Most Popular Zombie Movie Tattoos 

Most Popular Zombie Movie Tattoos 

To group all zombies together is actually a little unfair. There are so many different kinds – the Clickers in Last of Us, the Call of Duty Nazi zombies, the hive-dwelling vampire-like creatures in I am Legend, Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller, and the somewhat unassuming army from Sean of the Dead, just to name a few. And, of course, the zombies in Vivid Ink’s Halloween special! No spoilers.

Zombie history

zombie tattoos
By Mike at Vivid Ink Stafford

The mythological undead have existed in various iterations throughout history, and the forthcoming Zombie Apocalypse has fascinated people for centuries. The terminology comes from Haitian folklore, where a zombie is a dead body reanimated through various types of voodoo or other sorcery.

However, the Western iteration of the zombie that we all know and, uhm, love (?), appeared in popculture in the late 1960s with the release of George A Romero’s film Night of the Living Dead, inspired by the aforementioned I Am Legend book, written by Richard Matheson a decade earlier. 

Undead tattoos

Zombie tattoos in honour of the genre come in various styles and techniques. The most common is probably realism, which is to say that the tattoos can be as scary as watching the movie itself. Others choose to have cartoonish-like, more new school style of undead tattoos. Others still may opt for a stylised and effectual Neo-traditional motive.

Zombie boy
Photo by TaylorHerring via Flickr

There are also a subcategory of biomechanical / organic tattoos where the wearer will ask the artist to make part of their skin resemble that of an undead (although this is a far more common practice for making a body part look like a machine, kind of like Luke Skywalker’s hand). Canadian artist Rick Genest, also known as Zombie Boy, had his whole body tattooed in a similar way. 

Popular genre motives

Some of the more popular zombie characters to get tattooed include Bill Murray’s pretend zombie utlising a mixture of corn starch, berries, and liquorice as make-up) from Zombieland. “Zombies don’t mess with other zombies.” Scenes from The Walking Dead are quite popular as well, with a plethora of scenes and ‘walkers’ to choose from as the series have now been running for over a decade. With the eleventh and final season airing now, we are bound to see a lot of tributary

Half Jesus half skull tattoo
By Chilie from Vivid Ink Stafford

pieces coming up.

Bub from cult classic Day of the Dead from 1985 is another common zombie-fan-ink motive. Quite a special zombie as far as movies go, Bub tries to relearn how to read, brush his teeth and handle a gun. Tarman from Return of the Living Dead is instantly recognisable and quite often accompanied by one of the genre’s most memorable and illustrative quotes – “more brains’.  

Meanwhile, another style of zombie tattoos take known people, such as celebrities or even Jesus, and replace half of their face with a skull. Yet others make portraits of their friends in the style of a zombie – could make for nice reciprocal Halloween friendship tattoos.


© 2024 All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy