Mara Jade
by Mara Jade

Zombies, in a very broad sense of definition, are the undead. They have to be dead first, and then re-animated. But that doesn’t mean they come back to life. While they can physically move, they would have lost their senses and identity, basically all sense of self.

Zombieism is almost always contagious. If you are exposed to a zombie, such as being bitten, it’s likely you might be turned into one. There are different types of zombies, the more common ones we know are the Walking Zombies, known as the Walkers, and the Running Zombies, aka Runners.

Zombie movies are gaining popularity in recent years, offering us zombies of varying speeds, cognitive awareness and state of decomposition. Here’s a look at 5 different types of zombies represented recently in movies.

Zombies Who Want to be Accepted

The Girl with All the Gifts

Traditional zombies are dead people who are re-animated. But there is a new breed of zombies, and they are very much alive, but with zombified tendencies, which make them a very scary breed.

In The Girl with All the Gifts (2016), that’s exactly what happens. This post-apocalyptic movie takes us into an abysmal world where humanity has been ravaged by a mysterious fungal disease. The infected turned into fast, mindless flesh-eaters, referred to as “hungries”. The second generation children are born where they crave living flesh but retain the ability to think and learn. Basically, they are zombie-like, but not undead. And among them is this girl named Melanie- and she is the one with all the gifts. 

These children are put under training and experimentation, and are under heavy lock and chain. But Melanie isn’t like the other children. She worships one of her teachers- Helen (Gemma Arterton), craving for Helen’s touch and working to get her approval in classes. When their base is overrun by the “hungries”, she protects Helen from threats, viciously attacking the soldiers who tried to restrain Helen. There are definitely not many zombies like Melanie, but if there were, the world would be a much scarier place.


Zombies With a Purpose


Zombies used for experiments are the worst kind of them all. We’ve heard of the Nazis experimenting on humans during the wars, but the movie Overlord takes it one step further, reanimating the dead and making them war weapons.

The movie is set during the real-life incident of a group of American paratroopers sent on a mission to destroy a German Radio Tower in a small town outside of Normandy one day before D-Day. When their plane crashed behind enemy lines, a small group of soldiers are left to carry out their task of bringing down the tower. But they discover something more sinister happening right under the tower. A Nazi scientist has been experimenting on human test subjects, turning them into zombified killing machines with superpowers. Now that’s scary. It’s already bad enough that zombies kill without remorse, but going on a killing spree with superpowers is just a disaster waiting to happen. Will the paratroopers be able to stop that from happening?


Zombies Who Want to Find Love

Warm Bodies

There are instances where fresh zombies still retain a semblance of their human life, but as days pass, they get more and more zombified and lose all sense of their humanity. At least that is the premise of the zombies in Warm Bodies (2013).

There’s been a zombie apocalypse, and R (Nicholas Hoult), finds himself in a meaningless existence as a zombie who wanders around the airport with his fellow undead. He constantly craves human flesh and upon consuming the human, he gets flashes of his victims’ memories. In a chance encounter, he meets Julie (Teresa Palmer) and finds himself attracted to her. For an undead, R has no heartbeat, but when he saw Julie, his heart started to beat for the first time.

Slowly, as R and Julie spend more time interacting with each other, R becomes more and more human-like, and his human flesh-craving starts to diminish as he finds himself falling for Julie. Warm Bodies is the perfect example of the saying “Love Conquers All.” Even for zombies.


Zombies Who Just Want to Kill

World War Z

Who doesn’t like traditional zombies that just want to kill? World War Z (2013) has plenty of them. In this Brad Pitt vehicle, the zombies in the movie are like Speedy Gonzales, and they are ferocious. There’s been a zombie pandemic and the army is being called upon to stop it from destroying all of humanity. Enters Pitt as former United Nations employee Gerry Lane, whose job is to locate the origin of the outbreak.

His journey is fraught with obstacle after obstacle, including one nail-biting scene where he has to enter a lab ridden with hungry zombies just waiting to tear his flesh apart. The zombies in World War Z have no semblance of humanity in them, but are mindless flesh eating machines that run and climb at top speed, letting nothing get in between them and their food.

Similarly, in Zombiepura (2018), our latest home-grown production, we see a massive zombie outbreak in an isolated NS Camp. Those infected with the crippling virus will start twitching violently almost immediately and scream in anguish before fully turning into mindless zombies out to get fresh flesh. The reservist soldiers have their work cut out for them if they want to save humanity from the clutches of these zombies.


Slow-turning Zombies Who Still Have Feelings


It turns out the speed at which a human turns into a zombie may differ. Some quickly turn after being infected, while others may take days. Such is the case in Maggie (2015), starring Abigail Breslin and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s present-day in the Midwestern United States, which looks pretty normal, except that the world has been afflicted by a zombie pandemic that’s been barely contained. Maggie (Breslin) has been bitten, and bids her family goodbye via a voicemail to protect them from getting infected by her. Once bitten, it’s a matter of weeks before she turns full zombie.

Eventually, her father Wade (Schwarzenegger), finds her and takes her home to live out the rest of her days. Physically, Maggie starts to rot, and maggots begin appearing on her dying body parts, but mentally, she is still very much human, coming to terms her ending humanity and the inner zombie that’s been trying to break out, until the very end.