Created By: Earnest on April 26, 2014 Last Edited By: Earnest on April 27, 2014

Uniform Zombies

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

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Trope
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.
Community Feedback Replies: 7
  • April 26, 2014
    DAN004
    Uniform Zombie is better.
    • Plants Vs Zombies: zigzagged. There are many kinds of zombie, but each type of zombies only wear one kind of clothing withput any variation.
  • April 26, 2014
    aurora369
    In the first Half-Life all zombies wore ragged scientist labcoats. Justified, since Black Mesa is a science lab, and most victims were scientists.
  • April 27, 2014
    DAN004
    Laconic?
  • April 27, 2014
    Earnest
    I think the editor ate it. =/

    I'll try putting it back up, but if it won't stick I'll leave it in the main body.
  • April 27, 2014
    Paradisesnake
    I knew we had a similar draft to this in the YKTTW. Isn't this pretty much the same as Uniformly Dressed Zombies?

    EDIT: What the hell, you're the sponsor of both of these, Earnest?
  • April 27, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ lawl.
  • April 27, 2014
    Earnest
    *sigh* Yeah, that one just... I'm not proud of my part in the argument that derailed the whole thing. So I thought trying a second time with a fresh start might work. You'll notice this version is much slimmer, hopefully not at all contentious.
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