The Undead Color Palettes of Zombie Cinema

Zombie movies can be a bloody good time but that doesn't mean the only color you see is red.

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Zombie Colors

Zombie movies can be a bloody good time but that doesn’t mean the only color you see is red!

Video Nasty Presents is a horror-themed Instagram account curated by Ouroboros Magazine content creator Billie Jean. Video Nasty is a visual investigation and celebration into the colors of cult cinema. We wanted to join undead forces and explore some of the cold and complex color palettes presented in some of the best zombie movies horror has to offer!

Day of the Dead

George Romero’s Day of the Dead is the third film in his “dead trilogy” and as you can see in this snippet of Bub is just what you’d expect. This scene features a cold spectrum of colors complimented with dark blood reds. This is definitely a juxtaposition knowing Day of the Dead was mostly filmed in the sunshine state of Florida!

28 Days Later

Danny Boyle’s lonely zombie apocalypse film 28 Days Later takes place in the thematically perfect London, England. The palette above features elements you’d pull from a rainy day. The overall effect is somber and isolating – which works all too well for the atmosphere of 28 Days Later.


James Gunn’s Slither is supremely disgusting…and we love it! This off kilter horror flick features muted earth tones for a more “down to earth” aesthetic. Still keeping true to the other zombie films with the dark reds and cool blues.

Planet Terror

Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror is one hell of a ride! With the beautiful reds and oranges featured above, it’s fitting for the film’s main protagonist. The color spectrum in Planet Terror is like a constant alarm, exploding with color, and warning you of incoming danger.

Train to Busan

Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan is a contemporary zombie flick that has recently exploded with popularity. The featured palette continues with the pattern of chill blues, dark reds, and muted earth tones similar to Slither.

Examining a film’s color palette offers a visual idea into the thematic world presented without ever having to say a thing. For all the blood, guts, teeth, and gore there’s something truly meticulous and just plain gorgeous about these features! Special thanks again to Billie Jean at Video Nasty Presents for providing a visual guide into the snarling world of zombie cinema.

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