People die in every zombie movie, and a lot of these expendable masses make stupid decisions that lead to their untimely, gnawed-upon deaths. As the zombie movie continues, a group of survivors emerges and somehow manages to stay alive despite the chaos and destruction. But then, one of them does something really stupid. I mean, shockingingly, head-scratchingly, shout-WHY-at-the-television-set STUPID. And subsequently dies. And you just have to wonder how a character with such great survivor instincts could be so…careless.
Here are my top 5 WTF zombie movie deaths.
5. Roger, Dawn of the Dead (1978)
From the start of the movie, you really like Roger. He’s charismatic, interesting, and empathetic towards the zombies. It’s shown from Roger’s first appearance that he is an adept survivor. He’s a member of a SWAT team, he keeps his head cool under pressure, and he’s a crack shot with a gun. As the movie progresses, he shows no sign of losing his cool. But then…[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5OQtK_VJ1k]
The group creates an intricate plan involving moving trucks in front of the mall entrance, so that the Zombies can’t break into the mall. Roger is uncharacteristically cocky about the plan, and he carelessly leave the door to his truck open while he tries to hotwire it, leading to a VERY close call with several zombies. Roger emerges from this moment unscathed and visibly shaken, but instead of reacting with more caution, like a normal person might, he returns to an even more manic state of hubris and winds up being bitten.
I placed this death at #5 on my list because I can kind of see what Romero was going for, but I still don’t totally agree with it. Someone who has had significant SWAT training, who has proved to keep a clear head in both gun fights AND zombie invasions, ought to approach a tactical maneuver such as this with more caution…right? ESPECIALLY after his close call and his warning from Peter. Still, Roger winds up dead and I wound up sad.
4. Terri Morales (the Weather Woman), Resident Evil Apocalypse
It’s a rare thing to be able to blame the completely stupid death of one non-zombie character on another non-zombie character, but the Resident Evil franchise seems to be chock-full of these moments. The first movie allows several team members to be killed with lasers because of the bad computer skills of another team member. Unfortunately, that instance didn’t make this list since the team didn’t suffer DBZ (Death by Zombie). No worries, though, since Resident Evil Apocalypse picks up right where the first Resident Evil left off.
Let me set the scene: A female cop, an incompetent and idiotic pimp, and a weather woman are about to search a school in a zombie infested city for a scientist’s little girl, who he believes is still totally alive and well. (What? I didn’t say it was a GOOD movie.)
The cop decides they should split up (READ: rookie mistake) and search the school separately. The weather woman protests this, but the cop ignores her entirely and give her a gun, which the weather woman doesn’t know how to use. Then this happens:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca-gXjCUNH0]
Terri, the weather woman, is understandably terrified and wandering the school on her own. She happens upon a lone little girl with her back to the door, rocking back and forth. Terri approaches the girl with words of comfort, but then reels back in fear as the girl reveals herself to be a zombie eating some human flesh. As Terri backs away in fright, she is surrounded by a hoard of zombie school children and consumed. And to make the moment all the more charming, Terri’s gruesome death is recorded on the handheld digital video camera she’s been carrying around with her this whole time. Awesome.
Now, its obvious to see where Terri went wrong. However, I’m not blaming Terri’s death on Terri. I’m blaming Terri’s death on Jill Valentine, the cocky cop who suggested they split up. Throughout the movie, Valentine is portrayed as an over-sexualized hard ass, but she is revealed to have some emotions and feelings. In fact, after the death of her friend, Terri even makes an effort to comfort Valentine. So I’m at a complete loss to understand why Valentine would so carelessly send Terri off to her death without batting an eye.
Sure, I understand that Terri’s character was expendable. In fact, up until this moment in the film, she’s never even had a weapon and has mostly been running, falling, and screaming while the more competent characters saved her at the expense of their own safety. She needed to die, and the fact that her tragic death-by-scary-kid-zombies is caught on camera makes for a strong impression. But WTF, Jill Valentine? Why are you such a heartless bitch? When Valentine finds Terri dead, she gives 0 Fucks. ZERO! But does manage to swipe the camera for use as proof of the Umbrella Corporation’s viral destruction. So much for camaraderie, eh?
3. Barbara, Night of the Living Dead
You had to know this one was coming. I personally find NOTLD’s Barbara to be one of the most annoying zombie movie protagonists EVER CREATED. She runs, she wines, she falls down in the dirt a lot, she has “ladylike” fits of hysteria, she leaves her brother to die saving her, and lies around shouting things like “Johnny has the keys!” over and over again until you want to slap that bitch. In fact, you pretty much want to clap when Ben finally smacks her, simply because her character is SO FUCKING AGGRAVATING.
Anyway, the isolated farm house in which the group of survivors is hiding is under siege by zombies, and the doors aren’t holding. If you’re going to watch the clip, you’ll have to suffer Mrs. Cooper’s singularly horrifying death at the hands of her spade-wielding zombie daughter (another fairly stupid but sad death) before you get to Barbara’s.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BSZmICgkmg]
I really can’t imagine how all those zombies managed to get in, what with Barbara shouting “No! No!” and flailing around so helpfully. Really, I thought the power of her voice was enough to keep them out. (EYEROLL) Seriously though, Barbara more or less lets herself be dragged out into the writhing mass of ghouls with almost no attempts at escaping. Maybe that’s what she deserves, considering how she left her brother to die in the beginning of the film. Oh well. She makes for better zombie food than a zombie fighter anyway.
