The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

6 (Stereo)types of Zombies Found in The Walking Dead

Somehow, though I forget how at the moment, I learned of this Holy Taco article on the 6 ‘Types’, or as I indicated above, Stereotypes, of Zombies that have been found in The Walking Dead tv show to date (apparently).

I know, I know, it’s the biggest Zombie media product to hit America in years, and I believe it’s up on Hulu, but you have to remember, I read all this stuff years ago, and I doubt it’s improved with age (though at least on screen it should be easier to tell characters apart than it was in the comic books). I’m dreading the hours of my life I’ll have to spend categorizing the offensiveness of Kirkman’s vision as brought to the small screen.

Therefore, cheat-sheets like the Holy Taco piece are useful. However, the author’s enthusiasm for Zombies seems to be limited to media that depicts them as a menace, which is unfortunate. Their tack on evaluating the ‘Zombies’ found in the show is interesting, in that it’s less Naturalism and more Media Criticism, assuming that each fictional ‘Zombie’ in the AMC product is there to serve a specific need of the show (often in selling the horror that Zombies are supposed to represent).

Holy Taco points out one of the most venerable cliches found in Zombie media:

Background Shuffler – You can’t fault AMC for not being innovative enough to do away with this character who has been in every single “mob mentality” horror movie ever. Whether it’s a horde of zombies, vampires, CHUDs or whatever the things that weren’t trolls were in Troll 2, there’s always some douchers just standing around in the background because the director only wants monsters 1 through 7 to attack the hero because the fight choreographer wasn’t comfortable with any more than that. The result is that while the near-miss attack is going on, you’re sitting at home drinking your Yoo Hoo thinking “why the shit aren’t the rest of the zombie swarming on him yet? They could have eaten him six times by now.”

Indeed! Zombie movies sometimes even go so far as to reference this phenomenon themselves, like in the Tom Savini-helmed remake of Night of the Living Dead, where Barbara is consistently amazed by how slow her (allegedly) Zombile adversaries are, and how easy they should be to evade, if only the gang of Living humans could get their acts together.

All praise aside, we can’t condone this Holy Taco critical approach when it displays the following sort of callousness toward the Differently Animated:

The Heart String Tugger – The most effective zombie is the zombie you don’t want to shoot, if there is such a thing. But how do you make a 150lb sack of rot and ass sympathetic? It needs a backstory and it gets that by having family.

We here at the ZRC are well aware that products like The Walking Dead only use Zombies as means to an end, much like gladiators in Ancient Rome, but still, could we have a modicum of respect for the people being oppressed here?

Still, if this summary is any indication, The Walking Dead is getting points down for both creativity and Zombie Rights. What a failed opportunity to raise public awareness and sympathy for the Differently Animated. What a squandered chance.

A real shame.


About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.

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