The 10 Best Zombie Movies of All Time
I have a tendency to get intimidated when someone asks for my “top 10, 20, 25” of anything. Not that I think I will offend them by not mentioning one of their favorites because, frankly I could care less, but because I can always think of more than the number that I have chosen to list. That being the case, this is my “Top 10 Zombie Films of All Time (with a few extras at the end)”. Is this a definitive list? Well, since you are asking me then “yes, it is”. Is it going to be definitive to you? Probably not but you can be hopeful that one day someone is going to ask for your “top x” of something that you are an expert in and it will be your definitive list and you can have a cocky attitude about it just because. So let’s get started.
10. Dead Snow (2009) – Ok, who doesn’t like a good “Nazi Zombie” story. This is just classic from the isolated cabin on the side of a mountain to the old man that tells of the Nazi occupation of a town not too far from where they are staying. While it may start slow, it has all of the zombie gore that we fans have come to expect from our beloved genre.
9. Evil Dead/Evil Dead II (1981/1987) – “Wait, is that fair? Can he put two movies down and count them as one?” Well, yes I can. Especially these two, because let’s face it, one is just a higher quality, better budget remake of the other. You can thank these films for introducing us to the collaborative genius of Sam and Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell. You can also thank them for creating the character of Ash, one of the best zombie killers in cinema. “Hail to the King, Baby.”
8. Dellamorte, Dellamore (1994) – Also known as “Cemetery Man”, this film is a must see for any would be zombie aficionado. You see, there is this Italian village that has a problem with keeping the recently dead, well, dead. They have a cemetery man (nice little title tie-in there wouldn’t you say) whose job it is to make sure they stay dead. His job is not however to accidentally kill the living nor to fall in love with a recently deceased but….
7. Fido (2007) – I have said it before and I will say it again: This movie represents the epitome of the correct way to do a political movie without being overtly political. This is probably the best example of zombies being used in the metaphorical analysis of society that I have ever seen (and God knows I have seen plenty of that crap). Though not horror per se, Fido is still a zombie movie that I would be willing to stack against any outside of this list.
6. Dead Alive (1992) – What is not to like about this film? This is one of the bloodiest films of all time (700 liters of fake blood in the last scene alone), it has visual instructions on how to use a running lawnmower as a melee weapon, it has a Sumatran Rat Monkey, and most important of all it has a kung-fu priest. I mean, come on, who doesn’t like a kung-fu priest.
5. Return of the Living Dead (1985) – Dan O’Bannon proved his genius with this film. Think about it, nowhere else in the zombie genre of film is it mentioned that zombies eat brains but it has become a readily used moniker for said zombies. When your one film wields that much power within a complete genre, you know you did something right.
4. Shaun of the Dead (2004) – What to say about this film. It has comedy, romance, social parody and zombies. Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright are fans of zombie movies and it shows from the absolute respect and homage that they pay the many zombie films from the past that were their inspiration. Also, this is the perfect film to introduce someone to the zombie genre. Just sayin’.
3. Night of the Living Dead (1968) – “Wait a minute? NOTLD is number 3? Isn’t that sacrilege or something?” I know, right? This is the movie that put the zombie on the map as something other than a voodoo controlled slave. It could be safe to say that the only other film maker that broke as much ground in horror to that date was the great Alfred Hitchcock. Remember, this was the movie that forced ratings on films. It was a struggle to put it in third but after much turmoil I felt it was right compared to what followed.
2. Zombi 2 (1980) – I firmly believe that one cannot be a true fan of gore and not be a fan of Lucio Fulci. I also firmly believe that you cannot be a true fan of zombie films and not absolutely adore Zombi 2 (Zombie in the states and Zombie Flesh Eaters in the UK). This film made the infamous Video Nasties list in the UK and it earned it. From eye gouging to zombie feasting it is the epitome of a Nasty. Hoorah!!!
1. Dawn of the Dead (1978) – Well here it is. Number one. Numero uno. The best of the best. Why do I think it is deserving of this title? Let us count the ways. George Romero at his finest, Tom Savini becoming a house hold name, comedy, romance, social parody (déjà vu), head shots, torn bodies oh my. Oh, and let’s not forget, single handedly putting the languishing zombie genre back on course for all to enjoy.
1.Day of the Dead (1985) – “First there was Night of the Living Dead then Dawn of the Dead and now the darkest day of horror the world has ever known.” ‘Nuff said.
2.Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974) – Highly underrated because of it’s heavily cut original release in the US; I would suggest finding the Blue Underground or the Anchor Bay release.
3.Dawn of the Dead (2004) – Not a big fan of remakes but this one makes me tolerate them.
4.Night of the Living Dead (1990) – I couldn’t think of anyone better to make a remake of the film that started it all than Tom Savini with Romero’s blessing. Barbara has a little more common sense in this one as well.
1.Diary of the Dead (2007) – I loved this movie. I know that many did not but as I have said before, I don’t care.
2.Zombies, Zombies, Zombies (2008) – Strippers, crack-hoes, a smart-ass pimp and zombies. Need I say more?
3.Zombie Lake (1980) – Don’t judge me.
Why isn’t it on the list?
1. 28 Days Later (2002) – When I am asked to give my “Top 10 Virus Movies of All Time” list then this one will be number 1. But this is a zombie movie list which means that this one does not qualify.
2. 28 Weeks Later (2007) – Ditto.
Well, there you have it. The “Top 10 Zombie Films of All Time (with a few extras at the end)” for you to shrink to wallet size, print out, laminate and keep in your wallet in case you ever get into a debate with someone who just thinks they know zombie movies. Then you too can make them run home to mama crying like a little girl. It really is fun. You should try it some time.
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