Zombie Movies

It’s enjoyable to watch a zombie movie produced by logical minds. Some zombie movies are just plain silly. Their stories are all over the place, their characters lack motive, and their whole premise boggles the mind. It’s not the intention of this post to dwell on those. But it is fun to watch the good ones. In keeping with Monday Mayhem, below is a list of zombie movies sure to create some excitement on a dark, lonely night.

Will Smith in I Am Legend

Will Smith in I Am Legend

I Am LegendWill Smith’s character Robert Neville lives alone in a deserted city to fend for a cure to the dratted virus zombie virus. The thing about the virus is that scientists engineered it to cure cancer. They believed that if they could unleash a biological weapon to destroy cancer cells, they could allow the body to repair itself, thus eliminating the uncertainty happening with today’s methods, and the costs. Unfortunately, it pretty much wipes out all humanity and leaves those who survived, famished zombies.

Dawn of the Dead—In this remake, a group of zombie apocalypse survivors, trapped in a Milwaukee mall, fight an undead infestation. The charm of this film is watching survivors cope with limited movement, and their increasing boredom of their situation. In one instance, the survivors play Hollywood Squares on the mall’s rooftop. The squares are the zombie collective below and the chalk is a sniper perched on the other side of the street.

Timothy Olyphant in The Crazies

Timothy Olyphant in The Crazies

The Crazies—Not your typical brain-bashing, gut-chomping zombie movie, The Crazies is an interesting study. The first thing the audience realizes is the contagion does not come from a virus. The classic zombie infection is the usual virus that gets spread by a bite. Then, humans become their own worst enemies and tear at each other in a cannibalistic frenzy. Not in this story. Remember that saying, when traveling don’t drink the water? If any time that applied, it applies here.

28 Days Later—A lab conducting secret testing on chimpanzees becomes the target of animal rights activists. Twenty-eight days later, not a single human survived the carnage of the rage virus. When Jim wakes up from his coma, he find himself alone in London seeking the answers as to what happened to society.

Zombieland—Four years later, this movie still manages to hit almost every Top 10 undead list out there. Led by a Twinkie hunting zombie killer (Woody Harrelson), a group of teens attempt to cope with reality after getting caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Making this film entertaining are the floating rules over the action (ie. Cardio, The Double Tap, Beware of Bathrooms, Wear Seat Belts, etc.), and the creative zombie kills (ie. a woman drops a piano on an unsuspecting flesh eater).

Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland

Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland

Shaun of the Dead—This movie gets funnier with every viewing. Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost) battle zombies that don’t quite know when to give up. These former humans border on stupidity, but stupidity in a good kind of way. Most of the time, they stand around while their food—human—disappears. In one scene, Shaun acts as a tour guide/director giving the horde directions to follow him, since he is good to eat, all the while helping his friends escape.

What other films are there that I may have missed?

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42 Comments

  1. Versus? Zombie Lake!!

    Reply
  2. My new favourite zombie movie: Warm Bodies. Awesome. And my fave zombie book: The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. If zombies attack. I. Am. Ready. 🙂

    Reply
  3. I have to agree with That Guy At The Top (Mike Kloran.) There are Zombie films. And there are, what I call, Infected films. If I had a dollar for every time my husband and I argued about this …

    “Dead Snow” is a crazy Swedish film with Nazi zombies (wha?!). I know, right. It breaks many Zombie film rules, namely my first one:

    Zombie Rule #1: Zombies are stupid and in varying states of decay.

    They don’t sprint. Or have six-pack abs. Well, maybe a four or three pack because the others have rotted off. The new advent of fast, strong Zombies is disturbing and needs to be fixed.

    Do I have to do everything around here.

    Reply
  4. omg… i forgot about Shaun of the Dead… I totally lied in my post… that is the one zombie movie I made it through… mainly cause it was so ridiculous and funny that you just didn’t have time to really get scared… though Zombieland i was able to watch the parts without the zombies… maybe I should go back and try watching them again… kind of ease my way into the scary zombie world…

    Reply
  5. jeffmcclelland

     /  May 13, 2013

    The Zombieland television show should be interesting. This certainly is a new heydey for zombie properties. Check out the comic “FUBAR” if zombies are your thing!

    Reply
  6. The original 1978 Dawn of the Dead, directed by George Romero, is one of the best zombie movies, and in my opinion, it is overall one of the best films the horror genre has to offer.

    Reply
  7. love these movies..but have stopped watching them in the night as I get scared at times…lol

    Reply
  8. Shaun of the Dead cracks me the heck up. I love Simon Pegg!

