In Army of the Dead, King Alpha Zeus is building his own army of smarter, faster and stronger Alpha zombies, and has a careful selection process.
On Army of the deadAlpha zombie society was not bitten randomly, they are carefully selected by Zeus (Richard Cetrone). After his initial breakout, Zeus turned some soldiers into Alpha zombies, but every time those Alphas bite people, that alone turns them into regular zombies, so the only way for someone to become the smartest, Fast and strong, Alpha was zombies Zeus chose to bite them, and he had high standards.
Alpha zombies were almost completely unknown, and even some of the greatest zombie fighters during the war, such as Scott Ward (Dave Bautista) or Maria Cruz (Ana de la Reguera), were unaware of their existence, with Lilly the coyote and Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick) expressing familiarity. Their relative darkness is a sign of how few of them there are, with only around 500 Alphas in a city full of reeling, so clearly it’s a very carefully selected crowd.
Zack Snyder explains Zeus’ methods in the book Army of the Dead: A Film de Zack Snyder: The Making of the Film by Peter Aperlo: “Depending on your importance, your physique, if you are a good candidate, then Zeus is more likely to convert you than if you were caught randomly. Zeus is doing it very carefully. He is not just turning anyone into an Alpha. It’s very deliberate. It’s like joining a club. ” So while Alpha zombies are naturally stronger and faster than most humans, they are also selected from the cream of the crop, both for physical and non-physical attributes.
Zeus is not a typical movie monster in the sense that his goals are not necessarily dire, as he is actually trying to find a way to grow his people without having to hurt humans. The most obvious element of this endeavor was the creation of the Alpha Zombie Baby, but he was also trying to keep his selection of a superior quality. Higher quality Alpha zombies mean that hopefully you won’t have to do as many, which means you’re building up your army in the least violent way you can with your current resources, in hopes of eliminating that need entirely once you’re done. Alpha zombies can have babies. If Zeus expects other Alpha zombies to be able to breed as well, then he’s also essentially selecting breeding animals, ensuring that the first generation of inborn Alpha zombies are as strong as possible.
This also says something about Vanderohe and Scott. Zeus bit them, while allowing other members of the team to be killed. Arguably both Lily and Deiter could have been bitten off-screen (even Vanderohe’s bite was not seen on-screen), but it is unclear if either of them survived the nuclear blast. It’s not likely that Zeus knew he was going to die when he bit Vanderohe, but he made an excellent choice for the next Zeus. It will be interesting to see if Vanderohe has similar standards for its own Alpha army once it reaches Mexico City.
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