Zombies are a big part of pop culture right now. The Walking Dead, based on the fantastic graphic novel, is the highest rated cable program ever (Even though the second season was really terrible). World War Z is one of the biggest book success stories of the past few years. Max Brooks (Son of Mel) has added his humor-free perspective on the inevitable zombie plague and has given us instructions on how we need to respond. Look for a butchered feature film version of the book with Brad Pitt starring, when and if it is released next year (It’s had a few delays due to writing issues). There is just something about Zombies that affects us. It could be that “they” are “us” after death, or that hordes and hordes of them never stop coming no matter what we do, or that they just want to eat us and we are attached to our flesh.
This list was tough because there are 10 good zombie movies. I struggled leaving out Zombi 2, Zombieland, and 28 Weeks Later. Sadly they didn’t measure up to the greats
|Stop, drop, and Double Tap|
In 2002, Danny Boyle directed a movie that revitalized the dead (pardon the pun) genre of zombie films. It was a new millennium and people could no longer be afraid of the slow moving undead. While Boyle claims this is not a zombie movie, it’s more of a rage-infected mankind movie. Though it’s obviously a zombie movie if you get bit and are immediately affected with the virus that will consume you with a hunger for human flesh. If it walks like a zombie duck and talks like a zombie duck…
Also, this movie is great because it introduced most of us to Cillian Murphy. Even if his awakening in the hospital scene was pulled from the Walking Dead comic, it’s still an unforgettable scene.
|You’ve got red on you…|
One of the best unknown horror comedy gems out there. For those of you who have not seen this flick, go get it now! And for the best experience, you should watch it with a group of like-minded, sick & twisted friends who laugh at the sight of gratuitous movie blood. If there every was a movie that did not apologize for its sheer ridiculousness, it’s Dead Alive (titled Brain Dead overseas). Also, it goes to show you how nerds make for Hollywood’s best directors. This was Peter Jackson’s second movie, after Bad Taste, which is on par with this for insanity and blood.
This movie follows Lionel, a real momma’s boy, as he tries to balance a new found love life with a local girl and also hide the fact that his mom has recently become a zombie and is deteriorating more by the minute. This movie has so many highlights that I could write a whole post about them. My personal favorites are: “I kick ass for the Lord!” And the giant zombie mom trying to put Lionel back in her stomach. Lastly, it has the single best, bloodiest scene in movie history as Lionel takes a lawn mower on a room full of zombies. Like I said, watch this with your sick and twisted friends and it somehow makes for a great comedy. Plus, zombie baby steals the show.
|Right before they kill zombie Jay Leno…|
Why do people keep insisting that the original Dawn is such a classic? Those zombie elitists claim that it’s all parody on consumerism, blah blah blah. The problem with the original Dawn of the Dead is that it’s so bloody boring! I get satire, but I would like at least a side of entertainment along with it. Zack Snyder’s remake is far superior in every way. The zombies are grotesque, the characters are more memorable and it’s actually scary.
|I bet he’s still trying to take what’s Conan’s.|
I still regard the opening 15 minutes of the remake as one of the best movie openings ever. That little girl attacking Sarah Polley’s husband and the chaos surround Polley as she tries to escape her suburban neighborhood in her car, as the camera pans up and shows the chaos is everywhere as Johnny Cash “When the Man Comes Around” plays. Classic.
|Harry! Use your patronus spell!|
Not only is it one of the best zombie movies ever but it also is one of the best comedies ever made. This is the first part of the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy, which means the official pairings of director Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. The second part is obviously Hot Fuzz, and the third is The World’s End, due late next year.
There is hardly a better bromance in movies beyond that of Pegg and Frost. Their friendship even outlives a zombie infection. One of the great things about this film is that zombies have been roaming the streets for what seems like days and Shaun has no idea as he goes about his life and keeps his head down. And there is hardly a better time to introduce your girlfriend to your mom for the first time than the zombie apocalypse.
The best scene is in the Winchester. As the zombies start to break in, the gang grabs pool cues and start to wail on the zombies. Just then, Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” plays on the jukebox and they beat on their would be eater in a very boisterous way. It plays the opposite of how that scene should be done and it’s classic. Just remember, there is no I in team, but there is a me in meat pie.
|Who invited Zombie Caesar?|
The original, the classic. I give full credit to George A. Romero for starting the zombie phenomenon. He deserves his rightful place as geek legend. The problem is, his first movie, Night of the Living Dead was his only great movie. To this day, he is trying to recreate the magic he once had with Diary and Survival of the Dead, but he needs to give the mantle to someone else, anyone else.
But how good is Night of the Living Dead? It holds the feeling of an old school classic horror and it was made in the 60’s. The zombies has little to no extra makeup and they still managed to fill you with dread. As with Romero’s other zombie movies, this one had a social message about racism and fearing what you don’t understand. This movie was a pioneer because it A) didn’t kill the black guy first, and B) made him the hero. I don’t want to spoil the end for those who haven’t seen it. (Shame on you.) But it feels like a kick in the gut after the rough night these people had to survive through.
I still get creeps thinking about the beginning of the movie where the older brother is teasing his sister in the cemetary and a lone zombie slowly shambles towards them. Messed up. “They’re coming to get you Barbara. There’s one of them right now!”