"They just... eat."Flesh-Eating Zombies are the type usually found in a Zombie Apocalypse. They consume the skin, brains, or various other organs of the living, and sometimes infect survivors, who become zombies themselves — which makes them a lot like a ghoul, really. Can also be merged with a Voodoo Zombie or Plague Zombie. This is one of the most common zombie tropes to be parodied; parody zombies always moan for brains, even though that specific form was never very common.
— Waste, Death Troopers
open/close all folders
- In The Goon zombies are usually flesh eating and may be created by either mad science or voodoo depending on the story. They also may or may not be sentient. Also may or may not be evil. In fact zombies are really inconsistent in the series.
- Zombo: These are a plague on the worst of the Death Worlds, as they also spread rapidly. The answer to this threat is the titular Zombo, who is a result of combining zombie and human DNA to create an obedient super soldier. He's friendly enough when he's not eating you.
- The Living Dead Series, including Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Day of the Dead (1985), and Land of the Dead. Though never called "zombies" before Land (Romero originally referred to them as "ghouls"), the living dead in this series became the starting point for Hollywood zombies. They walk and move slowly, have very rudimentary instincts, and are driven most by the instinct to feed. They can only be stopped by destroying their brains. Over the series, their attributes are gradually expanded upon. In Dawn of the Dead (1978) it's discovered that they are drawn to places they knew in life, such as malls. In Day of the Dead (1985) it's discovered that zombies can be trained to use tools and can be coaxed to remember aspects of their past life. Land of the Dead takes it all much further, showing that the dead can communicate with each other, empathize with each other, cooperate, and solve problems, suggesting that they are replacing humanity. Anyone who dies in the living dead world will become reanimated, which is the overriding reason the planet is overrun so quickly. Zombie bites are fatal, thus causing victims to reanimate after they die.
- Shaun of the Dead zombies are generally of the Romero type. The interesting thing is that, while animal-like and mindless, they retain some mannerisms and shards of personality they had in life - a zombified kid keeps playing with his ball, zombified menial workers can still do their job, and Shaun's zombified stepdad turns off the radio with the blaring modern music he hated in life. And zombie Ed still plays video games.
- The Return of the Living Dead series riffs off the Romero series, but changes the zombies to make them much more dangerous. Decapitating the zombies will not stop them, and this change is lampshaded by one character, who cries, "You mean the movie lied?" Zombies maintain a roughly human-level intelligence, and can run and speak provided they still have the right parts, enabling them to taunt and bully their victims, as well as lure them to their doom by impersonating normal humans. They are driven to feed on human brains because it temporarily eases the pain of being dead. A gas called Trioxin is the source of the plague.
- In the movie Demoni, the eponymous creatures are basically flesh-eating and plague-bearing zombies, with a bit of demon in them.
- Cemetery Man: Flesh-eating for the most part. Would also be plague-bearing, except the dead in the town are coming back regardless of how they die.
- The zombies in Umberto Lenzi's Nightmare City (a.k.a. City of the Walking Dead) (1980) are variations of the Flesh Eating Zombie, except they drink blood instead of eating flesh. The specific origins of the plague are a result of radiation exposure.
- The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue (aka Let Sleeping Corpses Lie) features undead who are reanimated when vibrations from farm machinery revive their nervous systems.
- Zombie Man from Monster Brawl is your typical Romero-esque zombie, who is described as "headcheese aficionado". He is part of US army's secret super soldier project, who has a nonstop desire for flesh, and he even tries to have a bite out of Frankenstein when they wrestle each other.
- The zombies of Fido are clearly inspired from Romero's Living Dead series, with the reanimation of the dead (which continues to occur for anyone who dies of any cause) being attributed to space radiation like in Night of the Living Dead (1968). Naturally, they act this way, though the ZomCon corporation has developed control collars that somehow inhibit the desire, allowing controlled zombies to act as domestic servants. Unusually, the bites of these zombies do not seem fatal, as one character is revealed to be covered in several bite-like scars (presumably from his zombie girlfriend).
- The books The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z by Max Brooks attribute the zombie outbreaks to the fictional virus "Solanum", described as being contagious through contact with bodily fluids in open wounds (i.e. bites, splatter, and deep scratches) and 100% fatal. The virus warps the brain into a new organ that does not require food, water, or even air to survive. Still, even though it's not necessary to sustain unlife, zombies attempt to attack and consume living flesh, largely as a means of spreading the virus. Zombies don't feel pain and can only be killed by destroying the brain — decapitation merely results in a head that can still bite and feed if one gets too close, burning them can take several minutes to fry the brain (during which time they can set their surroundings on fire), and freezing them solid only works until they thaw out again.
- His short story (and later comic book) The Extinction Parade largely follows the same rules, with the added detail that the No Zombie Cannibals rule applies to all undead, including vampires. By the same logic, since vampires are technically dead already, they can't be zombified or killed by exposure to zombie fluids — they get very sick from it, but they fully recover.
