TV shows The Walking Dead is an obvious behemoth to point towards, but in the film world, zombies have made their way into found footage (), room (Warm Bodies), and grind house throwbacks (Planet Terror). Critics Consensus: Led by typically outstanding work from Lupita Nyong'o, Little Monsters is a horror/room hybrid that proves the zombie genre still has fresh brains to savor.
Synopsis: Little Monsters follows Dave (Alexander England), a washed-up musician who volunteers to chaperone his nephew's kindergarten class field trip after... Critics Consensus: Cemetery Man will frustrate viewers seeking narrative cohesion or coherence, but this surreal blend of humor and horror should satisfy B-movie fans in the mood for quirk.
Synopsis: The devastating rage virus that annihilated the British Isles mysteriously resurfaces in Goya Award-winning director Juan Carlos Fresnillo's sequel to... Critics Consensus: Evocative direction by Jacques Turner collides with the low-rent production values of exploitation Val Newton in I Walked with a Zombie, a sultry sleeper that's simultaneously smarmy, eloquent and fascinating.
Critics Consensus: It's uneven and diverges from the source book, but World War Z still brings smart, fast-moving thrills and a solid performance from Brad Pitt to the zombie genre. Synopsis: The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to...
Critics Consensus: A kinetic, violent and surprisingly worthy remake of George Romero's horror classic that pays homage to the original while working on its own terms. Critics Consensus: Day of the Dead may arguably be the least haunting entry in George A. Romero's undead trilogy, but it will give audiences' plenty to chew on with its shocking gore and scathing view of society.
Critics Consensus: Brainy and bloody in equal measure, One Cut of the Dead reanimates the moribund zombie genre with a refreshing blend of formal daring and clever satire. Synopsis: A cast of relative unknowns, a brilliantly disguised low budget and an epic, 37-minute opening single take makes Shin'Cairo USDA's...
Critics Consensus: A punk take on the zombie genre, Return of the Living Dead injects a healthy dose of '80s silliness to the flesh consuming. Critics Consensus: The delightfully gonzo tale of a love struck teen and his combined mother, Dead Alive is extremely gory and wonderful fun, thanks to Peter Jackson's affection for the tastelessly sublime.
Critics Consensus: Plunging viewers into the nightmarish escape of an apartment complex under siege, proves that found footage can still be used as an effective delivery mechanism for sparse, economic horror. Synopsis: After teaming up in 2002 for the dramatic music documentary OT: The Movie, Spanish horror specialists Jaime Salguero (Darkness) and...
Critics Consensus: Kinetically directed by Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later is both a terrifying zombie movie and a sharp political allegory. Synopsis: After breaking into a primate research facility, a group of animal rights activists discover caged chimps chained up before banks...
Critics Consensus: George A. Romero's debut set the template for the zombie film, and features tight editing, realistic gore, and a sly political undercurrent. Critics Consensus: Train to Susan delivers a thrillingly unique -- and purely entertaining -- take on the zombie genre, with fully realized characters and plenty of social commentary to underscore the bursts of skillfully staged action.
Critics Consensus: Shaun of the Dead cleverly balances scares and witty satire, making for a bloody good zombie movie with loads of wit. Critics Consensus: One of the most compelling and entertaining zombie films ever, Dawn of the Dead perfectly blends pure horror and gore with social commentary on material society.
The movie unabashedly puts style over substance and has a bloody good time rehashing the tale of accidental warriors fending off flesh-eaters into the night. To emulate the experience of watching a grind house film, Planet Terror's presentation is grainy and generously scratched.
In true B-movie fashion, Robert Rodriguez didn't just write and direct Planet Terror; he also served as cinematographer, editor, producer, and even composed the film's score. This 1974 Spanish-Italien horror film was released internationally under any one of a whopping fifteen different titles-- including The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue and Don't Open the Window.
Set in the English countryside, the film follows two hippies who are implicated in a series of murders and harassed by a local police officer. Director Jorge Gray artfully captures his zombies wandering through a gray landscape in a film that is already overflowing with atmosphere.
Danny's looks also go downhill as his skin begins to decompose, and Denise is left cleaning up after her husband's new cannibalistic tendencies. While this may sound like a full-blown satire, Zombie Honeymoon surprisingly keeps the camp at a minimum and instead takes its ridiculous premise seriously.
Logan tries to remind the undead of their past lives, while rewarding their civil behavior with fresh meat from the group's fallen soldiers. Camille's strong-willed character shattered audiences' expectations about leading woman, similarly to how Romero portrayed African American males in his previous films.
Even though the film didn't enjoy the same popularity as Romero's first two zombie flicks, the director has cited Day of the Dead as his personal favorite. The director painstakingly worked on multiple story revisions for the film, as his budget was chopped in half-- from $7 million to 3.5-- when Romero refused to limit the amount of gore to obtain an R rating.
