In honor of the new movie, Zombieland, partly filmed here in Valdosta and coming into theaters this Friday, I was given the task of putting together a list of five of the scariest, bloodiest, and overall best zombie movies of all time. It wasn’t until I left class that I realized, I had never even seen a zombie movie in my life. So I devised a clever plan. I searched the internet and found over 20 lists, all claiming to have put together the perfect list of zombie movies. I picked five that showed up on every list, drove to the video store and rented them all. About ten hours, 4 bathroom breaks, and 2 bowls of popcorn later, I was able to put together my own list of the best zombie movies of all time. Enjoy!
5) Zombie Night
Zombie Night’s particular brand of zombies are the aftermath of the nuclear warfare of World War 3. A family of three arrives home from vacationing in a log cabin with no electricity to find the world has changed quite a bit since they left. They soon team up with a few survivors in an abandoned building and fight off zombies until the end.
Quite frankly, Zombie Night is a piece of garbage. TheInternet lists that included this movie forgot to mention that it was filmed in someone’s backyard with a cheap camcorder, random neighbors and a few bottles of ketchup. One could honestly think this movie was a joke, but it soon becomes clear that these bad actors are very serious. Not only are the actors fake, but so is the action. Instead of cowering in fear, you might find yourself laughing at each corn-syruped corpse that crosses the screen. It would probably be more entertaining to fight off a horde of zombies yourself than to sit through this 91 minute disaster.
4) Shaun of the Dead
This Edgar Wright zombie flick is a little unorthodox considering the fact that it’s an intentional comedy. All Shaun wants to do is get his girlfriend back, but unfortunately plans change when thousands of living dead show up. He now has show the world that he is worth something by saving all their lives from the flesh-eating monsters that have taken over London.
I’m not entirely sure this can even be classified as a zombie movie because it wasn’t a horror movie. I was prepared for millions of terrifying undead and instead got Shaun and his best friend Ed who are so stupid, they don’t even notice the zombies or destruction going on until one attacks them personally. Not that Shaun of the Dead isn’t entertaining. While this movie won’t have you cowering under the covers, it can be considered a pretty decent comedy.
3) (Remake) Night of the Living Dead
I wasn’t able to get my hands on the original, so this 1990 remake of George A. Romero’s classic would have to do. Zombies appear almost immediately when a brother and sister go to a graveyard (in the middle of the day) to visit their recently deceased mother. The sister survives the first attack only to find herself trapped in a house with six other strangers also fighting the living dead. All hell breaks loose however, when these strangers start to turn the guns on each other instead of their flesh-eating enemies.
While the special effects left much to be desired, Night of the Living Dead was a huge upgrade. The plot of this movie was simple–no one knew where the zombies were coming from, and no one cared. People just shot, killed, and moved on. Barbara, the heroine of the movie, is a very impressive character; changing from her long pleated skirt to men’s pants and army boots and killing anything that moves I recommend this movie to anyone looking for an old school action flick that won’t cause you to lose any sleep at night.
2) Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead is not your average zombie movie. Instead of running from the cannibalistic undead, this group of characters traps several of them in their underground shelter, and hand them over to Dr. Logan (a.k.a. Dr. Frankenstein) in an attempt to explain why it’s happening and how to stop it. The mad scientist actually manages to find a zombie, nicknamed Bub, with some human emotion left in him. But once again, the actual living turn against one another, resulting in a bloody last battle where it’s every man for himself.
This is a very rare thing–a scary movie with a decent plot. What Day of the Dead lacks in scenes designed to make you jump, it makes up in an actual storyline. People in this movie must defend themselves not only against zombies, but against the living as well, creating an intense and action packed 102 minutes for you to enjoy.
1) Dawn of the Dead
This 2004 remake of George Romero’s original brings a 21st century twist on the 1978 film. A handful of survivors close themselves off in the mall in an attempt to wait it out. But this plan fails when the zombies continue to multiply, so they plan a desperate escape in two battle vehicles they designed themselves.
Romero is quite obviously, hands down, the zombie movie king. While I can’t vouch for the original, this remake of Dawn of the Dead has something for everyone–amazing special effects, dark humor, a love story, and actual suspense all wrapped up into one great horror movie. This flick is the only one on the list that might have you calling your roommate to sleep in the same room as you.
I couldn’t agree more Chris. If you want real information on zombie movies and related media, check out zombie-net.com. This goes double for you Ariel.
Although Chris was a little too harsh, he was right. You needed to do a little more home work on this one. This may be a little more accurate.