- There are a few slight but notable differences between Brooks-zombies, Romero-zombies, and Kirkman-zombies from The Walking Dead. People turn into Romero-zombies if they die for any reason, zombie bites just happen to always cause a fatal infection. Brooks-zombies are caused by a virus, and if you're not exposed to a zombie's bodily fluids you won't catch it. People know that Brooks-zombies are created by a virus, it is just untreatable. No one knows what causes Romero-zombies, with the frustration at the lack of an explanation being part of the plot: scientists suspect it's a virus everyone is technically already infected with, but that activates upon death (from any cause), but there is room for some characters to suspect religious explanations, that it is literally the wrath of God. One big difference in behavior is that Romero-zombies can remember basic tasks, and even (after much prodding) learn from their experiences. Brooks-zombies are explicitly robotic automatons, incapable of learning from even the most basic trial and error. In some ways this makes them more terrifying: if you hide somewhere a Romero-zombie can't reach you, after a long time they might eventually realize they can't get in and leave. Brooks-zombies will just keep robotically attempting to reach their goal for days on end. Kirkman-zombies follow Romero-zombie rules more closely (anyone who dies for any reason turns into a zombie), though the one distinction is that he has stated that his zombies can never learn even on a basic level, unlike Romero-zombies.
- Featured in Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
- In Portlandtown the mindless zombies that are created by the Hanged Man's presence are fairly standard modern type, eating flesh and turning those they bite into zombies.
- An early example is in the Herbert West—Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft (later turned into a cult film). While the story predates the usage of the term zombie, several of the corpses that are reanimated (Doctor Halsey in The Plague-Daemon and the boxer in Six Shots by Moonlight) do kill and eat other people.
Live Action TV
- The Walking Dead includes zombies that eat flesh.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: According to Giles, zombies don't behave this way unless their masters explicitly tell them to.
- However, in the Buffy spin-off Angel, the episode "Habeas Corpses" has the ultimate emergency mode of the Wolfram & Hart office building be to revive dead employees as Flesh-Eating Zombies.
- The Middleman has perhaps a unique example of the Flesh Eating variety, selecting a very unusual type of flesh to eat. Nowhere else will the zombies cry not "Braiiiiins", but instead "troooooout".
- Animates in Unhallowed Metropolis fall under this. They have elements of the Plague Zombie, as their bite is usually fatal and death from a bite is guaranteed to result in reanimation... but any corpse has a chance to reanimate, with the odds varying according to the surrounding environment.
- Zigzagged in Dungeons & Dragons. Zombies are usually created by The Necromancer rather than a plague, but later editions included rules for portraying zombies that were "self-perpetuating". Zombies also usually simply try to kill anything that is around them because they hate life, but again rules for supporting flesh-eaters exist. In particular, Ravenloft provides ample support for it, having featured Cannibal Zombies (which are, literally, zombies built by way of this depiction) in 2nd edition, and having the 3rd edition sourcebook "Van Richten's Guide to the Walking Dead", which spells out the exact combination of salient powers and traits needed to build a Flesh Eating Zombie.
- Final Fantasy XI has the Qutrub, which are actually people who have fallen to the Lamia who willingly turn themselves into zombies, and they eat flesh to stay in one piece. They are noted for being extra-weak to all damage, yet also have far more HP than most other enemies.
- Dead Rising: Aspects of F and PS. Mass-producing cattle created a wasp that turns people into zombies. The wasps in question are actually quite huge, compared to normal wasps. Trying to find out how they got so huge, the wasps themselves escaped and found a better source of food: humans.
- Survivor: The Living Dead has plague-bearing flesh-eaters. In large numbers, and from the 2D view normally associated with platformers. Here's a review so you can see for yourself.
- Kyurem from Pokémon is a frozen dragon from space whose appearance and mannerisms are based off of the classic flesh-eating zombie. It's even explicitly stated to have a taste for human flesh. Though, unlike other examples, its bite cannot turn you into a zombie.
- The Monster and the Uberhaunt enemies from The Halloween Hack. Both have sprites with blood dripping from their hands and mouths, implying that they eat flesh.
- The Walking Dead by Telltale has these as the premise of the game.
- In Sluggy Freelance zombies are people who did a magic ritual to gain immortality; as a side effect, their flesh starts decaying, and they need to eat human flesh in order to replace the tissue they've lost. They can actually be fairly intelligent, but only as long as their brains haven't decayed too much. If they want to keep from devolving into mindlessness, they have to eat, you guessed it, braaaaaiiiiiiins!
- There's also the Deadels, the undead minions of the demon K'Z'K. Why "Deadels", you ask? If you're a world-ravaging demon, you can call your minions whatever the hell you want.
- Zombie Ranch features zombies that are pretty indiscriminate about the flesh they devour. Their appetites are a major reason conventional livestock went mostly extinct during the first years of the Plague.