    Reply
  9. I’m not sure if they are mentioned but I’ll add a few more that you should see. The first two are low budget but I think worth the look. Dead and Breakfast, which technically isn’t zombie, it’s more reanimated corpse through ancient chinese spell. But the storytelling style and at one point line-dancing zombies makes it worth a look. The other is Hide and Creep, a low-budget small southern town zombie fare. I also think Land of the Dead was pretty good at showing a post zombie apocalypse world and zombie evolution.

    Reply
  10. What about the 80’s return of the living dead!
    Where there is a micheal Jackson Zombie!
    I just have to say zombie or not I just bought
    “I am legend” and the part that always gets me is where marley runs into the building after the deer and they get chased out by the vamp/monsters…

    Reply
  11. Good choices – I’d like to add The Horde. It’s French, based in a tower block. Police are trying to arrest some gangster baddies whose patch is said tower block. Mid-siege, it’s becomes apparent that both sides have another, bitier, enemy to worry about. I’m also looking forward to seeing World War Z, even though it looks like it is deviating a long way from the book, but that is understandable considering the structure of the source work.

    Reply
  12. The first zombie movie I ever watched was called “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things” (1972). Horror/comedy. Totally craptastic, but man, did I love it when I was just discovering the fun of a good crappy horror movie! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_Shouldn't_Play_with_Dead_Things

    Reply
  13. I’m not so much of fan of these sorta “neo-zombie” films. I know that the genre had to evolve, but I like the more B-movie style grit of older films like the original Dawn of the Dead from 78′ (one of my favorite films of all time, and def my favorite horror film of all time), or Return of the Living Dead (which was a very creative and fairly gross parody). I just feel these days zombies have gotten way too powerful, running and gunning and all. I dunno, i guess what’s cool about the genre is that every filmmaker can make up his/her own twist on the origins. We’ll see what happens next, hopefully they don’t start talking, getting jobs and running for congress.

    Reply
  14. Catherine Johnson

     /  April 29, 2013

    I think I’ve watched 28 days later, I could cope with that and I just love Shaun of the Dead. I’ll never forget the scene where they are running through the gardens and locked in the pub.

    Reply
    • My favorite Shaun of the dead scene is in the garden, when the pair are deciding which record to throw at the zombies. I wrote a whole post about that a couple of months ago. Such an enjoyable time!

      Reply
      • Catherine Johnson

         /  April 30, 2013

        Ooh I must find that post :0)

  15. Good choices 😀

    Reply
  16. This is really helpful for someone like me who isn’t very familiar with the genre. I’ve seen I Am Legend and Zombieland…will have to attack the rest of this list!

    Reply
  17. The original “Dawn of the Dead” and “Night of the Living Dead” top ones. Followed by “Dead Alive” and “Return of the Living Dead”

    Reply
  18. Nothing like a good zombie flick, especially I Am Legend. I think the zombies from that movie give me the heebie jeebbies more than any of the others.

    Reply
  19. Love all of these films, with the exception of Dawn of the Dead, but only because I have a huge soft spot for the original and prefer that.

    Reply
  20. Loved the Crazies! I love 28 days and 28 days later. Both scared the heck out of me.

    Reply
  21. Tongue Sandwich™

     /  April 29, 2013

    What makes I Am Legend an impressive movie is Will Smith’s truly haunting portrayal of the psychological after and side effects of increased isolation and the resulting loneliness. We can see him coming apart before our very eyes. Together with his performance in Seven Pounds, it’s been his most impressive piece of acting so far. Without that, this movie would be nothing but standard Hollywood fare, i.e. an awful waste of time for anyone with an IQ above that of a fruit fly. But that’s just my opinion.

    I haven’t seen any of the other movies, and I’m not going to either. I’m not a fan of horror flicks in general. Not because I’m easily scared, but because they are, more often than not, so silly that I feel my intelligence is being insulted. It’s probably an acquired taste. And not a taste I’m keen to acquire.

    Reply
  22. Have you ever seen The Return of the Living Dead? Great mix of comedy and horror. My favorite movie of all time.

    Reply
  23. Marko Jezernik

     /  April 29, 2013

    I must say a enjoyed the original I Am Legend, better then the movie with will smith. Original being the book of course and the movie with Charlton Heston, where zombies were actually vampires (or people infected by an incurable virus). As for Dawn of the Dead it was really great, I think that Romero introduced us with fast running zombies for the first time in it.

