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Not a banshee, but a zombie
September 5, 2012 5:30 PM   Subscribe

Where did the trope of the shrieking zombie come from?

I've seen it so often now, the shriek (almost a high pitched roar) of a zombie. I know this is a modern invention, but is it taken from The Ring? Was it invented in the Left 4 Dead video game? I wondered what started this new trend, be it movie, foreign movie, TV, or video game.
posted by arniec to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I don't think this is actually a trend. The great majority of zombies are either silent or just have the traditional moan.
posted by Justinian at 5:49 PM on September 5, 2012


It was also in some Zelda games. The shrieking ReDead in 1998's Ocarina of Time for example.
posted by 2bucksplus at 5:55 PM on September 5, 2012


I don't know where it came from, but I here is an example from I Am Legend from 2007.
posted by bleep at 5:57 PM on September 5, 2012


I associate it with the "fast headcrab zombies" in Half-Life 2.
posted by brundlefly at 6:14 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is hard to really pin down. But, I'd say that the ending of the 1968 Invasion of the Body Snatchers was influential across a number of horror sub-genres, zombies included (even though they were technically alien body doubles rather than zombies), as far as shrieking goes.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:17 PM on September 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Er, clipboard fail. I meant to link this video.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:18 PM on September 5, 2012


I agree with Justinian that I don't think this is a trend. Where's the shrieking zombie in The Ring?
posted by mkultra at 6:55 PM on September 5, 2012


It was also in some Zelda games. The shrieking ReDead in 1998's Ocarina of Time for example.

There were shrieking zombies in Alundra for PSX, which came out in 1997. I suspect this is a Japanese influence. Do yuurei scream? I mean, there's this sort of thing (beware!) all over the place in manga.
posted by Nomyte at 8:06 PM on September 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Like many new zombie tropes, (fast zombies, angry zombie faces) I suspect this comes from the Infected in 28 days. Though not classic Romero zombies, they've begun to appear in remakes and new zombie movies left right and centre, along with their shrieks (c.f. Zack Snyder's remake of Dawn of the Dead and dozens since).
posted by Happy Dave at 3:52 AM on September 6, 2012


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