Seeing a person become zombified can result in reactions ranging from hand-wringing excitement to gut-wrenching heartbreak, all the way down to snore-inducing boredom. With Season 8 — and the 100th episode — of The Walking Dead coming in October, a World War Z sequel confirmed, and many other zombie movies and TV series coming or being renewed, have you ever wondered which character did "the turn" the best?
Here's a list of the top eight #zombie turns that have graced our theater and TV screens since the dawn of the movies about the dead.
8. Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
Who turns and why: Roger, from a zombie bite
Why it's the worst of the best: George A. Romero's flicks were the blueprints for the modern zombie movie, but you know how it is — some of us just need our CGI, blood splatters, and hysteria to keep us entertained. Being an older movie, Dawn of the Dead used SFX equivalent to that deer in The Walking Dead, and the above scene is no exception. Despite all the strikes against it, the original #DawnoftheDead had to be included, for nostalgia at least.
7. Dawn Of The Dead (2004 Remake)
What happens and who turns: Sarah Polley's character, Ana, and her husband Luis wake up one morning to find a zombified neighborhood girl in their house. Girl attacks husband, husband attacks wife, and man, is there a lot of blood.
Why it's slightly better than the original: The husband's transformation was quite a bit better than the turns in the original movie, but it could have been so much more thrilling. Instead, he's bitten, dies, and bam, he's a zombie. The “name that zombie” scene where the survivors are on the rooftop shooting celebrity zombie look-alikes makes a guy forget all about that, though, and made you wonder if that really was a zombified Jay Leno and Burt Reynolds.
In fact, that scene was so much better, here it is anyway:
6. Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Who turns and why: Shaun's mom gets bitten by a zombie, and dies in the place most of would want to: a pub.
Why it's a good scene: Seeing Shaun's mom turn was one of the more somber parts of one of the funniest horror movies ever made, along with his stepdad Philip's farewell speech and eventual turn. David's brutal death later in the movie pluck at your heartstrings even more, but then Dianne starts beating the zombies over the head with David's dismembered leg. That scene, along with Ed and his mad gaming skills, remind you that it's all just a bloody good time.
5. Resident Evil (2002)
Who and why: Michelle Rodriguez's character Rain and her suspenseful turn on a train, from a bite to the neck.
What makes it so good: Seeing Michelle Rodriguez's slow turn into a zombie on a speeding train at the end of the movie was gnarly enough (them teeth!), but seeing her get into her dead character in the behind the scenes was just fun.
4. I Am Legend (2007)
Who we lose and how he dies: Sam the Dog dies from wounds he received while saving his human's life.
What makes it so memorable: We miss seeing billions of people turn into the zombie-like creatures before the movie's timeline starts, but seeing Sam die and turn, and Will Smith's Robert Neville have to put him down is why this scene beats out every prior entry on this list. Seeing a man turn into a zombie can be sad. But man's best friend? How dare they do that to us.
3. World War Z (2013)
What happens: A random guy on the street gets attacked and bitten, and turns right there.
Now THAT'S how you turn into a zombie: Brad Pitt's Gerry Lane even gets to stand there and count how long it takes from the bite to the turn. The contorting of the body, the cracking, screaming, and eventual complete zombification is pretty riveting, especially when you think you're going to see Lane turn and do all that crazy contortionist stuff at one point later on in the movie.
2. The Walking Dead (2010-Current)
What happens in the scene above: Andrea's sister Amy succumbs to her walker-inflicted wounds after a herd of the undead swarm their camp.
Does this entry really surprise you: Amy's death scene, Merle's turn in Season 3, and even the x-ray video of Dr. Jenner's wife dying and coming back in Season 1 were all a little too realistic. When it comes to anything zomb—that is, walker-related, #TheWalkingDead has set the bar extremely high for any zombie show or movie in the future. Just ask George Romero about Road of the Dead.
And the winners are...
1. 28 Days Later & 28 Weeks Later
What happens: In 28 Days Later, Hannah's father Frank gets a drop of an infected bodies' blood in his eye, thanks to a stupid bird pecking on a zombified corpse from above. In 28 Weeks Later, Don kisses his infected (but immune) wife, get the Rage Virus, and...does really gross stuff to her eyeballs.
Why they're the winner and they get the chicken dinner: Yes, I'm aware the infected in this movie are technically not zombies. They never really officially died and came back, and they could probably be cured if they weren't busy eating the faces off of those trying to cure them. But #zombies are typically mindless, human-eating machines. The Rage Virus turned its victims into exactly that, and how it did it was outRAGEously awesome!
Warm Bodies (2013)
Who, what, and why: A zombie named R eats the brains of the boyfriend of a girl named Julie, gaining the boyfriends memories of her, and eventually falls in love. Those feelings cause him to slowly turns back into a...what would you call it? Non-zombie?
Why it gets the honorable mention: Warm Bodies snags the honorable mention for this list, and the esteemed honor of being the only movie that shows a zombie turning back into a human. And they do it so well!
Do you agree with this list? Turn to the comments below and let me know what your favorite zombie turning scene of all time is!