Zombie Cliché Lookout: You Know, that One Character from the Beginning
It’s always fun when a minor character who was around only momentarily at the beginning of the story suddenly and inexplicably shows up way down the road. Of course this is by no means contained just to zombie stories. Sometimes they turn out to be important to the plot, sometimes they become regular characters, and sometimes they’re there just to give fans a quick “Hey, it’s that guy!” before they’re torn to shreds by ravenous hordes of the living dead.
The best example I can think of from a zombie movie is that wife/mother of the main characters in 28 Weeks Later. She’s abandoned by her husband at the beginning of the film, and we all assume she’s killed by the ragers. When she shows up in the second act, everyone is shocked. Of course, he showing up does no one any favors.
Discussion Question: Must Annoying Survivor Decision
People do a lot of stupid shit in zombie movies. Some of that is explainable. Put people in pressure cooker situations and they’re bound to panic and do something stupid. But on the other hand, characters will often do things for absolutely no discernible reason. What’s your favorite example of that, and why?
Mine would undoubtedly have to be from the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead. When Steve is exploring the mall he wanders into a sporting good store. He’s armed with only a crowbar, so he looks around for a better weapon before checking out the strange noise in the back of the store. And what does he pick? An aluminum baseball bat? A compound bow? Nope. He puts down his steel crowbar and picks up a croquet mallet. It makes me furious every time I watch the movie. Of course that’s a cool zombie kill that follows, and I assume that’s the only reason the writers and/or director had him do that, but still.