The character of Samantha Belmont, a 16-year-old smart-aleck who wields an Uzi while dressed as a cheerleader, even served as the primary inspiration for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In 28 Day Later we awake from a coma alongside Jim (Lillian Murphy), who staggers from his hospital bed to find London totally deserted.
Jim learns that a “rage” virus has swept the country and he, along with three fellow survivors, must fight the infected on their way to a military blockade. As sections of the city could only be shut down for minutes at a time, Boyle shot the film largely using digital cameras.
Dead Alive (also known as Brain dead) is often considered the bloodiest movie of all time, measured by the sheer amount of fake blood used during production. Over 80 gallons were used in the final scene alone, which involved Lionel, played by Timothy Bole, charging into a hoard of undead while holding a running lawnmower.
Two decades and six Hobbit movies later, zombie fans are anxiously awaiting Jackson to re-embrace his love for fake blood and crank out another outrageous horror film like Dead Alive. Which is exactly the kind of thinking you can expect from the survivors of this horror-comedy as they make their way across The United States of Zombie land en route to Pacific Play land.
Jesse Eisenberg plays Columbus, a geeky college kid who finds it difficult to woo fellow traveler Wichita (Emma Stone), while remaining true to his zombie survival guide. When a toxic gas is unleashed from a medical supply warehouse, it sets off a chain of events that results in the dead rising up from their graves.
An eclectic group of survives try to fend off the hoards, but discover that decapitation doesn't work, and burning them only exacerbates matters. Often a favorite amongst zombie aficionados, Return of the Living Dead is brimming with impressive effects, outrageous humor, and a killer punk rock soundtrack.
If you've been dodging responsibility your entire life, there's always the option to wait for the whole zombie apocalypse thing to blow over by enjoying a couple of pints at your favorite pub. Simon Egg plays Shaun, a noncommittal man who decides to turn his life around during the onset of the zombie apocalypse.
The comedic styling of Egg and Frost go together better than hops and barley, and the duo can be seen in the other two installments of the Three Flavors Cornet to Trilogy. All three films are director by Edgar Wright, who does a superb job of packing Shaun of the Dead with enough subtle horror references and comedic callbacks to make this movie endlessly re-watchable.
A sort-of-sequel to George A. Romero's zombie debut, Dawn of the Dead grew in scope and contained far more gore than its predecessor. The film was in part a satire of late '70s consumer culture, and it portrayed the zombies as mindless shoppers endlessly wandering through the mall.
Jeffery Combs plays Herbert West, the brilliant, albeit mad, med student who invents the reagent that's meant to prolong life. Bruce Abbott plays Dan Cain, Herbert's roommate, who is initially impressed with the serum until one too many experiments go awry and a re-animated/decapitated corpse does unspeakable things to his girlfriend.
Re-Animator made back its budget at the box office and has since become a cult favorite for anyone who enjoys their zombie films with jokes that bite. Apparently, filming conditions became so poor that the filmmakers resorted to burning the cabin's furniture toward the end of the shoot just to stay warm.
They may have finished filming, but Bruce Campbell's battle against the undead army of Deadlines rages on today in Ash Vs. Every other film on this list owes a debt to Night of the Living Dead, which truly redefined what we've come to think of as the modern zombie -- even if the movie never says the actual word.
Romero's living dead also craved human flesh, and could only be killed by destroying their brain or setting them aflame. Night of the Living Dead spawned five sequels and two remakes, and the film is credited with redefining the entire horror genre.
Despite a measly budget, controversial violence, and an African American leading man-- highly unusual for 1968-- the film was a massive success. But Romero's bleak, almost nihilistic vision in which the hero survives the zombie attacks only to be killed by a redneck posse took the genre away from the fantastical, and held a mirror up to the real horrors of humanity.
Evil Dead 2 is indeed the highest rated zombie movie on Rotten Tomatoes, scoring 53 “Fresh” reviews against just 1 Rotten.” Since nearly half of these entries are horror-comedies, it's apparent that audiences often enjoy their zombie films with a heavy side of laughter, and Evil Dead 2 is the perfect blend of outrageous humor and blood-splattering horror.
While there, Dylan continued to explore his lifelong fascination with the entertainment industry by receiving degrees in both Television/ Film Arts and Writing. Aside from Tarantino, a few of Dylan’s favorite filmmakers include the Coin Brothers, John Carpenter, P. T. Anderson, and David Lynch.
DeadHeadsWorld of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries 2The Howling: RebornCreatureArea 51 After a zombie plague wipes out most of America, a small band of survivors fights its way across the country to reach a rumored refuge on the island of Catalina.