Monday, October 31, 2011

Top 5 Zombie Movies of All Time

Over 40 years ago, there was Night of the Living Dead, then--nothing.  Zombies spent decades taking a back seat in horror to vampires, ghosts, demons, and aliens, with the best zombie offerings being low-budget productions, or corny flicks with gory zombies mindlessly slurring, "brains."  Luckily, the genre picked up enough in the last decade to make a decent top five list.  So here we go:

5: I Am Legend (2007) - They can call them whatever they want, but these are zombies, not vampires (photophobic zombies, sure, but zombies nonetheless).  This movie got a little cheesy at the end (the howling zombies were ridiculous), but it's still one of the best zombie flicks out there, and Will Smith is great.  Be sure to check out Vincent Price in The Last Man on Earth (1964) (especially the creepy scene where the bodies of the infected are being tossed into a fire pit--including Price's daughter), and Charlton Heston in The Omega Man (1971)--both earlier adaptations of Richard Matheson's book, I Am Legend, obviously the basis of this movie too.

4: 28 Days Later (2002) - Terrifying, often creepy, full of action, and occasionally suspenseful.  This movie defined (or at least, redefined) the modern zombie apocalypse sub-genre.  Oh, and it made the zombies fast, making them frightening in a way that Night of the Living Dead's zombies weren't.

3: Zombieland (2009) - This quasi-spoof on modern zombie movies (unlike Shaun of the Dead, which is a straight-on spoof, and good in its own right) not only holds its own as a great zombie movie, but it's a great movie overall.  It's at times hilarious, touching, and frightening.  Plus, it's got a healthy dose of Bill Murray returning to his comedic roots--what more could you want?

2: Diary of the Dead (2007) - George Romero offers up another classic here.  Some kids are making a horror film when the zombie apocalypse happens.  They end up filming the events documentary style as they trek across the country to find one of the kids' family--who are, predictably, dead.  It's a really well-done zombie film, melding technology with the zombie apocalypse idea, truly bringing zombie movies into the modern age.

1: Night of the Living Dead (1968) - The best is the classic of the genre that all zombie flicks must be compared to.  Mindless dead (called ghouls, not zombies) return to life (possibly from radioactive contamination from a downed space probe) and relentlessly follow a small band of survivors.  The black and white filming adds to the movie's creepiness.  The zombies are slow (in contrast to zombies you see in modern movies), and the horror is almost completely psychological as the group of people suffer from infighting and their own internal fear, all the while with the zombies approaching.  This Romero movie holds up today as well as any of its time.

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7 comments:

  1. I really need to check out Diary of the Dead & Night of the Living Dead 

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  2. Gotta check out "Return of the Living Dead" for some great twisted funny eighties zombiness.  "If you love me, Tina, you'll let me eat your brains!"

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  3. I know It's not a movie but if you like Zombies you should check out the Walking Dead on Amc. great show

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  4. This list is terrible. "Over 40 years ago, there was Night of the Living Dead, then--nothing." ...Really? Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead '90, Bio Zombie, Dead Alive, Cemetery Man, Return of the Living Dead, Zombie (i really could go on and on) were all made during "nothing" and are WAY better movies then most of today's zombie flicks. How can anyone possibly think that Diary of the Dead is better than Dawn or Day?  I personally like a lot of the older movies better, but there are some good ones that have come out in recent years. 28 days and Zombieland are good, I'll give you that, but if you're going to list a bunch of modern movies you should...do a better job. Fido, Dawn of the Dead '04, Pontypool, La Horde, and Shaun of the Dead would be better options.  I found the link to your top 5 on another site with a MUCH better list where you claimed there were "some oversights". Interested, I decided to check out your list..bad idea. Either you have not watched a lot of zombie movies (which is what I suspect), or you have horrible taste. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but this list is just plain wrong. It's sad that so many people are incapable of understanding and appreciating what a good movie really is.

    Here's my top 10:

    Dawn of the Dead '78
    Day of the Dead '85
    Dawn of the Dead '04
    Fido
    Dead Alive
    28 Days Later
    Return of the Living Dead
    Shaun of the Dead
    Night of the Living Dead
    Cemetery Man


    Oh, and this little statement you made: "Luckily, the genre picked up enough in the last decade to make a decent top five list." is BEYOND ridiculous. SO many AMAZING movies have been made in past decades. You saying that shows how truly ignorant you are to the genre.

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  5. "I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but this is just plain wrong."  And earlier, "I personally like a lot of the older movies better..."

    So when someone's personal opinion, which you grant they are entitled to, differs from your own personal opinion, they are "just plain wrong"?  Brilliant.  Truly--genius reasoning.  

    Dawn '78 is crap.  As is Day '85, Night '90, and Dawn '04.  They are campy and do not hold up well.  If you saw them when they were new, maybe you have some affinity for them, but arguing that they're better than some of the modern flicks is ridiculous.  

    I'll give you Fido and Shaun, both are good and could have made this list (and would be in my top 10).  I'll grant this--I haven't seen Cemetery Man, and you mention it twice (including as your number 1), so maybe it's really good and a big omission on my part.  

    But stopping in to shit on the list by saying it sucks and yours is better is crap.  You need to give reasons if you want to win the argument.  Any idiot can say, "you're shitty and you don't know anything about zombies because if you did you'd have included x, y, and z."  But nobody listens to that idiot.  Come back and list your top 5 and the reasons why they are better than my top 5, movie by movie.  (I'll note that assuming your list is in reverse order, we both have the original Night and 28 Days, so really there's only 3 you disagree with me about.  And I'll give you Shaun, since I love it, and you'll give me Zombieland, which you already said is good, so really, there's two movies we disagree about--and I already said I don't know Cemetary Man, so that's one--defend Return of the Living Dead.  I stand by Diary and Legend as I wrote above.)

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  6. I think Cemetery Man should have made that list. It may not be a typical zombie movie, but if you're looking for a mix of horror and surreal then it's a must watch. There's also a page about why it's the greatest zombie movie ever:
    http://www.helpzombies.com/cemetery-man.html

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  7. Nice site--can't wait to see you fill it out a little more. I will check out Cemetery Man--still haven't seen it!

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