28 Days Later

28 Days Later is a zombie movie that doesn't contain any zombies

Mislabled

Seen here: Two Men, Zero Zombies

Just The Facts

  1. Originally released in the UK in 2002, it found further success in North America in 2003
  2. Was followed by "28 Weeks Later" in 2007
  3. Often labelled as a "Zombie Film" despite containing no zombies at all

Plot

The film follows a man named Jim who got into a bike accident and fell into a coma for about 4 weeks (hence 28 Days) and wakes up to find London pretty much empty.

Or Maybe It Just Always Looks Like That

Of course then he quickly discovers it isn't as red eyed crazed individuals try to beat the shit out of him. He is rescued, teams up with some people, goes from place to place, see's more dead people than Haley Joel Osment, and finally takes down some military people who are generally being pricks.

We learn early on that the virus was spread by activists trying to free some monkeys from a lab, thus proving that environmental activists do nothing good for the world

Other than giving us something to look at while we eat at KFC

The Not Zombies

It seems some scientists were experimenting on animals and invented something called the "Rage Virus", which essentially makes them go batshit crazy on anyone who isn't them (see: Republicans). The virus is spread through pretty much any means of bodily fluid from saliva to blood to seamen and it quickly causes you to freak right out and try to kill anyone around you.

Many people have misunderstood this transformation as them becomming zombies. However, there are a few key facts that make them not so.

On the left: Really Pissed Off 28 Days Later People. On the right: Zombies

SIMILARITIES

  1. They both like to kill humans in brutal ways
  2. They aren't very smart about how they do #1 (i.e. will walk into death traps because humans are nearby)
  3. Generally wear ratty clothing and are often covered in blood
  4. Bites are the main form of virus transfer

DIFFERENCES

  1. Zombies are often decomposing right before our eyes. 28 Days Later things are just dirty
  2. Zombies just want to eat. 28 Days Later things often kill and keep moving
  3. Zombies can only be killed by head trauma. 28 Days Later things can be killed by most anything, and lastly, and by far the most condemning
  4. Zombies are undead. 28 Days Later things are not

This last point is the key to the real difference. Starting from its origins in Voodoo, Zombies have always had one thing in common. They died. This is continued in popular culture with the most famous example being that George A. Romero created the "Of The DEAD" series.

"Night Of The Living People Who Want To Beat You To Death" just doesn't have the same ring to it

Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, Dead Snow, Shaun of the Dead, etc. They all have the theme of death. Even things without "Dead" in the title (such as Resident Evil) require a death to occur before a zombie is created. Without death, there can be no zombie and there lies the problem. In 28 Days Later there are several scenes of perfectly living individuals suddenly becoming infected without ever dropping. All it takes is a simple transfer of fluid and you change. From a simple kiss to a drop of blood to the eye, the virus takes over.

So what is happening to the people in 28 Days Later if they aren't being zombified? Quite simply, getting pissed off. The "Rage Virus" is quite aptly named as it quickly causes the infected to become quite angry quite quick. Either way, they are simply not zombies.