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Army Of The Dead: Biggest Unanswered Questions


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Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead introduces a whole new world of the undead, but also leaves plenty of unanswered questions for the upcoming prequel spinoffs and a potential sequel to answer.

Army of the Dead¬†stars Dave Bautista as Scott Ward, a former Las Vegas resident who earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom by helping to evacuate people from the city. Despite his heroism, he ends up estranged from his daughter and flipping burgers for a living, until a wealthy casino owner hires him to lead a team into the zombie-ridden city and retrieve $200 million from a vault. Scott recruits his old zombie-killing friends¬†Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick)¬†and Maria (Ana de la Reguera) for the heist, along with social media sensation Mikey Guzman (Ra√ļl Castillo), safe-cracker¬†Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweigh√∂fer), and helicopter pilot Marianne Peters (Tig Notaro).

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After local coyote Lilly (Nora Arnezeder) leads the team inside the city it's revealed that not all of the zombies are mindless, shuffling corpses ("shamblers"). The original zombie, Zeus, has built a society of "alpha" zombies that are stronger, faster, and more intelligent than the rest. The exact nature of these zombies, and how Zeus himself came to exist, is just one of the mysteries left over at the end of Army of the Dead. Here are the movie's biggest unanswered questions.

How Was The First Zombie Created?

The opening scene of Army of the Dead drops some big hints about the origin of the zombies. As the trucks leave Area 51 with their precious payload, two lights in the sky (pictured above) are seen suddenly flying away, implying that some extraterrestrial visitors have dropped by. Then, before their journey is interrupted by a sudden crash, the soldiers speculate that they could be transporting an alien, or something else of alien origin. Later in the movie some of the alpha zombies are revealed to have a strange blue aura around their internal organs, which again hints at some strange, outer-world science. Was the original zombie, Zeus, created in a government experiment utilizing alien technology? Or could the Area 51 connection turn out to be a total bait-and-switch?

Do Zombies Really Come Back To Life When It Rains?

Army of the Dead has a major Chekhov's Gun that's never actually paid off: Lilly's casual reveal that the sun-dried zombies littering the ground of Las Vegas briefly come back to life when it rains. Unfortunately the weather remains sunny throughout the heist, so it's unclear whether Lilly is telling the truth, or whether she's just making up stories to freak out newbies like Dieter. The ending of Army of the Dead sets up another zombie outbreak in Mexico City, so perhaps the vision of skeletons rising up from the ground to walk again is being saved for a Día de los Muertos-themed sequel.

Are The Alpha Zombies Really Dead?

What's shown of Zeus and the alpha zombies in Army of the Dead raises questions about whether they're actually walking corpses, like the shamblers, or whether they're something else entirely. Notably, Zeus has short hair when he first arrives in Las Vegas, but it has grown out into a flowing mane by the end of the movie. This could be chalked up to the popular myth about hair and fingernails continuing to grow after a person dies, but it's not so easy to explain the zombie fetus that Zeus pulls out of the alpha queen's body. If the alpha zombies are capable of having sex and reproducing, that means that more than just their bodies aren't just corpses being animated by a partially-resurrected brain - they're actually alive, albeit mutated.

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Where Did The Robot Zombies Come From?

Upon closer inspection, some of the zombies in Army of the Dead aren't zombies at all. After Guzman shoots one of them in the battle to leave the casino, it's revealed that the zombie is actually a robot, with a metal skull and an electronic eye underneath the skin of its face. And when Zeus is mourning the loss of his unborn zombie child at the Olympus, two of the zombies in the crowd have similar glowing blue eyes. Snyder acknowledged this in a Netflix Q&A about the movie, saying:

"If you pay close attention, there's a number of zombies that are clearly not zombies. You see normal zombies and then you see some robot zombies. Are they monitors that the government has placed among the zombies to monitor them? Are they technology from the other world? What's happening there?"

Snyder also suggested that the robot zombies will be explained in the upcoming prequel series Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, which is set during the early days of the zombie outbreak. Were they sent by the government to try and infiltrate and sabotage the alpha zombies? Is the zombie outbreak some kind of experiment by aliens, who dropped the robot zombies in as a way of monitoring the results? Or are the alpha zombies revived using some kind of nanotechnology that gradually turns them into robots over time? There are any number of possible explanations.

Is Dieter Still Alive?

Things don't look good for Dieter when he's last seen in Army of the Dead, being dragged away by Zeus, but unlike the other characters he doesn't get a gory death scene. As Snyder himself has slyly pointed out, no one is really dead in a horror movie until you've seen the body. Dieter will be the focus of upcoming prequel movie Army of Thieves, and it seems likely that Army of the Dead deliberately left his fate open-ended so that he could return in a sequel as well.

What Kind Of Zombie Will Vanderohe Become?

While the soldiers bitten by Zeus at the start of Army of the Dead turn almost instantly and Scott turns shortly after being bitten in the helicopter fight, Vanderohe takes a lot longer. He's able to wait out the nuclear bombing inside the bank vault, then walk across the city and a considerable distance across the desert, then drive to an airport and commission a private plane before he even starts to feel weak. Between being bitten by the king of the zombies and then being doused in radiation, Vanderohe may not be becoming either a shambler or a regular alpha zombie. He could have some kind of resistance to the bite that prevents him from completely transforming, or the longer incubation period for his bite could mean that he'll transform into some kind of zombie that hasn't been seen yet.

Did Any Other Zombies Make It Out Of Las Vegas?

A nuclear bomb is a fairly thorough way of wiping out the zombies of Las Vegas, and Vanderohe was only able to survive because he was hidden in the vault. However, the many trips into and out of the city made it clear that the shipping container walls weren't exactly impenetrable, so it's possible that other zombies - or zombie brains, like the one that Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada) wanted to get his hands on - left the city before the bombing. It only takes one stray zombie to set off an apocalypse, so even if Vanderohe doesn't start another outbreak in Mexico City, the undead could start appearing elsewhere.

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