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Makeup Artists Show the Evolution of Zombies in Pop Culture

It’s finally here, the happening you’ve prepared for more than your own retirement, the event you are better informed about than the presidential election–it’s the zombie apocalypse.

You got this! You have studied for it. You have your survival kit in the basement and your best boots ready to hit the road. Of course, there is still one small but very important matter to figure out: what type of freaking zombie did it turn out to be?


We all know that what matters more than whether or not you have enough beef jerky in your backpack is figuring out if these are more like the classic, slow-moving living dead zombies, or infected humans that can sprint after you. Also, you’ll need to know how grotesque looking they are, because honestly that’s going to make it easier to shoot them in the head. No one wants to kill Bill from next door if he looks like Bill. However, if his jaw is missing and his face looks like it melted, that’s just a monster, not the guy who does your sidewalk with his snowblower.

In this awesome time lapse video from Top Trending, mega-talented makeup artists transform one man over and over again to show the evolution of zombies throughout the history of pop culture, from film, television, and games, starting in 1932 with voodoo zombies.


Besides the physical differences they also explain the resulting attributes of each, which are absolutely necessary to know if you plan on making it more than ten minutes during the zombie uprising.

The rest of the zombie versions include:

  • Living Dead 1968
  • Viral Zombie 1996
  • Rabid Zombie 2002
  • Biter 2010
  • Z Zombie 2013
  • Dying Light Volatile 2015

A couple of things really stand out here. One is that we are truly living in the Golden Age of Zombies. The other is that zombies have gotten scarier and scarier looking, becoming more monster and less human with each iteration. While they look cooler (and you can see how much more work is required to make them look that way than was required 80 years ago) I’m not sure that makes them scarier, at least not in the way a zombies were originally created. Monsters are scary, but zombies aren’t supposed to be monsters, they are supposed to be the walking dead–us, but not us. The realms of the living and the dead are not supposed to meet–to do otherwise is to upset the very nature of the universe. That’s scary in a way other monsters aren’t.


Either way, huge shout out to the guy that was transformed over and over again. Sitting through those arduous makeup sessions seems like actual torture, without any of the fringe benefits of at least being able to consume human flesh afterwards as a reward for all your troubles.


If you’re like me and you are constantly preparing (and are going to be hugely disappointed if it never happens) for the zombie apocalypse, make sure you are ready for any and all types that might show up.

Which evolutionary stage of zombies do you find the scariest? Slowly, and with stilted steps, head down to our comments section below and use your braaaaiiins to moan your thoughts.

Images: Top Trending/YouTube

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