Top 100 Best Zombie Movies Part 9
Top 100 Best Zombie Movies: A Toast to the Zombie Gaming Revolution
We love zombies. Itâ€™s our duty as geeks and/or gamers to be fascinated by the social commentary so often paralleled in modern zombie cinema; or at least to enjoy watching people get their faces eaten. Either way theyâ€™re lovable creatures with a following that is to be truly admired. With the ever increasing boost of zombie/undead themed games, I present to the general public a list of the best zombie movies (and worst) to date. Of course this list is my personal opinion and very much open to dispute, there are also plenty of zombie movies I have not seen that probably deserve to be on this list. This is simply one zombie fanâ€™s attempt to further the spread of zombie admiration and perhaps get some people into some of the best zombie movies they may have never before seen. Keeping the interest high keeps the zombie games coming!
Numbers 20 - 11:
20] [â€¢Rec] / Quarantine
Synopsis: "A young TV reporter and her cameraman cover the night shift at the local fire station. Receiving a call from an old lady trapped in her house, they reach her building to hear horrifying screams."
I know a lot of people don't dig the hand-held POV approach but atleast in [REC] the camera is of professional grade being helmed by an actual cameraman, so the nausea is left to a minimum for those people who find themselves getting motion sick watching movies like this. I'd like to say that [REC] (which is the original) is superior to the American remake but frankly the two are near identical... Which is rather mind boggling given the only difference is the spoken language. Do movie producers really think we are that shallow that we can't watch a good movie just because it's in a foreign language? Or is it just a blatant cash grab before the popularity of [REC] reaches North America? Or am I getting sidetracked from what this is supposed to be about? Zombies!
Since they're 99% identical, it's rather quite fortunate that the movies (henceforth referred to in the singular) are solid. A lengthy intro attempts to build some connection to our dynamic duo before they get dropped into the gaping maw of Hell, which is then followed by said Hell as zombies maim, bite, claw and re-animate as the few survivors in the building become foodstuffs. Although the camera is rather bouncy at times, we still get plenty of tense and creepy atmosphere, some 'BOO' shots (that are thankfully not overdone and rather welcome here) and a couple seriously horrific visuals. A neat story, pretty good acting, great zombie FX and a nice change of pace from your regular zombie romp.
19] The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave
Synopsis: "A wealthy English lord is suffering a mental breakdown following the death of his red-headed wife, Evelyn, whom he feared was cheating on him. He tours local bars and dives, scouring for lovely red-heads willing to come back to his decaying castle in the country, where he seduces them, then tortures and kills them."
Well this is an odd one. The first bit of the movie plays like a retro S&M snuff horror, very weird stuff, with our lead murdering young woman he seduces. Then it suddenly shifts gears into a psycho-thriller with the lead witnessing the animated corpse of his dead wife. Mental breakdowns occur. The seriously odd thing is that this murderous psycho's history is sort of neglected after the appearance of his dead wife and he becomes the hero we root for during the spooky escapades that follow. Still despite the odd story we are treated to an interesting tale as we attempt to figure out if he is just truly mad, or if his wife has become the undead and is back to settle some affairs.
18] Zombi 2
Synopsis: "Strangers looking for a woman's father arrive at a tropical island where a doctor desperately searches for the cause and cure of a recent epidemic of the undead."
There's plenty that can be said about this film, but really if anyone reading this is a zombie fan then they already know what it's all about. If you are not a zombie fan, two points for you. One, a zombie wrestles a freakin' shark underwater. Two, this has the most gruesome and cringe-inducing eye-piercing scene I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot of Italian eye-piercing shots!) Although the pacing sort of plods along at times, there is no denying the fact that this is a true classic.
Synopsis: "Timmy Robinson'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."
A rather neglected Zombedy, which is sad given the great cast and superb story. In a world where life has come back together (in the style of the 50's) after a devastating zombie apocalypse, we meet our young Timmy and family. His family finally succumbs to the status fad and buys their own pet zombie, which Timmy immediately finds a best friend in. What follows is a simple free flowing zombie tale that meshes all sorts of undertones like prejudice and general social commentary wrapped in a comedic and gory little package.
16] The Beyond
Synopsis: "A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where after a series of supernatural 'accidents', she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell."
Here we have another entry that isn't a dedicated zombie movie, but contains a final block that follows our leads battling (with a magical never-run-out-of-ammo and never-reload pistol) leagues of zombies as they get closer to the portal of Hell. Where this movie truly shines however, is the incredibly, no wait that needs better emphasis... the INCREDIBLY horrendous, goopy, disgusting and mouth gaping deaths strewn throughout the flick. Ever wanted to see tarantulas tear chunks out of a person before? No? Too bad. What about the effects of acid to the face? If reading that puts an eager smile to your face, then check it out.
