I’ve been talking about music stuff for a while and neglecting the other area of prime importance for this blog – Zombies. Yes, those loveable, stinking, death-bringers are getting a thorough examination this time with a new list: the Top Ten Zombie Character Types.
1. Clown Zombie
The ubiquitous clown zombie is a favourite of zombiphiles the world over. In fact, this guy has attained such a cult following that he played a crucial role in the film Zombieland. But why is he so popular? Is it because clowns are creepy? Or is it some deeper sense of irony that people are tapping into? It all reminds me of that existential joke that some guy tells in some movie (seriously… mental blank here. Help!):
A guy walks into his therapists office and says, “I don’t know what to do. I just feel so depressed all the time.” And the therapist says, “Don’t worry. Why don’t you go out and have some fun. The great clown Pagliacci is in town. He is said to make everyone happy.” At that point the man bursts into tears. “What’s the matter?” asked the therapist. “But, sir, I am Pagliacci.”
Or something like that. What the hell was that film?
2. Hare Krishna Zombie
The Hare Krishna zombie’s Hollywood story is an unfortunate one. After a tour de force performance in the classic film Dawn of the Dead, Hare Krishna zombie found himself eternally typecast. So iconic was his status that few have ever dared to cast him again.
3. Smart Zombie
This one is a walking (dead) paradox. The intellectual capacities of the smart zombie can be put to good or evil purposes and, yet, in either case he serves only to hold a mirror to the un-zombie hordes. First raising his head (and reading Salem’s Lot) in Romero’s 1978 film Day of the Dead, he made a reappearance in the much-maligned 2005 film Land of the Dead. In the latter film he not only showed his own intellectual prowess (figuring out cause-and-effect and even how to fire a weapon) but he also became the first zombie educator when he passed his learning on to other zombies. Ultimately, Smart Zombie struggles for the rights of zombiekind everywhere.
4. Fast Zombie
This one is all about controversy. Why does he move so fast? Doesn’t he know anything about the established canon? Does he care? Hell no! He does what he does, bro. You can catch him pretending to be “the infected” in 28 Days Later, or demonstrating his athleticism in the remake of Dawn of the Dead and the posturing load of French nonsense that is La Horde.
5. Slow Zombie
Here we have the conservative zombie. If he was a politician he’d be a member of the Liberal Party (that’s Australia’s equivalent of the GOP) or maybe the Christian Democrats (that’s Australia’s equivalent of the Tea Party). Fearful of change or just lazy and cantakerous? No one knows. And we’re even less sure about Slow Zombies motivations.
6. Fat Zombie
It’s only right in fat countries like the USA and Australia (not known for it’s zombie films and yet, strangely, known for it’s bronzed and buff bodies – we actually “out-fat” the USA these days), that fat folks get the zombie treatment, too. My favourite? The old, groaning lady in the remake of Dawn of the Dead – interestingly, played by a male stuntman. Wait… what? Zombies are actors?! Pah.
7. Skinny Zombie
They want to eat your brains but are concerned about the calories. Resident Evil: Extinction has some gaunt ghouls but the Oscar goes to “slowly starving on the road zombie” from 28 Days Later. Masterful representation.
8. Disabled Zombie
This guy has grounds for a case before the Equal Opportunity Commission, in my book. So often do zombies wantonly tear through the flesh and bones of their victims that it makes no sense that so many of them would retain all of their limbs. Granted, half-a-body zombie gets around. The Walking Dead TV series, for example, features the heart-wrenching story of Old Lady Half-a-Body who spends the better part of two days dragging herself 50 yards across a park. How can we forget the poignant message for us all when our friendly protagonist walks the same distance in less than thirty seconds? Or am I reading too much into this?
9. Musical Zombie
Sure, I know, it just doesn’t sound right. Nevertheless, one need only listen to the dulcet tones of the three piece band at the start of Land of the Dead to know that (for soulless undead) the undead have soul! Mr. Tambourine Man can sure play some counterpoint. And if you remember the Thriller film clip you’ll know that despite the severe limitations that come with rigor mortis, those zombies have got some wicked rhythm.
10. Zombie Head
Disregarding any amateur theatre advice about body acting, this guy sells his performances with no more than a roll of his eyes and soundless waving of his jaw. Straight to the head of the class (budum pssh).
Anyway, this list could go on forever. Got any favourites of your own?