Formerly Zombie Caretaker
The Monster Keeper
keeps a literal monster safe from being hunted and destroyed, often at their own or others' risk. The usual reason is that the monster was once a family member, friend or loved one who has been afflicted with The Virus
, an Emergency Transformation
or a Viral Transformation
, and they now need help to "live"
and escape being targeted by The Hunter
, a mob
The monster needn't be evil or dangerous, but is at the least a Reluctant Monster
who would normally incite fear, and at the worst a soulless
beast with a Horror Hunger
and not a shred of their former identity. The Monster Keeper
may do double duty as The Caretaker
and a Secret Keeper
, hiding them and providing for their needs, maybe even managing to make them a Vegetarian Vampire
. Though in some cases they'll be more akin to The Renfield
and help the Monster get victims. These last Keepers were usually highly emotionally dependent
or extremely attached on the Monster in life, and they're likely the type of person who would think Came Back Wrong
is a fair trade for having their friend back.
If the Monster is basically their old friend plus a few quirks, the situation will be more like having a Monster Roommate
. Contrast Zombie Advocate
and Vampire Refugee
. Compare The Renfield
- The Walking Dead has a few examples across its comic and TV adaptations. Notably the mayor who kept his de-toothed zombie daughter around in the comic, and Herschel who kept a barn full of zombies in the TV series.
- In Resident Evil: Apocalypse the vicar (caretaker) and his wife (zombie).
- In Shaun of the Dead the parody nature of the film comes back in the end with some of the "surviving" zombies restrained from causing harm and used to work in menial labor jobs and degrading game shows. Shaun's best friend Ed is turned into a zombie near the end, and Instead of killing him Shaun chains him up in a shed in the back, gives him a videogame console and drops in to play every so often, even chastising him when he tries to bite Shaun.
- Ed And His Dead Mother has Ed and his uncle take increasingly drastic steps to protect the town from the reanimated life eating mom.
- In The Goonies the Frateli Brothers (and Mother) are taking care of their deformed brother "Sloth".
- Fido has an entire 50's parody society live in a Cosy Catastrophe after a Zombie Apocalypse by living off of Restraining Bolted zombies. The trope is played more literally when the titular Fido goes un-collared and kills a few kids, only for his owner to try and protect him from being put down.
- The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan has one character who, in a rare bit of heroism for a vampire infectee, chained himself in a shed before he went mindlessly feral and had his family take their children away after he ate the dogs. Subverting the heroism, his wife, a chronic dependent personality type, decided that to keep him around by feeding him annoying neighbors was a good idea.
- In the third episode of Torch Wood, Ianto Jones is discovered to be taking care of a partially converted Cyberman. It does not end well.
- In Neverwinter Nights you can take a quest to hunt down several boys who have been turned by a werewolf. One is found staying at the farmhouse where his parents live, being sheltered by his family, who will try to dissuade you from going upstairs.
- The Bright Brotherhood, a religious cult for ghouls in Fallout: New Vegas, try to keep feral ghouls and ordinary humans as far apart as possible, since the feral ghouls instinctively try to attack humans on sight and humans usually respond by killing them.
- One episode of South Park had Butter's parents, believing he had died and come back as a zombie, decide that to care for their now zombified child they needed to chain him up in the cellar and feed him people.