkly love-struck vampire” and the hugely terrifying beast of a werewolf. Thus evolving in pop culture. Zombies, from the standards that we remembered were these slow, staggering and moaning undead that could not run or jump, they could not open doors nor did they have any sense of self-awareness.

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But through the years these standards have changed and modified and we are left with a whole new line of zombies, many of them very dangerous. In the event of a Zombie Apocalypse one of the first things we would need to know is what type of zombie we are dealing with, your typical slow moving Romero Zombies, the more dangerous, scary, and fast Berserkers, or the “new” Self-Aware Zombie. The Romero Zombies are your original, classic zombie from the man who reinvented the genre, George A.

Romero, legendary filmmaker.

These are the shambling, moaning, and very slow moving zombie from the bottom of the undead food chain. Imagine zombies that can have missing legs, arms, holes in their stomachs, and will still keep trying to eat you. They have lost all muscle coordination and dexterity. The Romero Zombie is not very scary looking, and is easy to outrun, but they can quickly overrun you in a large horde. Sometimes called Walkers, Biters, and Roamers, Romero Zombies are featured in Romero’s own film the “Night of the Living Dead”, and the television show, “The Walking Dead”.

Although Romero may have originated the shambling and moaning undead that can only be killed by a blow to the brain type. He was not opposed to the idea of exploring new ways to keep the zombie genre fresh and changing with the times. He soon evolved as well in the film, “Land of the Dead” by introducing us to a type of zombie called the Berserker, or runners. Almost opposite of the Romero zombie is the Berserker, or Runners. The best way to describe a Berserker is to that of a rabid, feral, dog times ten. A Berserker is super fast, very animate, and has super-human strength and senses.

These zombies can run, jump, flip, and are strong enough to climb obstacles that would give a parkour enthusiast reason to pause. There are even some that exhibit emergent behavior like what we see with ants and the way they work together, as seen in the new upcoming summer blockbuster, “World War Z”, based on the book by Max Brooks. In the promo for the movie you can see hordes of zombies working together, like an ant colony, to form bridges and ladders. In another movie, 28 Days Later, the Berserkers are called infected rather than the undead. In one scene, a drop of infected blood drops into the eye of a man.

Within 20 seconds we see him go from a normal person to a raging, rabid lunatic. The eyes become red, the person vomits blood, blood pours from the eyes and nose and they are full of rage and adrenaline-enhanced stamina. Berserkers are similar to the Self-Aware zombie in that they are both very dangerous and highly attuned to their surroundings and they are both out of the norm for zombie culture, although the self-aware zombie is a bit more advanced. The Self-Aware zombie is somewhat new to the genre and is the most advanced zombie of the three.

These zombies know they are zombies but cannot help themselves. They know they shouldn’t necessarily eat people but they cannot stop themselves. They have thinking capabilities and their dexterity and muscle coordination is back as well. They sometimes have feelings, like in the new movie “Dead Bodies”. The Self-Aware zombie in this movie start to get a small amount of brain and heart function back and falls in love. However, a Self-Aware zombie is one of the most dangerous zombies of the three mentioned because they can think and work together.

A quote from a book I have sums up pretty much what goes on in the dead brain of a self-aware zombie. “I reached out with my mind for that was the only tool I had available. I could ‘sense’ my body, could see and hear through my eyes and ears. I could feel my hands, sticky with blood; could feel Gina’s intestines as my hands grabbed large portions, could feel my muscles strain as they pulled parts of her free. I could feel my teeth as they tore into the slick casing, I blacked out momentarily as I allowed myself to ‘feel’ the taste as the coppery, crap taste flooded through my mouth. In our ever changing world of pop culture, zombies are taking over the mainstream audience and vampires and werewolves are no longer relevant.

They have evolved into all types of the undead, or infected and zombies are only limited to what our imaginations can bring. Whether you choose to have your zombies be more like the Romero Zombies; the classic shambling, moaning slower zombie or the raging, fast moving Berserker, or the thinking Self-Aware Zombie, I think my favorite will always be the classic Romero Zombies, nothing fancy, just a staggering, snail paced shuffling undead of the original creator.

Cite this The Evolution of the Zombie

The Evolution of the Zombie. (2016, Oct 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-evolution-of-the-zombie/

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