Top ten zombie films

Judging by the current revitalisation of the walking corpse, no one can deny that the zombie mania is upon us again. Be it Danny Boyle’s lightening-fast enraged cadavers or Romero’s lumbering rotted hulks, these mythical creatures have consistently kept audiences coming back for more (brains).

So I figured it made sense to break out the corpse paint, slap on the blood and list my top ten favourite zombie films.

They’re coming for you Barbara…

 

10.  Day Of The Dead (1985)

Directed By:  George Romero

Starring:  Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato

Why walking cadavers are bad news: I couldn’t resist adding Romero’s commonly derided third zombie feature to my top ten; haters be damned. Despite Joseph Pilato’s ham performance and a clear drop in quality from both N.O.T.L.D. and D.O.T.D, I still find this movie great fun. Gore-splattered deaths, a crazed zombie-obsessed scientist and the claustrophobic underground military bunker all add up to a worthy addition to a much loved genre.

9. Dead Girl (2008)

Directed By:  Marcel Sarmiento, Gadi Harel

Starring:  Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Michael Bowen

Why walking cadavers are bad news: Fair warning is due: Deadgirl is a deeply disturbing, haunting experience, that will certainly leave you feeling soiled. When two school kids discover an undead girl chained up in an abandoned asylum, their initial fear quickly turns to lust… Despite the increasingly unsavoury content Deadgirl exhibits, it is nevertheless a unique take on an over-saturated genre, resulting in a movie that is both compelling and sinister in equal measure.

8. Planet Terror (2007)

Directed By:Robert Rodriguez

Starring:Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin

Why walking cadavers are bad news: If you like ‘70’s horror exploitation that oozes style and buckets of blood, then Planet Terror will be right up your street. One part of the Tarantino/Rodriguez joint presentation of Grindhouse, this excessive, tongue-in-cheek zombie homage hits all the right notes and screams ‘re-watch’ at the top of its rotted lungs.

7.  Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

Directed By: Edgar Wright

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield

Why walking cadavers are bad news: Don’t let Shaun Of The Dead’s mass appeal and low age rating fool you: this is actually a very clever homage to undead horror that deserves recognition. A perfect blend of comedy and horror, S.O.T.D will satisfy zombie aficionados with the many references to previous classics.

6. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie – aka: The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue (1974)

Directed By: Jorge Grau

Starring: Cristina Galbó, Ray Lovelock, Arthur Kennedy

Why walking cadavers are bad news: This time it’s science that’s the bad guy as experimental radioactive rays bring the dead shambling from their tombs. A moody, tension-filled watch, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie rises far above initial low budget expectations creating an engaging and memorable zombie experience.

5. Zombie Flesheaters – aka: Zombi 2 (1979)

Directed By: Lucio Fulci

Starring: Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson

Why walking cadavers are bad news: Pre-dating The Beyond, Fulci this time takes the zombie masses to the jungle in a gory, violent slaughterhouse of a film. Again epitomising the harsher edge of zombie flicks, cinema audiences were handed vomit bags before screenings… you have been warned.

4. The Beyond (1981)

Directed By: Lucio Fulci

Starring: Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Conzia Monreale

Why walking cadavers are bad news: Make no mistake, Fulci is firing on all cylinders with this grotesque, chilling and imaginative film. The inheritance of an old Louisiana hotel sited above a gateway to Hell prompts all manner of nastiness to spew forth. From shambling bloody zombies to a deliciously revolting acid scene, Fulcio landed himself as King of Italian gore with The Beyond. Admittedly not to everyone’s tastes, I still tout The Beyond as a fascinating and horrifying zombie watch.

3. Dellamorte Dellamore – aka: Cemetery Man (1994)

Directed By: Michele Soavi

Starring: Rupert Everett, François Hadji-Lazaro, Anna Falchi

Why walking cadavers are bad news: Cemetery groundskeeper by day – zombie killer by night: Rupert Everett’s bizarre life is never dull. This beautifully shot, haunting horror story would’ve hit the number 1 spot if not for my respect for Romero and his masterpieces. The fantastic concept narrative coupled with the Italian penchant for sex and blood makes Dellamorte Dellamore a ‘must see’ for any discerning horror fan.

2. Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

Directed By: George Romero

Starring: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H Reiniger

Why walking cadavers are bad news: Ten years on from N.O.T.L.D, Romero made the archetypal zombie movie Dawn Of The Dead. The scope (and presumably the budget) is widened, the siege now centering around a fortified supermarket. This film has pretty much everything a good zombie movie should contain, executed with an obviously passionate finesse. They really don’t make ‘em like they used to…

1. Night Of The Living Dead (1968)

Directed By: George Romero

Starring: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman

Why walking cadavers are bad news: For me, Romero’s classic undead siege flick tops them all. Popularising the zombie myth to a rising horror-hungry generation is the least of this film’s accolades: Night Of The Living Dead has been and will continue to be both inspirational and fundamental to good horror. If you’re new to horror (or have been living in a hole the last couple of decades), then WATCH THIS FILM!

List written and compiled by FilmFella Henry @filmfellahenry

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About filmfellahenry
Film reviewer, script writer and occasional painter. Fan of Lumet, Aronofsky and Kubrick, with a good measure of early John Carpenter thrown in. Particularly like post-apocalyptic sci-fi, horror and fantasy film genres.

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