Major Cooper appeared briefly in the original version of Day of the Dead. During the movie we learn that some U.S. Army stragglers are holding out in a base in Florida. Hiding out with them are some scientists who are trying to figure out what’s going on with this whole dead-walking-the-earth thing, one of whom is doing experiments on the zombies to try and figure out what the hell is going on. Major Cooper was one of the top brass in the military survivors camp until something happened. Everyone believes he was buried but one of the scientists in the lab stole his body and had a test subject buried in his place.
Honestly I don’t like Day of the Dead very much and in part it’s because of the nutty head scientist in the movie. He’s SUCH a stereotypical “mad scientist” that he comes across as comical and unrealistic. At the same time the movie tries to answer some pretty big questions about the zombies. This seems to be the one thing it actually does right and tells us a lot about how the zombies act and function. We learn that the desire to eat is from the most basic parts of our brains and if that is changed or removed, the zombies SHOULD in theory stop being hungry. Of course it only takes around fifteen hours of surgery and can only be done by a handful of people meaning it’s totally useless.