    Reply
    • If you’re going to get technical, Heston’s “The Omega Man” (1971) was a remake of the 1964 movie “The Last Man on Earth” with Vincent Price. Heston, of course, rocked it as the beleaguered doctor and “The Omega Man” is an awesome movie. But it wasn’t the original cinematic treatment of the book “I Am Legend”.

      Reply
      • Marko Jezernik

         /  April 30, 2013

        True, it was an Omega Man, my mistake. But a great movie nonetheless. Right now I am having Soylent green on my watch list and original Planet of the apes.

      • OMG, you’re going to have a Hest-Fest! Have fun! These are some of my favorite movies, ever. Have you seen them yet, or are they new to you? Make some popcorn and enjoy the heck out of them!

      • Marko Jezernik

         /  April 30, 2013

        I watch them every few years with popcorn, beer and friends. Wow Hest-Fest, great name, now I have to make an invitations for it 😉 and it should be once a year.

      • LOL Awesome. My day is now complete. I should have one too! Complete with beer and popcorn.

      • Marko Jezernik

         /  April 30, 2013

        A proposition: we should declare April 30th an international Hest-Fest holiday and spread the word to unbelievers.

      • Here, here! I agree! I should write something up about that…

      • Marko Jezernik

         /  April 30, 2013

        Yeah, me too, and have to start preparing banners and promo material for the next year

  24. I am proud to say that I’ve seen half of these. Now I need to see Dawn of the Dead, The Crazies, and 28 Days Later.
    I watched I Am Legend while in Tirane, Albania. When we were done watching, some friends and I went out in search of an internet cafe…at night. Every tiny alleyway and doorway was suddenly terrifying.
    Zombieland is one of my favorite movies. I never get tired of it (my poor husband).
    Shaun of the Dead is just great. Dry humor intertwined with physical comedy = brilliance.
    Side note: I recently read The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. It’s a YA zombie novel–truly terrifying, partly because the protagonist is selfish and nearly everyone dies. I had zombie laden dreams the following night and woke up feeling less than rested. I seriously need to outline my Zombie Apocalypse Contingency Plan as soon as possible.

    Reply
    • I think your Zombie Apocalypse Contingency Plan will come in handy soon. We don’t know when. We don’t know where. But it’s coming. 😉

      Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead are my favorites of all. The zombies are awesome, the comedy superb, and I never tire of the stories. Yes, poor wife. As for The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I have yet to read it. Love when protagonists are self-centered. I think we learn more from those folks than plain ol’ Dick & Jane characters. And if they’re keeping you awake at night–it must be an awesome book!

      Reply
  25. Mike Kloran

     /  April 29, 2013

    Sorry Jack. I’m going to have to call shenanigans on this one.

    Neither the Crazies or I am Legend are zombie movies. I am Legend is a remake of a Vincent price movie about the world take. Over by vampires. That’s the same plot in the Will Smith version.

    The Crazies is about people driven crazy by toxins.

    Zombies are dead people who have returned to feed on the living. But that wasnt the plot of these two movies. They bear story telling similarities but not a single zombie appeared in either film.

    Your other choices are good though I would likely include 28 Days Later.

    Reply
    • Ah, but what’s a day without shenanigans? Right, Mike? I’m going to answer with previous posts I had written:

      The Crazies–https://jackflacco.com/2013/01/14/the-crazies/
      Zombies: The New Vampires–https://jackflacco.com/2013/03/25/zombies-the-new-vampires/
      Zombies, Zombies, Zombies–https://jackflacco.com/2012/12/24/zombies-zombies-zombies/

      BTW, 28 Days Later is included in this post! 🙂

      Reply
    • I have to agree with Mike Kloran. There are Zombie films. And there are, what I call, Infected films. If I had a dollar for every time my husband and I argued about this …

      “Dead Snow” is a crazy Swedish film with Nazi zombies (wha?!). I know, right. It breaks many Zombie film rules, namely my
      Zombie Rule #1: Zombies are to be stupid and in varying states of decay.

      They don’t run. Or have six-pack abs. Well, maybe a four or three pack because the others have rotted off. The new advent of strong, fast Zombies is disturbing and needs to be fixed.

      Do I have to do everything around here.

      Reply
  26. Love a good zombie movie. Wasn’t too keen on I am legend but I really enjoyed the Crazies! “What other films are there that I may have missed?” — 28 weeks later, the sequel to 28 days later is also superb! 🙂

    Reply
  27. I think you covered them all. I never saw The Crazies yet, but it sounds really cool. I’ll try and check it out soon 🙂 Awesome post!

    Reply
  28. Thank you so much for the mention, much appreciated!

    Reply
  1. Maniacs, Zombies & Billionaire Playboys | filmhipster

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