Uniform Zombies
Undead "dress" alike by wearing worn and damaged clothes and stand out less.


(permanent link) added: 2014-04-26 07:59:06 sponsor: Earnest (last reply: 2014-04-27 19:20:31)

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On the opposite extreme from the Incongruously Dressed Zombie are the Uniform Zombies. These zombie hordes are dressed alike in one of two ways: They may all be wearing non-identical everyday clothes (even army fatigues, doctor's scrubs) that are caked with dried blood, grime, dirt, and other unidentifiable putrescent emissions. Possibly the clothes may even be sun-bleached from staying outside all day.

The other way they dress alike has them all wearing what amount to unidentifiable rags in neutral shades, dark grays, browns, and sometimes blues. Their clothing may have been normal street wear, but now it's so worn down and tattered they're original state and owner's profession is unidentifiable and nearly indistinguishable.

This trope can be used for practical and stylistic purposes. On the one hand, having non-descript clothes rather than clothe a cast with full on costumes like those for the Incongruously Dressed Zombie can save on budget. A trip to a second hand (non-vintage!) store can basically costume a small horde on the cheap. On the stylistic side, it helps reinforce the sameness of a shambling zombie horde: even if they're all mildly different, they're one giant organism now.

Because of this, it's fairly common for low budget zombie films. Though it does "scale up" fairly well. When used strategically it can help highlight the Incongruously Dressed Zombie much like a Splash of Color does in a Black & White movie.


Examples:

Live-Action TV
  • The Walking Dead uses this trope to full effect. City shots and big hordes have pretty uniform zombies, with occasional "uniques" like soldiers or swat officers.

Video Games
  • Though State of Decay has a fairly limited set of zombie models and all have the same limited palate of dirty browns, with occasionally some wearing unique t-shirts. It even adds some verisimilitude by spawning zombie diner waitresses in cities and near diners, and armored SWAT zombies appear once you start a police themed mission. As do armored Army zombies once an army enclave collapses.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: zigzagged. There are many kinds of zombie, but each type of zombies only wear one kind of clothing withput any variation.
  • In the first Half-Life all zombies wore ragged scientist labcoats. Justified, since Black Mesa is a science lab, and most victims were scientists.
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