WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Zombieland: Double Tap, in theaters now.
The Zombieland films present their own bizarre and darkly comic version of the undead apocalypse, complete with their own rules and limits for their version of the hordes. But, in Zombieland: Double Tap, zombies are given a little bit of variety in the form of new type strains, each with their own strengths or weaknesses, that have sprung up since the events of the first film.
Here are all the new kinds of zombies introduced in Zombieland: Double Tap.
While most of the new strains of zombies get some type of advantage, that's not the case for Homers. Named after the dimwitted Homer from The Simpsons, these kinds of zombies are notoriously slow and stupid. They're easily distracted and comically inept. One is seen getting its tongue stuck to a frozen statue, A Christmas Story style, while another gets caught up trying to catch a butterfly instead of trying to kill someone.
These zombies are the easiest to dispatch. Only a handful appear throughout the movie, always in the form of comic relief. The closest one comes to catching the humans is at the end of the film, when Tallahassee lures the horde of zombies off the edge of Babylon's roof. A Homer charges up long after the others have gone off the edge, and runs right off the building basically by his own accord.
Homers appear to be a distinct breed of zombies compared to the basic ones introduced in the previous film. Columbus even mentions that in lieu of television or the Internet, people have watched Homers bumble around for some laughs.
Hawkings are the opposite of the Homers, and theoretically one of the more dangerous forms of zombies. Although they have all the speed, strength and durability of the normal zombie, they also retain a certain amount of their problem-solving skills. That's why these zombies are named after the famed physicist, Stephen Hawking. In other words, these zombies are clever.
One early example in the film is shown chasing a scientist who hides behind a locked door. The door was opened with a retina scan, so the zombie rips out the eye of a fallen scientist and uses that to get through the door so it can attack the scientist.
Surprisingly, Hawkings don't really play any kind of role in the film. One is seen during a sequence where the survivors are surrounded on all sides by a horde of zombies. While Columbus keeps an aerial view on the battle from the top of a bus so the group doesn't get overwhelmed, he leaves his back turned long enough for a Hawkins to successfully sneak up on him. It's only his quick reflexes that keep him alive after the encounter. But no other Hawkings appears as a singular threat in the film... which is a shame! Zombies that have the ability to work through problems and obstacles could be a genuinely unsettling sight.
Like the Hawkings, Ninjas are relatively underutilized in the film. But in the introduction to what they can do they come across as one of the most terrifying forms of zombies. Ninjas are described by Columbus as stealthy creatures, relying on dark rooms and hidden corners to surprise their targets. Like their namesake, they move quietly but quickly, ensuring that they can close the distance between their teeth and your throat before you even realize it.
Columbus calls them a particularly deadly kind of zombie. Luckily for the survivors (but less so for the audience) they never encounter any Ninjas in the film. The closest that they come to one of these special creatures is a Hawkings who, in plain sight, is able to sneak up on Columbus while he's distracted.
The Ninjas could have been a very compelling problem compared to the more "run and scream" kind that populate most of the film. Ninjas appearing in any of the many scenes where the group takes shelter inside could have brought some genuine horror to the film.
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The most frequent new form of zombie in the film is the T-800. Named after the cybernetic Terminators from the film of the same name, the T-800s are very durable zombies. They also have fast enough reaction times to be able to dodge point-blank gunfire. What makes matters worse is that they have the endurance to survive more wounds than other zombies. They are even shown taking multiple bullets to the head... and still keep going. It takes the complete destruction of the skull to finally put one of these down.
These end up being the most common form of zombie to appear in the film. The group first encounters one during an early horde rush, and they defy all the rules that Columbus thought had been established over the last decade. The virus even seems to transform the infected in no time at all, as it does to Flagstaff (Thomas Middleditch) and Albuquerque (Luke Wilson) when they're bitten at the Dog House.
But these zombies are ultimately still as thoughtless as most versions of zombies and are easily led into a trap by Tallahassee that wipes out an entire group of them. It's a shame the film didn't employ a few Hawkings or Ninjas to round out the threat level alongside the T-800s.
Directed by Ruben Fleischer from a script by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and David Callaham, Zombieland: Double Tap stars Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin. The film is in theaters now.