1. Night of the Living Dead (Original: Can be found on Youtube). It is the classic that got Zombie movies as we know them started.
2. Zombieland: Just a great Zombie movie. Funny, Zombies, great ending.
3. and 4. could be interchangeable depending on taste, but Shawn of the Dead and Dawn of the Dead (Remake) fall into these two.
5. Land of the Dead: Good post Zombie Apocalyptic movie.
This list could easily change due to taste in Zombie flicks. But I think it is a better portrait of the top 5 Z Flicks of all time. They are all well made and fun Zombie movies. They should be in anyone’s Zombie collection.
I too, have found that your article is a bit lacking in actual documenation and research of what could be the “REAL” top five list.
I agree with Mr. Byrd in that, your attempts are quite effortless it seems, as you have picked “Day of the Dead” as your number 2 pick. While I do agree that your number one pick of the 2004 remake of “Dawn of the Dead” is a good choice, it’s very debatable that it would be considered the NUMBER ONE. You chose the 1990 remake of “Night of the Living Dead” as a top 5. That remake was hideous, no offense. It lacked the essential ferocity that the original sparked. It took fear and spun it around to bring more of a “Deliverance” feeling to it. At the end, I half heartedly believed they would start plucking out Dueling Banjoes. You very much need to get your hands on a copy of the ORIGINAL Night of the Living Dead.
As for Shaun of the Dead, I’ll give you that. Like Mr. Byrd once again said, it is a SATIRE film. It’s meant to be humorous, much like Zombieland. While it still implemented some great zombie ettiquette with it, its not one to be ranked as a top 5 seed.
So in closing, really, check out some REAL zombie movies. Hell, I’ll stretch even to say watch Resident Evil (not Apocolypse or Extinction, but the first one). I think I am Legend would even devulge more as a Zombie flick than Day of the Dead.
WHAT?!? How can you call a film “garbage” and openly pan it, then place it in your top 5? Did you only watch 5 films? And as for “Night of the Living Dead”, a film recognized by almost all critics as a horror masterpiece and probably in the top 5 of all 20 lists you looked at, how can you not even bother to view the original film?
I’m sorry, but as a credible journalist, you are sorely lacking.
Honestly, this article disappointed me severely. As both a movie enthusiast and a zombie movie fan, I found your article to be lacking many things.
Firstly, and of no consequence to your actual writing credentials, I find your opinions to be terrible. In terms of actual movies, I feel like you chose the worst possible choices. However, I can’t slander you for opinions, so that’s all I’ll say on that.
Now for the actual meat of the article. To start, I’m not convinced you were the most qualified to write this article. In both sections for “Night of the Living Dead” and “Dawn of the Dead”, you stated that you either were not able to find the original or were “unable to vouch for it”. This tells me you either made no attempt to find them, because both are readily available at your local video store, Netflix, or even fellow classmates you could borrow from, or you didn’t care enough to write a professional review. As with 99.99% of cinema as a whole, the original is always better than the remake. I’m aware that this is yet again an opinion. However, its very unprofessional to not even look at the original film that spawned the “Zombie Film” genre.
Second, I’m a little disturbed to read that in your review of “Zombie Night”, you dared to call it “garbage” and “a joke”. I ask you, how credible can a “Top Five” list be in the #5 slot is openly panned? This tells me one of several scenarios; a) You haven’t seen many zombie films, in which case you are not qualified to write this; b) you don’t like zombie movies, in which case you are not qualified to write this; or c) you didn’t put any thought or time into this article; in which case you shouldn’t be qualified to write anything in a paper like this.
Third, I’m not convinced any research at all was put into this article. There are a myriad of titles you could have chosen, from Peter Jackson’s darkly humourous “Dead Alive” (“Braindead” in the UK) to Lovecraft’s “Re-Animator” to name a few. Heck, I would have been a little more impressed even if you’d named some of the more ho-hum zombie movies like the “Automaton Transfusion”, instead of the tired and very pedestrian remakes of Romero’s classics.
It just reinforces the dread feeling with modern cinema that has been festering in my gut over the recent years. The quick way out is to churn out a remake of an older film that the current generation has forgotten than to cultivate a new and original thought. As the days go by and every film I see previews another reboot of something I loved (or even liked) growing up, I lose more respect and hope for Hollywood. Thankfully there are a few gimmers of hope on the horizon.
So, thank you for encouraging today’s mindless masses (the kids, not the zombies) to stick with the “safe” and “familiar” than to expand their horizons and really learn something. You are right under Michael Bay now.
Also, for the last time. Shaun of the Dead is a SATIRE of Zombie films.