2. David, Shaun of the Dead
When I think of stupid zombie deaths, this is the one that usually comes to mind. It’s sad, it’s stupid, it’s incredibly gruesome, and the special effects are killer. Literally. Prior to this moment in the film, David has been an utter jack ass to Shaun. It’s quite obvious that despite having his long time girlfriend Diane, he’s still madly in love with Shaun’s ex, Liz. After a heated argument, David starts to apologize. And then…[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXjKUXgoyL4]
I find this death to be one of the most poignant moments in the film. David’s one chance to apologize for his outrageous behavior is cut short when he is yanked out the window and eviscerated.
Why is it stupid?
Well, come on. First he threatens to leave out the front door (Stupid decision 1) and THEN he goes and stands in front of a window that HE broke with a trash can, in arm’s reach, with masses of the undead just snatching at his ankles. And he puts HIS BACK TO THE WINDOW.
What isn’t stupid about that?
Still, this is, in my opinion, one of the scariest zombie movie deaths ever. I’m pretty sure I had nightmares about it after I saw Shaun of the Dead for the first time.
1. Dawn of the Dead remake- Umm…All of them?
I’m sorry, but where do I begin? After the adrenaline-pumped opening to this terrifying movie, the rag tag group of survivors takes shelter in a huge mall. And then the death-stupidity-meter just goes through the fucking roof. Seriously.
First, I do want to say that I like this film. A lot. I think the fast zombies are horrifying and the stuff real nightmares are made of. I think the movie’s use of amputee actors as zombies really enhances the life-like look of the mangled undead killers. I think the headshot technology they used is extremely realistic. I watch this movie more frequently than I’d like to admit. But I still think it’s really, really stupid when you boil it all down. So let’s start!
1. Baby Zombie Daddy Shoot Out
Okay, let’s start with that one part where Convict Guy’s pregnant wife is infected with the Zombie Virus. He knows she’s infected, so he hides her condition from the rest of the group and ties her down to a bed so he can deliver the baby because, c’mon guys, it’s going to be totally normal, right?
After the baby is delivered and the mama is a thrashing zombie menace still tied to the bed, the whole fiasco is discovered by Nice Elderly Truck Driver Lady. Nice Elderly Truck Driver Lady shoots the zombie mama in the head, and Convict Guy, who has become a nut case, shoots Nice Elderly Truck Driver Lady. She shoots him back and they both die. Then the rest of the group shows up in time to discover a ZOMBIE INFANT. So…they kill it. Now THEM’s some stupid zombie death shenanigans right there.
But, wait! There’s more!
2. Dog Carrying Lunch Leads to Pointless Death and Carnage
So one of the major plot points of this movie is that across the street from the mall is a gun and ammunition store. The store owner is still alive, and he and the mall group exchange messages via dry erase boards and binoculars. The mall group needs ammunition and the Gun Guy needs food.
Fortunately for everyone involved, the mall group found a dog unharmed by the zombies because apparently zombies don’t eat dogs. They decided to strap food and necessities to the dog, lower it into the fray of zombies, and let the dog carry the food safely to the Gun Guy. In reality, it’s not the DUMBEST idea ever. Until…
Annoying Teenage Girl flips her shit because the dog is her best friend and she’s scared for its safety even though it’s CLEAR that the zombies aren’t going to eat the dog. So she takes it upon herself to rescue her canine companion by stealing a truck and going on a suicide mission for absolutely NO REASON.
Incredibly enough, she makes it into the gun store unharmed. But uh oh! Gun Guy was bitten by a zombie when he let the dog in! And now Annoying Teenage Girl is trapped in the gun store with him. Which no one would really care about except that they all REALLY love that dog…and they also need ammunition. So the group plans an insane rescue mission, which results in the death of Ugly Hick Dude with Trucker Hat. Not that anyone really cares.
Still, the Annoying Teenage Girl and doggie are saved and the rest of the team collects their guns and ammo and high tails it back to the mall, where zombies are streaming in. They run to the specialty escape vehicles they’ve spent a long montage designing and take to the streets.
3. Chain Saws and Zombies Never Really Mix Well…unless you’re Bruce Campbell
I’m going to sum this one up fast, because it’s not even the stupidest thing to come. Anyway, the passengers on the death buses have chainsaws, which they are using to keep the zombies off the sides of the buses. One of the buses crashes and two of the group die horrible chainsaw deaths. Awesome.
The group loses 2 more members as they all fight to get to a yacht on the pier that will carry them to safety. The Main Guy reveals that he has been bitten at the last minute, and the group leaves him to die a peaceful death at his own hand as they sail into the sunset.
And you can breathe a sigh of relief… Because they’re all FINALLY DEAD!
So that’s it for my Top 5 Zombie Deaths Caused By Stupidity and Carelessness. Know of any deaths that I missed? Add them in the comments section!