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The zombifying effect is actually a very slow regenerating effect
  • The series never reveals what's causing the dead to rise, with in-universe theories ranging from a crashed Venus probe to nuclear radiation to a virus, and the characters all assume that the zombies are reanimated monsters who will gradually rot away over time. But we see in both Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Day of the Dead (1985) that they're actually getting smarter, acting more human and remembering more of their human lives over time, which doesn't make sense if the brain's decomposing. The smarter ones even look more human, despite having been dead the longest. One way this could make sense is if the zombifying effect's actually a slow regeneration process. The effect causes the dead to quickly return to animated life, but their brains are still damaged and fueled by rage and hunger, and their bodies are still stiff and decayed, which causes the Zombie Apocalypse. As years pass and the regeneration continues, though, their brains' higher functions are gradually restored while their bodies likewise begin to slowly repair themselves. Once they've finished regenerating, the dead might end up really being fully resurrected human beings.
    • That would provide a surprisingly happy ending for the entire "Of The Dead" saga.

Big Daddy and his fellow zombies have more of their faculties because they didn't die of a bite.
At the start of the movie, the news reports say that cites are raiding small towns and looting them of their supplies. Big Daddy doesn't have a bite on him - nor do a lot of the other zombies. Some have no bites, or they have what look like gunshot wounds (or other kinds of wounds.)

My guess is that Big Daddy and the others died of starvation, or sickness (other than The Virus) or natural causes. And since if you die, you reanimate - they probably have more remembrance of their past lives than those who were infected by bites, which seems to shut down all higher brain functions, like memory.

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  • It doesn't explain Cholo, who was killed by a bite and yet even after full reanimation managed to retain at least enough intelligence to shoot at Kaufman as well as remember Kaufman.
    • The last sparks of his brain, remember in the first film, after Karen came back, she didn't bite her mother, she stabbed her mother to death with a trowel.

Big Daddy and his posse of Stenches were quickly killed after Riley left.
After Riley makes the huge mistake of leaving an even more dangerous herd of Stenches our there and moving on to parts unknown, Mulligan kills off Big Daddy and the rest. The last we see is Mulligan and his son arming themselves to clean up the town, and the first step in that would probably be eliminating the VERY real perceived threat of Big Daddy, preventing a chain reaction of weapon using zombies hunting down humans everywhere. It also has the nice effect of having Villain Sue Big Daddy not get away with murdering all the people he did.
  • To be fair, some people in Fiddler's Green survived by hiding, so they might retreat to another safe haven, regroup with their militia, and kill Big Daddy and the last of his zombie horde with their combined alliance.
  • Still, they could team up with a more prepared, well-trained, and better equipped survivor group that is more advanced then they are, then form an alliance with them and take down Big Daddy for good.
  • How would we know that there are no other big survivor groups offscreen?
  • For all we know, there could be plenty of survivor groups as huge as Fiddler's Green was before they went into hiding.
  • All the Fiddler's Green survivors have to do post-movie is find those groups, form an alliance with those groups, and eventually, they'll have a massive group together, mirroring Big Daddy adding to his ranks.
  • Eventually, while casualties will happen for both sides, the humans will win because Big Daddy's group only retains basic intelligence and the combined forces of all sorts of offscreen groups would defeat Big Daddy and his horde.
  • And of course they would have the ability to go after Big Daddy and his horde after they search for many survivor groups and join forces with them.
  • Because of their intelligence, as well as sharing of useful information to each other, teaching each other the useful skills they know, and their many arsenals of varying weaponry after such an alliance is formed.
  • And they do have a very good reason to go after Big Daddy and his horde: Because even though his group left them alone at that moment, Big Daddy's group could come back at any given time.
  • In the end, a massive combined alliance of human survivors from united survivor groups with a wide variety of weaponry can finally put an end to Big Daddy and his horde, and most of the human survivors at that point will NOT be "slaughtered".
  • And if Fiddler's Green had enough resources to create Dead Reckoning, there are very likely chances that many other off-screen safe-zones not shown in the movie itself gathered enough resources to create their own powerful, weaponized modes of transportation.
  • And besides, while misunderstandings and some hostility might happen along the way, most surviving groups would acknowledge the very real threat of a smart zombie horde that is slowly getting smarter, and thus THAT would be the start of the truce among most off-screen surviving groups that the remaining Fiddler's Green survivors most likely find post-movie.
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Alternatively, Fiddler's Green's last remaining survivors was all killed by Big Daddy's horde post-movie:
  • Highly unlikely, most of the Fiddler Green militia was wiped out by the sheer numbers of Big Daddy's army numbers. The only reason there are any humans left is not because they were driven off but because Big Daddy lead them away after he finished off what he considered a threat. Riley doesn’t have the number nor guns to finish off the massive army that wiped away his opposition. Without Dead Reckoning to add fire support the best Riley and his group can do is rebuild and stay off Big Daddy and his advanced zombie’s radar.
    • The survivors have no reason to go after him. He is no threat to them and gave them independence by slaughtering their overlords. Not only that Fiddler Green’s original army were better equipped and trained, not to mention had more numbers then the surivovrs. But they were easily slaughtered by the Horde’s superior numbers. So in the end they have no reason to go after Big Daddy at all. Because they have no cause to, as well to do so would lead to their pointless death.
    • They might have been better equipped, but their piss-poor shooting and general lack of tactics or cohesion indicates they were anything but well trained.
    • Well trained or not, the Militia outnumbered the left over survivors, and they were slaughtered with ease. Also they actually had training as they were the City's main fighting force unlike the survivors. To surmise, no training, lacking in numbers and definitely having no reason to try and kill the leader of a horde that not only outnumbered them. But also provided them their freedom and a City of their own. Not only that they have no real reason to go after Big Daddy, even if they did they would only guarantee their own death for no reason.
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    • In universe they did not, in universe due to the city being the last of its existence they could not. There is no other military force to join with to take down Big Daddy. The reason Fiddler Green was important it was the last real city left in the World. Most of all they have no reason to do so. He is not a threat, he took out their oppressors, who were actually protected by an army of well-equipped and trained soldiers who were overrun by Big Daddy’s army. Also he is gathering numbers as well. In conclusion, no reason to go after him, no ability to go after him in universe and even if they had they would be slaughtered for no reason. The Director called the move the Land of the Dead because at the end it was Big Daddy’s and his people’s land now. The living were only living by their allowance.
    • A massive combined alliance from where? This was the aftermath of the end of times. Where the only resources left of any note was Fiddler Green. Not only that how do you convince various settlements to go after a horde in the hundreds that are not a threat anyway? Another issues is why would the Fiddler Greene survivors try and recruit other settlements? The other settlements could decide to take the city that Big Daddy just handed to them. As before they have no reason to go after him, he ate their oppressors and no incentive themselves to go after him nor any they can provide other settlements either to go after a horde in the hundreds. Not only that this world was created and ended by George A Romero who ended it with the title Land of the Dead because in the end it was their world now. He created a world where the last remnants where stationed. Not only that the general theme throughout his films where not that humanity would win back the day but humanity a victim of its own greed and hubris lost to the Worlds new owner. The Dead themselves, even the films named it as such. Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead and now Land of the Dead a trilogy about the new owners of the world. A world where massive numbers of the dead overrun and decimated any military presence left in the world by volume alone. A world where the last resources and expense was used to create dead Reckoning. Not as a weapon to win back the day but a glorified transport truck to ransack a dead world where all the resources are sent back to the last city. It’s been at least a decade after the dawn of the dead had occured any fighting force able to match Big Daddy is long gone. So, at least a decade after the dead rising any meaningful military is gone. Big Daddy army is gathering strength with NO opposition shown and only the one imagined to stand against it. Logical due to the passing decade there is no opposition because the dead outnumber the living immensely. Not only that they have no reason to go after Big Daddy for vengeance and any other reason because he only attacked when threatened, he left after proving his point and going after him undermanned, poorly armed and lacking reason is a brutal pointless death in itself. The reasoning that “of course they could go after Big Daddy” is based on military structure and might never said to exist in universe and only exist in theory. What did exist in universe was a working city with communications and power who would have mentioned if such a thing was out there. A thing in theory cannot take on a thing that exist in the movie. Big Daddy existed, he had an actual army. No other military might or structure was shown to exist to rival that. Not only that a peaceful horde that gathers others and moves away from the living is something encouraged not challenged. Not that anyone is left to challenge him. Nor anyone suicidal enough to do so, or actually have a reason to do so.

