9 of the worst zombie movie clichés
Dawn of the Dead/George A. Romero

Zombie movies have been an ever-present in the movie release calendar for decades. The creepy apocalyptic dream of horror geeks and social commentators everywhere, you’d assume that with so many additions to the genre on a regular basis, that someone would look to be a little original. Wrong!

So pack up that survival kit and head on down to the local shopping mall. Here are 9 of the worst cliches in the zombie film sub-genre.

1. The secret bite

There’s always going to be a point where some poor sap takes a chewing but opts to hide their rapidly-degrading humanity from their pals because maybe, just maybe, they can be cured in time. It never works out that way though – and this snake-in-the-grass soon finds themselves questing for brains just like the rest of them…

Dawn of the Dead 2004

2. Suddenly…zombies

For groaning, shuffling corpses that reek of rotting flesh, zombie sure are wily buggers. Capable of sneaking up on would-be victims better than Solid Snake, the evil dead have an annoying habit of appearing out of thin air all in the name of the jump scare.

3. The military are evil

As everyone knows, in the midst of a zombie outbreak, the last group of people you can rely on for protection are the very people employed to protect us. The military have a habit of turning on the remaining civilian folk and are seemingly always out for their own gain. These selfish personnel can usually be sussed out by their methods of advertising ‘Safe-Zones’, which are never that safe at all.

(Warning: NSFW)

4. She’s already dead!

There’s always a stubborn fella who will take a little convincing to believe the world has gone to crap. He/she just can’t seem to understand that their former loved one now gnashing away in the corner like a rabid dog is no longer human. Just look around you for God’s sake!

5. What’s up Doc?

As the zombies emerge, so to do the creepy doctors. These guys are having a field day now that there are no longer any rules surrounding human experimentation. Capturing hapless zombies in the name of ‘science’ is their game, but it almost always comes around to bite them in the arse. Literally.

6. Shopping mall

What is it with hiding out in shopping malls and supermarkets? Survivors and zombies alike flock to these establishments in droves. You’d assume that based on the amount of times this old cliche has cropped up in zombie films that the very idea is embedded deep within the human psyche. So, if there ever is a zombie outbreak, go somewhere else.

7. The A**hole

Like the mad doctors, the zombie outbreak has a habit of attracting real douche-bags. Typically under the guise of a businessman or military commander, these men are only ever in it from themselves and will do anything and everything to ensure their own survival.

Captain Rhodes/Day of the Dead/George A. Romero

8. Grand Theft Auto

The world is overrun by flesh-eating corpses, no one is producing food or electricity anymore and clean water is in short supply. Logically then, all cars will still work. No matter how long the rust bucket has been sitting out in the open, it will without fail have the keys and a full tank to get our survivors to wherever they need to go.

9. The heroic sacrifice

When the time comes to launch an epic escape from the confines of whichever high-street supermarket our heroes find themselves in, the job of fending off the ravenous hordes of man-eating walkers falls to an unfortunate guy who must give his life for the greater good. Typically these guys will have undergone some character changing arc during the course of the film and will have realized that sometimes, the future of the group is more important.

Dawn of the Dead 2004

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