"The first rule of Zombieland: Cardio. When the zombie outbreak first hit, the first to go, for obvious reasons... were the fatties. Poor fat bastard."
As if zombies
weren't trouble enough, sometimes life (or undeath) throws fat zombies into the mix.
Since zombies are reanimated corpses, and since there'd likely be obese people amongst the casualties in a zombie outbreak, this is sensible. It's often used, though, to combine the disgusting factor of extreme corpulence
with the hideousness of zombification. Also, from a practical film making standpoint, "fat" zombies allow the stuntman to wear padded clothing and take a beating from the heroes.
For whatever reason, fat zombies tend often be kamikaze attackers
in video games, usually detonating in a shower of gibs and toxic fluids upon termination. Eeeeew.
Other times in video games, they tend to fill the role of bullet sponges
or battering rams
, somehow more durable than even "regular" zombies, due to their extra mass meaning they need more effort to shoot or chop up.
In non-video game media, though, they tend to not be too much different from other zombies.
See also Fat Bastard
. For another way zombies can stand out in a crowd, see Incongruously Dressed Zombie
Not to be confused with The Load
, who's only dead weight from a figurative/narrative standpoint.
- In Marvel Zombies, The Blob becomes infected, turning into possibly the fattest zombie ever.
- Tor Johnson in Plan 9 from Outer Space. Well, technically...
- Lampshaded in Zombieland, where Columbus notes that the fat ones were the first to go for not being able to outrun zombies. He makes "Cardio" his number one rule. Unlike most other examples though, these aren't really any different from a regular zombie, aside from their weight.
- An obese undead woman in the Dawn of the Dead (2004) remake
- Hotel Transylvania features a fat mummy named Murray.
- The first zombie the protagonists fight hand-to-hand in Dead Heat is a chunky one dressed like a biker.
- Onionhead / Slimer in Ghostbusters. In the second one, doubly so.
- Stern Pinball's The Walking Dead has the Well Walker, who is hideously fat, with folds of flabby skin and a body covered with open sores. On the Limited Edition table, hitting him will cause him to topple over at the midsection, revealing his guts.
- Magic: The Gathering has Gluttonous Zombie, a 3/3 creature with the Fear ability ("Greed and gluttony led him to death. Now they are his greatest assets.") and Corpulent Corpse, a Continuity Nod from the Nostalgia Set.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! card Plaguespreader Zombie is a walking blob of decaying flesh, apparently stitched together from several different creatures. It's also a very useful Tuner monster.
- It's nothing compared to Il-Blud though: Not only is it large and fat, it has a gigantic, horribly disfigured face where it's belly should be.
- Giant Axe Mummy also comes to mind.
- As do Pain Painter, Clown Zombie, and a great many others. This game has an inordinate number of obese undead.
- 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons has a monster in their Monster Manual 2 that's called a "Famine Spirit." It's the reanimated body and spirit of an individual who died of starvation, and returns to eat in undeath what they couldn't eat in life. About the only thing this creature doesn't eat are other undead. It even comes complete with a vorpal bite (that is, a bite that can sever your head from your body.)
- In the Dark Sun setting, there were undead monsters called faels, who only existed to eat, and demanded food from anyone who encountered them, violently lashing out at anyone who denied them food or interrupted their feasting. On Athas, where even water was a precious commodity and conservation of food could mean the difference between life or death, these things were menaces.
- In the Ravenloft campaign, there were sea zombies, disgustingly bloated undead created from the corpses of drowned sailors. While slow and clumsy on land, they were hard to hurt.
- The Weathermay-Foxgrove twins recount their hunt for an obese Big Eater animated corpse in Van Richten's Guide to the Walking Dead.
- Fatty zombies from Zombicide.
Truth in Television
- House of the Dead features the Stone Wall, bullet-sponge variety. Frequently chuck barrels at you and hold open gates for their rotting, angry friends.
- House of the Dead 4 also features the massive boss enemy ironically called Temperance.
- Overkill also has the Lobber, the boss of level 5 ("The Fetid Waters"), who, like the Boomer pictured up top, is not only fat but covered in swollen, pustulant boil-tumors. Though thankfully not shown, it's implied his projectiles are pus-filled boils he's tearing off of his body and throwing at you.
- Killing Floor has the Bloat, which walks up slowly, vomits acid as a close-range attack, and explodes when killed. They do soak up a few shots before dying, however.
- The Boomer from Left 4 Dead (pictured). His special attack is to vomit a strange bile on surviving humans, which summons a sizable swarm of the speedy regular Infected to attack the afflicted humans. The vomit also messes up the Survivor's vision temporarily. When destroyed, the Boomer explodes in a shower of bile with an effect essentially the same as its vomit for anyone too close to it. Ironically, it has the least health (one shot offs them) of any of the special Infected as the result of being an undead goo balloon. Notably, the Boomer appears to be stretched out and inflated, implying it wasn't so obese before it got infected. Oh, and its "outie" bellybutton is really just its guts bursting out.
- Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ has fat zombies that both live longer and explode into sludge.
- Bloated Butchers, the stronger of the two zombie enemies in Blood. They take a ton of damage and can attack at a range with two different attacks to drain two different armor types.
- Survival Crisis Z features particularly warped-looking fat zombies of the Action Bomb variety.
- Although more similar in origin to the monster from Frankenstein (pieced together from multiple corpses), the Abominations from the Warcraft franchise fit this description. Massive (definitely bigger than a human), hideous (putrid and decaying with internal organs visible), and misshapen (extra limbs abound), they fill a heavy infantry role for Undead forces. They also can emit poisonous fumes.
- The Flash game series The Last Stand has lots of fat zombies, of the Kevlard variety. Since the only thing that separates them from regular zeds is their health (some can sprint just as easily as the thin ones), they fill in the role of Elite Mooks, along with the ones in riot gear.
- Also present in the Resident Evil games. Resident Evil 5 has special Majini to impede your progress, as they block your shots and soak up more damage.
- Only Resident Evil 3: Nemesis contained fat zombies previously, but they weren't any tougher than the rest.
- Resident Evil 6 brings us Whoppers and the even bigger Whopper Supremes, both able to soak up massive amounts of damage, and can kill you by falling on top of you after re-killing them.
- One of the Ancient's zombies fit this mold in Eternal Darkness. In this case it's stated to be due to internal gasses, as described in the Real Life section below.
- Dead Space has the Pregnant, a swollen Necromorph that carries a hoard of mini-Necromorphs called Swarmers in its stomach. Shooting it in the center of mass results in the Swarmers getting loose and attacking the player.
- Myth: The Fallen Lords featured an enemy that was a bloated corpse that would explode when it got close enough or was killed and temporary paralyze everyone within it's radius. Using archers killing them at a distance you could avoid the nasty side effects while possibly setting off a chain reaction if there were more than one close enough together.
- Fat zombies exist in Dead Rising, which take slightly more hits to die. They all resemble Ronald, a notable scrappy fat survivor.
- Silent Hill 3 has the insane cancers, which look like mutated grotesque fat "things".
- Big Boo from the Super Mario Bros. series are giant ghosts, which could be considered to be another type of obese undead.
- Metal Slug 3 and 4 feature fat zombies among regular zombies. They usually take more hits to die than a regular zombie (although less than a soldier zombie, curiously).
- The masked, chainsaw-wielding and green-tinted slime-spitting zombies in Gun Girl 2.
- Fat zombies in Doom 3 can predictably take more lead before going down. Surprisingly enough, a great number of them carry wrenches to use as clubs. Also, they are the only type that is found being chewed on by other mooks.
- Fat zombies appear frequently in Dead Nation. They are typically faster than most normal zombies, and will take any opportunity to charge at you to try to take you out.
- The Flood Carriers in Halo are walking gasbags that explode when shot and release more Infection forms.
- The Guard Zombies in MediEvil: Resurrection.
- Lollipop Chainsaw features a few fat zombies, including one of the bosses, Killabilly.
- Dragon's Dogma gives us Stout Undead. They are larger than regular undead, and when struck with fire they swell up and explode.
- The recruitable zombies in Heroes of Might and Magic V are drawn as being quite corpulent.
- One of the enemies in Dark Watch called Oozers.
- In Guild Wars 2, the Bloated Creepers that spawn during the Tequatl fight are depicted as large male Risen norn. They explode on contact.
- Dunwich in Cthulhu Saves the World features fat zombies described by their blurb as "suffering from a bad case of gastrophageal reflux disease". Their main method of attacking is through poisoning their enemies.
- Judge Dredd: Dredd vs. Death: Some of the zombies are necrotized obese citizens.
- While we haven't yet encountered any reanimated corpses, inanimate corpses— particularly in hot, wet climates— often swell up with gas. A tropical zombie could very easily turn into one of these (and even explode.)
- The phenomenon of corpse bloat is discussed in excruciating detail in Stiff, and the book Vampires, Burial and Death: Folklore and Reality mentions a mass grave of chicken carcasses where the gases actually forced the bodies back out of the ground! Read it here.
- Dead whales are classed as dangerous cargo because they have a tendency to violently explode.
- William the Conqueror was very fat, and died of a large cyst developed from a bruised intestine. When they finally boxed him, he burst. The stink was so bad it cleared out the church his funeral was in.
- King Henry VIII weighed 28 stone at death and thus required an oversized coffin. The corpse exploded in Syon Abbey while en route to Windsor, splattering blood and guts everywhere, and dogs were found licking up the remains.
When there is no more food in Hell, the dead will walk with girth.