Alternatively, the survivors of Fiddler's Green and Big Daddy's zombie horde begrudgingly formed a truce.
Both the survivors and the Zombies are just trying to be left alone to exist in the new world. The survivors formerly on the bottom of the social ladder get to build a more equal society without fear of the Dead, and the Dead can go on with their afterlives without fear of interruption. Good neighbors while wary of each other, have no reason to interact and in so no reason for conflict.

Alternatively, a war among rival factions of zombies began.
Since the zombies got smarter, pretty sure that some zombies might not agree with Big Daddy's leadership. Cholo would start his own zombie horde, as would Bub. Bub's horde, Cholo's horde, and Big Daddy's horde would be fighting to gain approval from the noble-hearted humans, whereas other zombie hordes would be fighting for their next meal.

Or, a war among human survivors began.
Cue the zombies just watching, some zombies confused, some zombies laughing, and Big Daddy just softly face-palms out of pity for those humans.

Cholo "survived" the explosion caused by Big Daddy
Unlike Kaufman, who was engulfed, Cholo was thrown back, and now heads out with Big Daddy to help "lead" the horde as a kind of "second in command" as he is smart enough to still fire his speargun, indicating a higher level of intelligence than the others who more or less only learned to shoot by accident.
  • Alternatively, Cholo becomes the new leader of the zombie horde, as he still retained more intelligence than the other zombies, whereas even Big Daddy had to re-learn things, meaning Cholo is arguably smarter than Big Daddy. That being said, Big Daddy still could be Cholo's Dragon or form his own zombie horde which serves as a partner faction to Cholo's newfound zombie horde.

Bub from Day of the Dead started his own zombie horde.
And this horde has a religious aspect to it as they worship Dr. Logan, calling him their Legendary Messiah. His death in the hands of Rhodes is treated as Jesus' sacrifice and crucifixion from this horde's POV.
  • In other words, Bub starts a zombie horde that treats Dr. Logan as if he was Jesus Christ.... hopefully they don't demonize humans who aren't Dr. Logan.

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