‘Army of the Dead’ Ending, Explained – Is Zombie King Dead?


Directed and written by Zack Snyder, Army of the Dead is a Zombie Movie that showcases Snyder’s own “Suicide Squad” — a team of mercenaries who infiltrate the no man’s zombie land, in order to retrieve bundles of Cash. At a glance, the plot looks pretty straight forward but there are some intricate details the fans might want to ponder upon. Let’s dig it up.

Where did the Zombies come from?

At the beginning of Army of the Dead, a U.S. military convoy named Horsemen is transporting a confidential “payload” from Area 51 to a base near Las Vegas. In an unforeseen accident, the payload gets compromised and a metahuman zombie gets unleashed. The film suggests that this metahuman is responsible for spreading the infection. With his superhuman abilities to control the infected zombies, he raises his own army of the dead and captures Las Vegas city.

While not much is suggested in the film itself, it could be speculated that this metahuman zombie was genetically created by the US army in order to assemble an army of dead soldiers to fight wars. A lot of films have previously visited the theme of supersoldiers, and hence, Zack Snyder’s film seems no different.

Why did Tanaka want the Zombie Queen’s head?

Tanaka, the owner of the casino, The Vegas Bly approached mercenary Scott Ward to extract money from his casino vault, situated in the quarantined Las Vegas city. However, a frame pictures him in discussion with US military generals, hunting some ulterior motive.

Tanaka’s personal assistant, Martin, joins Scott’s team as a guide. But his actions reveal that he came to loot an “Alpha Zombie” head. In Martin own’s words, the living DNA of an alpha zombie (in this case, the living head of the Zombie queen) would help the US military to create more similar metahuman zombies. They will also hold the power to control their own Zombie Army to fight battles for them. Tanaka was well compensated by the army for his mission.

Who were the Alpha Zombies?

The first zombie that got unleashed was an Alpha Zombie. These prototype zombies have the power to control other zombies and therefore command the army, at will. Much like humans, these alpha zombies created their own settlement, a kind of kingdom inside the locked Las Vegas city.

The first alpha zombie was created genetically in a lab. In the film, Frenchwoman lily aka Coyote theorizes that when the original alpha bites a person, he becomes an alpha zombie too. Alpha zombie created his own Zombie Queen who was pregnant with his child. He was trying to raise a family in the quarantined zone, but Martin cut off his queen’s head. It was the reason for Alpha Zombie infernal rage.

Note – In Cast List, Alpha Zombie or the Zombie King is also listed as Zeus. The name connects him to Greek God, Zeus, who was the most powerful God.

Did Scott Ward come out alive?

In the climax, Zombie King unleashes his army of the dead upon the mercenaries, killing most of them. Leaving behind all the money, Scott tries to save his daughter. When the helicopter crashes outside the nuked zone, he turns into a zombie too, bitten by the Alpha Zombie. Scott’s daughter, Kate makes the hard choice and kills his father, in order to stop the containment.

As suggested by the climax sequence, Scott and her friend Geeta were the only survivors. However, the ending of the film holds a surprise for its fans.

‘Army of the Dead’ Ending Explained – Is Zombie King Dead?

The safecracker, Ludwig, and machine gun soldier, Vanderohe were trying to secure the cash when the Zombie king attacked them. In order to protect Vanderohe, Ludwig locks him inside the vault, therefore sacrificing himself. After the nuke, Vanderohe survived the blast because of the safety vault.

He comes out of the nuked city with bags filled with cash and boards a plane to Mexico to spend his life in leisure. However, inside the charter plane, he starts feeling dizzy. Vanderohe discovers a zombie bite on his arm that he developed during his fight with the Zombie King. The marks suggest that the Zombie king infected him. He is going to turn into an Alpha Zombie, carrying on the legacy of Zombie King.

Vanderohe’s charter plane is headed to Mexico City. Vanderohe, as the Alpha Zombie or the next Zombie King, is going to plague the city, repeating the history, thus creating another Las Vegas Zombie City in Mexico.

The open end suggests a sequel, Army of the Dead 2 in Mexico, however, much of it depends on the viewership and ratings. While the film was a commendable effort, I didn’t find it anything spectacular (coming from visionary Zack Snyder).

Read More‘Army of the Dead’ Summary & Review

If you have any other queries regarding Army of the Dead, please do write to us in the comment section below. Hope you enjoyed the spoilers. 

Army of the Dead is a 2021 Zombie Heist film directed and written by Zack Snyder. The film is streaming on Netflix.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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