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The Evolution of the Zombie in Film and Games

by Kenny Hoeschen
The Evolution of the Zombie in Film and Gameszoom in

Wish.co.uk created this terrific, informative infographic walking us through the evolution of one of our favorite recurring science fiction characters: the zombie. The fascinating history of the zombie begins with the 1932 B Movie starring Bela Lugosi, White Zombie and the 1936 film, Revolt of the Zombies. Of course, probably the most famous zombie film of the past is George Romero’s 1968 classic, Night of the Living Dead which is also responsible for what many people describe as the “zombie genre rules,” including how zombies move and how they can be stopped.

In the 1980s, we began to see zombies appearing in a new medium: video games. Ghosts ‘n Goblins contained zombies that rose from the ground and ambled towards the player with arms outstretched, in the characteristic Romero zombie style. But the first zombie video game is one we never hear of before: Zombie Zombie for the ZX Spectrum.

Since the 1990s, the popularity of zombies in video games and on screen has risen like a zombie from a grave. From Resident Evil and Half-Life’s headcrab zombies to the speedy zombies of 28 Days Later and the humourous zombies of Shaun of the Dead. And just this year we’ve had the popular game The Last of Us and the film version of World War Z, among others.

Here’s to the continued evolution of zombies. We tend to prefer the zombies that follow Romero’s formula: somewhat slow, brainless, and ambling, on a never-ending search for human flesh, and that can only be stopped with a beheading or destroying the brain.

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