Favorite Zombie Films
My Top 10 (or 11) Favorite Zombie Movies
There are some really bad zombie films, but there are also some really good ones.
1. “Shaun of the Dead” (2004) — Written by and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, this film remains an excellent amalgamation of humor and horror where a man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living. It also boasted some dazzlingly executed long-take sequences, lovable characters, fine acting and an amazing collection of one-liners.
2. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) — George A. Romero’s classic about a group of people who seek refuge from zombies in a remote farmhouse. The film injected social commentary on topics such as race relations and the effects of the Vietnam war. This is the film that set the standard for all zombie films.
3. “Zombieland” (2009) — Another comedy, this time with a shy, neurotic student (Jesse Eisenberg) and a gun-toting tough guy (Woody Harrelson) trying to get to an amusement park that they think is zombie-free. The film had a crackling, inventive script and great design touches — when was the last time you admired a zombie movie for its onscreen typography? And this film had rules.
4. “Dawn of the Dead” (2004) — This is a remake from the original Romero film (Dawn of the Dead: 1978) and has the same story where a group of survivors take refuge from zombies in a shopping mall. But while it lacked the starkness of Romero’s original, the remake featured a charged performance from actress Sarah Polley. My favorite scene is where the survivors are taking sniper shots at celebrity look-a-like zombies — poor Jay and Burt.
5. “28 Days Later” (2002) — Danny Boyle’s gory thriller took place in the U.K., and had a fast-acting virus that turned everyone into lightning-fast zombies. The film was frightening and tense, and injected social commentary in the vein of “Lord of the Flies” — zombies may be brutal, but humans will always demonstrate our savage nature. I really loved the evolution of the character Jim as played by the very talented Cillian Murphy.
6. “28 Weeks Later” (2007) —I will add the follow-up film as it revisits the story six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain and highlights the US Army efforts to help secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. Since it is a zombie film, not everything goes to plan. Jeremy Renner and Robert Carlyle provide some great acting.
7. “Dead Snow” (2009) — This Norwegian entry highlights a typical ski vacation that turns horrific for a group of medical students, as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable menace: Nazi zombies. Yes . . . Nazi Zombies!! Need I say more?
8. “Shock Waves” (1977) — While on the subject of Nazi Zombies, I have to give a nod to the 1977 film starring Peter Cushing as an aging SS Commander in charge of an underwater band of Nazi Zombies (created from some “super soldier” experimentation). My favorite scene of the entire film is where the long-dormant SS zombies rise from the deep. That scene still give me chills, even after seeing it about a hundred times.
9. “Deadgirl” (2008) — Imagine what would happen when a couple of high school boys discover an imprisoned, naked woman strapped to a table in an abandoned mental asylum. Once they discover that she cannot die, one decides to keep her as his personal sex slave. Creepy, dark, weird, shocking and cruel, this film really left me disturbed on so many levels that I had to go hunt some rainbows and unicorns after watching it.
10. “Fido” (2006) — Young Timmy’s best friend in the whole wide world is a six-foot tall rotting zombie named Fido. But when Fido eats the next-door neighbor, Mom and Dad hit the roof, and Timmy has to go to the ends of the earth to keep Fido a part of the family. This is a nostalgic boy-and-his-dog movie for grown ups. Additionally, Carrie-Anne Moss carried the role of Timmy’s mother and added a phenomenal touch of grace and style to her character and Billy Connolly nailed the role of Fido without the use of any dialogue.
11. “The Cabin in the Woods” (2011) — Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods. When I first saw this film, I imagined it as the beta version of The Matrix ripping back the covers and providing a behind the scenes look at the traditional horror film. This was quite new and refreshing spin on the played out horror formula. Favorite quote: “Yes, you had “Zombies.” But this is “Zombie Redneck Torture Family.” Entirely separate thing. It’s like the difference between an elephant and an elephant seal.”
Feel free to share some of your own favorite zombie films.
Keep calm and watch on.