15] Silent Hill
Synopsis: "Rose Da Silva goes in search for her troubled daughter within the confines of a strange, desolate town called "Silent Hill."
Bad acting, ridiculous gore, horrific creatures. Not zombies per se, but the movie definitely portrays some aspects and has a lot of the same feelings attributed to zombie flicks. The undead nurses and other humanoid creatures play their lumbering zombie-role, but the real light is on the two main characters. Pyramid Head and his ability to rip skin off of someone like cheap rags, and the town of Silent Hill itself.
While the movie doesn't quite portray the tension and sense of hopelessness the games do (like, shudder, Silent Hill 2) the settings look like they were torn straight off my TV screen and pasted into this. The story isn't great, as it attempts to follow the original Silent Hill. But as much as I dislike the whole cult thing I will admit that despite all the movie's flaws, when the organ music kicked in near the end of the movie I broke a giddy grin that went from ear to ear. Flawed, but a popcorn movie for people that love horror, and a 'fix' for those people that are just dying to see something (even if short lived) zombie-like.
14] Dead & Buried
Synopsis: "Potters Bluff, Rhode Island may seem to be a sleepy little town. At least for the casual visitor and the local sheriff, Daniel Gillis. However, all of a sudden, there are a lot of strange murders where strangers or people passing through are killed by mobs of townspeople."
This is a great take on the undead. Instead of a hunger for flesh, these zombies gather en mass and mob individuals or small families and proceed to murder them. Then, these unfortunate folks join the ranks of the undead townsfolk and chip in for future murders, but why?! A neat movie with an intriguing story that is greatly overlooked and deserves the attention of any zombie lover or horror lover in general. Keep an eye out for comedic hero Ryan Stiles as the undead tow-truck driver!
13] Planet Terror
Synopsis: "After an experimental bio-weapon is released, turning thousands into zombie-like creatures, it's up to a rag-tag group of survivors to stop the infected and those behind its release."
The unfortunate thing is that this movie spawned a slew of terrible independent filmmakers that wanted to make their own grindhouse horror, and the DVD releases of every long forgotten crapfest grindhouse movie. Just because this gem of a movie has a grindhouse filter on it, doesn't mean grindhouse movies are good, people. They're crap. This is not grindhouse, it's Hollywood with a filter!
While the theater experience of Planet Terror, Death Proof and the faux trailers were a truly unique experience, I'm going to focus on our zombie friend here. Planet Terror is filled to the bloody brink with goopy bits, zombie munching, testicle removal, head explosions, and serious hardcore zombie action. Corny as hell but hot damn if that doesn't suit this badboy well. A must see for any zombie fanatic. But I'm sure I don't need to tell you that.
12] Cemetery Man (Dellamorte Dellamore)
Synopsis: "He is the guardian of the cemetery of Buffalora, a little town in the north of Italy, in which, we don't know why, corpses rise from tombs and Dellamorte has to destroy them. Dellamorte seems not to ask to himself why this happen, he shoots and loves."
This starts with our hero and sidekick as watchers and guardians over the graveyard. For some reason or another, people that get buried in this graveyard seem to come back to life as the hungry undead. Our duo don't question this, instead they 'subdue' and rebury the dead. Mix in some complicated romance, zombie boy scouts and sickly intriguing gore and you have a truly genuine and must-see zombie flick.
11] Evil Dead Series
Synopsis: #1 Follows "Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons." #2 is basically a redo of the first, only keeping their favorite character Ash to return as more of a hero: "The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holds up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack." Lastly of course is #3, where "A man is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home."
Evil Dead developed a gigantic cult following, which is easy to see why. Despite some tree rape and copious amounts of oozing custard-puss like substances there are moments of brilliant horror writing. Mostly pertaining to actors going from cornball acting to creepy out-of-character deadite talk (the card guessing being one fine example). While flawed there is enough tension and unease to appease anyone looking for a classic to view.
Now, the juicy bits. Evil Dead 2 ignores the first, restarting the story while keeping only one original character, Ash. Taking the less serious approach, we get some hilarious undead action (the laughing furniture!) mixed with amazing horror scenes that just bust at the seams with tension. Still though, this is more about possession than undead, so what are these doing here?
Bruce Campbell vs The Army of Darkness of course! Basically, take the hilarity of Monty Python's Holy Grail and add Ash, deadites, and the undead. Cornball (but utterly brilliant) dialogue, fight sequences that range from bizarre (with the mini-Ashes) to the epic (like the Helm's Deep-esque castle siege). This is what horror-comedy is supposed to be my friends! This is also why Bruce Campbell is a favorite of almost every horror fan. With a chainsaw for an arm, his trusty boomstick, quick wit and attitude combined with his reluctant yet unavoidable heroics we have a movie that warrants viewing from anyone that holds any sort of appreciation for comedy... and the undead.
Movie synopses care of IMDB or each film's respective Official Website.