There are SO many zombie movies out there…good ones, bad ones, silly ones, serious ones, traditional ones and ones that try to take a fresh approach to zombie lore (fast zombies, talking zombies, etc.). SO many to choose from!
This month I've already given you my two cents on my favorite zombie movies, but those were only 10 picks…I could probably pick 50 favorite zombie movies! I feel like I left a lot off the list that deserved to be there, so I wanted to compile a list of zombie flicks that I feel don’t get the attention they deserve. Hopefully you discover something new and check out something you may have not given a chance before.
Disclaimer: All you zombie purists keep an open mind…some of these might not be “traditional” zombie films, but I firmly believe they all do fall under the genre, no matter if the zombie-ism is attributed to virus, aliens, voodoo, space dust, apocalypse, evil spirits, radiation, etc., etc. So please don’t give me your “this is not TECHNICALLY a zombie film” speech. The management thanks you.
1. Dead and Breakfast – Part slapstick, part musical, ALL AWESOME this horror-comedy has a very special place in my heart! It is full of quirk, Jeremy Sisto (swoon!) and scheming, singing zombies who are possessed by an evil spirit. I love the unique approach they took with this zombie film and I love the fun-lovin’ tone too! And the songs by Zachariah and the Lobos Riders are icing on the cake!
2. Versus – This crazy import from Japan is described as a “supernatural action film” and features lots of arterial blood sprays, numerous fight scenes and creepy zombies. You just gotta see it to believe it!
3. Zombie Strippers – Ok, hear me out - I thought I would hate this movie when I first saw it (and actually avoided watching it for a while), but instead I love its campiness! It is so wacky and in-your-face that I can’t help but love it! Robert Englund puts on one hell of a hilarious performance as the strip club owner and Jenna Jameson is surprisingly fantastic as the lead zombified stripper. Give it a chance.
4. Deadgirl – This is one of the most somber films on the list and is a devastating movie that brutally portrays the loss of innocence. I’ve only seen this once and have no plans to watch it again, not because it is bad, but because it is so unflinching in its psychological terror on the viewer. Highly recommended but not for the faint of heart.
5. The Beyond – I love Lucio Fulci’s films and The Beyond is no exception. It is lesser well-known than Zombi, but its surreal atmosphere and nightmarish visuals make it a cult classic. The storyline isn't that linear (like most Fulci films), but the gore and eeriness of the film make it a standout. City of the Living Dead (another Fulci film that is part of the unofficial trilogy of Beyond, Zombi and City) is a close runner-up and also features some gooey gore.
6. Wild Zero – Want an absolutely WTF, crazy zombie flick? This raucous rock ‘n’ roll nightmare from Japan is little-known, but boy, is it one gleefully weird zombie movie! It features lottsa punk fashion, oddball characters, an evil villain in short-shorts, real-life rock ‘n’ roll band Guitar Wolf, lasers and of course flesh-eating zombies galore. It is just too weird and awesome for me not to absolutely adore!
7. Fido – I love this film’s Pleasantville-by-way-of-Monroeville feel and how it gently pokes fun at both a by-gone era and zombie films while offering another different view on zombies. Plus it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling at the end, which can’t be said for most zombie movies!
8. Night of the Living Dorks – An import from Germany, this fun zombie movie follows a group of nerds as they become zombies and realize it isn't so bad being undead...except for those embarrassing moments where your body parts start to fall off in front of the prettiest girl in school...
9. Dance of the Dead – Another high school zombie romp, this one features the enticing combination of zombies + prom! It's a fun, quirky film that you actually appreciate more on repeated viewings. I loved rooting for the nerdy characters that end up saving the day and who doesn't love zombies dressed to the nines for prom?
10. Dead Snow – One of the best “Nazi zombie” films I've ever seen (yes, there are more than just this one)! I know this flick was popular when it first came out, but a few years later it seems to have faded a bit. I think that it definitely deserves more, especially with its gleefully gratuitous gore (wow, say that 5 times fast!) and how it pokes fun at the horror genre. It is over-the-top and just damn good!
11. Hide and Creep – This low-budget indie film is about rednecks and zombies. Need I say more? Ok, how about that it is both clever, hilarious and has a unique take on zombies. It may not be the most polished of the bunch and it does have its pacing problems, but if you can overlook those issues it is definitely a fun little zombie film!
12. I Walked with a Zombie - This eerie and atmospheric film from the 1930s is one of the first few films to feature zombies, though these are of the Haitian variety. This is a stunning film, though, and I feel that not enough horror fans have seen it. Another honorable mention is White Zombie with Bela Lugiosi, but I feel I Walked with a Zombie is the more under-appreciated, lesser-known film that deserves more attention.
13. Night of the Comet - Like, this film is totally tubular, but it is, like, a total bummer that more people haven't seen it! Two plucky girls do battle after the world as they know it is destroyed by (what else) a comet, leaving behind just them and some zombies. Sure, it's a little dated but it is still a whole heck of a lotta fun and filled with '80s goodness!
14. Zombieland - I know a lot of people LOVE this movie, so you might be wondering why it made my "underrated" list...well, even though tons of people are like, "f*ck yeah, Zombieland!", I don't think they appreciate just how AMAZING the film is. Even though it has a standard "zombie apocalypse" theme, everything from its slow-mo zombie attacks to its "rules" made it an instant zombie classic. The zombie rules will be quoted 20+ years down the road and this just isn't some flash-in-the-pan zombie film!
15. Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead - How in the world could I leave off this awesomely offensive Troma offering? The spirits of slaughtered chickens coming back to infect the slobbering masses chow down on them? I'M SO IN! Yes, this is also a musical, but I am quite fond of musicals, especially when they come with a high gross-out factor like Poultrygeist.
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