With the release of “World War Z,” we have zombie fever. Whether it’s “Dawn of the Dead” or “Warm Bodies,” we can’t go too long without getting a new look at everyone’s favorite fictional (?) monsters. Most of the time the zombies fit the bill. They have green complexion, lurch along and eat brains. But there are more zombies out there in pop culture than you may realize. They have different names and back-stories as they subtly consume your films and television shows with their undead tendencies. Here are five zombies that you may not have realized are zombies.
The White Walkers- “Game of Thrones”
Westeros is a magical place, so of course they have reanimated corpses wandering about. We haven’t seen a ton of them in the show’s three seasons, but when we do they’re pretty terrifying. Held north of the Wall so far, their presence is the ultimate lingering doom as the kings kill each other down south unaware of the real threat coming their way. The fact that the walkers are the abominable snowmen of the zombie world only makes them cooler.
Dead Men of Dunharrow- “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King”
Wedged in between a ton of epic battles, Peter Jackson’s third “Lord of the Rings” film features an important moment where Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are aided by an army of dead in exchange for their freedom from a curse that keeps them on Middle-Earth. There are many differences in the book involving these characters, but there is no doubt they are Middle-Earth zombies. They seem to be able to think coherently and fight for good once given the right incentive, but the living dead are the living dead.
Ra’s al Ghul- “Batman Begins”
The comic book version of Ra’s is much more of an eternal, rise from the dead type, but Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is more rooted in reality than that. So what we get is a character who is so powerful and well organized we can’t get rid of him. First he dies, but it turns out that was a decoy. Then he really dies. A few years later in “The Dark Knight Rises” his legacy lives on with his daughter and committed servant, Bane. There is a moment in the film with a Ra’s al Ghul cameo that has us comic book fans thinking he’s back. Sure enough he’s just a hallucination. Okay, so he’s not a zombie, but he wants you to think he is.
Sid’s Mutant Toys- “Toy Story”
If you want proof that zombies are everywhere in movies, look no further than “Toy Story.” This is a children’s movie with Disney’s logo above the title. Inside we get a series of gruesome scenes where the dastardly neighbor, Sid, “kills” toys. In his defense he doesn’t know they’re alive, but still. Apparently the living toys aren’t so easy to kill because they come back with mismatched parts. They seem nice enough and don’t rip Woody’s head off, but they lurk around and come back to life. It’s the curse of the Disney zombies.
Inferi- “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
Sadly underutilized in the series, the Harry Potter zombies, known as inferi, are corpses that have been reanimated by a dark magic called Necromancy. Voldemort is of course the main culprit for such an act. In the film for “Half-Blood Prince,” we get a glimpse of the inferi as they attack Harry in the cave where Voldemort hid a horcrux. Dumbledore scares the crap out of them with fire and Harry survives as the inferi all crawl back into the lake. So that’s that. With such wizarding zombies written into the source material, they could have played a bigger role though. Imagine a gaunt Cedric Diggory or Mad-Eye Moody fighting on the Death Eater side at the Battle of Hogwarts. That would be creepy and awesome.
There are some examples of countless zombies that are out there. From Disney to DC Comics, it seems that we all love watching our heroes fight the undead. So double check your zombie apocalypse survival kit and rewatch “The Waling Dead” for tips just in case a white walker or demon toy finds its way into your neck of the woods.