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The Zombies are a group of undead antagonists of the 1988 Italian horror film Zombi 3 (also known as Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 in other countries). They were originated from a serum known as Death One which was leaked and caused the population to mutate into the living dead.
A serum known as Death One was created at a laboratory and has the ability to reanimate a dead. A group of criminals raid the facility, with one of them making off with a case containing the serum. He is pursued by soldiers and the case is shot out of his hand. When he goes to pick it up, he touches the serum and is hit by the pain. He is forced to flee the scene and later books himself into a room at a nearby resort. He ends up cutting his hand off in an attempt to stop the infection, but succumbs to it anyway and becomes a zombie, and murders a maid. When soldiers raid the resort they find his dead body. After patrons and staff are killed in an attempt to contain the virus, the criminal's body is cremated, however the chemicals end up being released into the atmosphere, which infects birds flying about.
The birds turn savage and begin to attack people in the surrounding area, which in turn infects them and turns them into zombies. A zombie outbreak occurs and survivors are forced to band together to survive. Soldiers begin to kill both living and dead in an attempt to contain the virus on the island.
A local radio DJ Blue Heart becomes a zombie himself, and announces that a new cycle will begin with the undead and that he will dedicate his next album to them, and indicates that the zombies will be taking over the world and starting a brand new age of evolution. As the film ends here it is unknown if this plan ever became a success, or if the zombies were destroyed before they could spread worldwide.
Anyone infected with Death One begins to feel sickness and tiredness and are in pain. They begin to slowly turn a greenish colour and bleed out of sores on their body.
- Glenn: whilst on a trip with his girlfriend Patricia he is attacked and infected by a zombie bird and is turned into a zombie. He is one of two zombies in the film that are shown to have the ability to speak and have memory of being a human. Regardless of this he is overcome with his zombie like desires and tries to kill and turn Patricia into a zombie, but during his second encounter with her as a zombie he is killed.
- Lia: a young woman who is out on a trip with a group of friends, but ends up being attacked by the zombie birds. She later reanimates into a zombie and tries to kill a friend, but accidentally falls through a window and is killed for good. Like Glenn above, she is able to speak and has memory of being a zombie, but still has desire to kill.
- Blue Heart: A local DJ who provides commentary throughout the film. However by the end of the movie he has turned into a (horribly disfigured) zombie, and says that he will dedicate his next album to all of the undead.
Unlike most zombies in media, the undead in Zombi 3 have memories of their life as a living person and are still able to communicate in English. Despite their awareness of being human and still having their old personality, they are overwhelmed with the desire to consume human flesh and to spread the virus further. The zombies are strong and quick and are able to fight and overwhelm their victims. It is unknown if all zombies are able to communicate however as most are seen like the typical depictions of zombies, which is just walking about and letting out moaning and groaning noises.
In a strange case it appears some zombies can survive without their body. In a scene living characters find a dismembered head in the fridge. Despite it appearing motionless, the head comes to life and attacks one of the people and kills them. How it has this ability is never explained.
- In the unrelated Italian zombie film After Death (which is marketed as a sequel in the United Kingdom under the name Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 and is known as Zombie 4 in some other countries) has familiar zombies in which they have memories and retain their personalty as human beings and one of them can be seen talking.