You’d think with the amount of zombie saturation we’ve had over the last few years that it would become boring and fail to raise our pulses. But I’ll be a shambling corpse if this footage from the set of World War Z didn’t make my day. Based on the phenomenal novel by Max Brooks, the Marc Foster directed horror opus will focus on the survivors of the great zombie war. The film boasts Brad Pitt, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, and Lost’s Matthew Fox among its cast as well as legions of the walking, and apparently sprinting, dead.

Feast your eyes upon the carnage!

I know it’s a break from the Romero age of the walking dead, but running zombies are absolutely terrifying and it’s no surprise that they seem to be the new standard. It’s one thing to have to deal with a horde of flesh-eaters if they’re sauntering around you, it’s quite another if you also have to outrun them. This scene is exactly what a zombie outbreak is supposed to look like. It’s chaotic, confusing, and horrifying to watch even without the inclusion of finished effects shots. I imagine the death of the poor sap on whom the zombies feed after he makes the mistake of leaving his car will be far messier once the computer-generated gore is inserted.

But what really freaked me out is the actor’s frantic movements after he was bitten. His violent contortions are unsettling to behold and suggest that the transformation from human to zombie in World War Z will be alarmingly immediate. And I don’t know what living thing is still in that minivan when this guy gets back to his feet, but when he begins slamming his body into the vehicle and trying to break the glass with his head and elbows, I got chills. I’m not sure who this actor is, but his physical performance is remarkable.

I imagine this is the kind of thing that was going on in London in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later while Cillian Murphy’s character was in a coma. Granted, there is a great deal of debate as to whether the creatures in 28 Days Later were actually zombies, but this sort of ravenous feeding and assimilation coupled with the speed of World War Z’s zombies definitely rings familiar.

Out of curiosity, which do you guys prefer: walking or running zombies?

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