Ah yes ever since "White Zombie" appeared on the screen, the undead have been invading cinema. But it wasn't until 1967 with "Pleague of the Zombies" and the most re-established zombie movie of all time "Night of the Living Dead" showed us that flesh-eating ghouls have roamed cinema around the world for years.
Many thanks to films like Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days and weeks later, Dawn of the Dead 2004, Resident Evil movies etc. being successes, it seems the undead have been given a reniassance of recent. Ever since watching Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead as a teenager even playing Resident Evil when i got my PS1 for Christmas in 96 i've been a zombie fan.
Here are my 37 favorite zombie movies both old and new in part 1.
1. Night of the Living Dead (1968): What can i say? the king of all zombie movies. I remembered when i was 14 turning 15 back in early 97 i read an article in EGM magazine on what movies influenced Resident Evil and it mentioned this masterpiece. I rented this and WOW was blown away on how scary, horrifying and downright excellent this movie was.
2. Dawn of the Dead (1979): Another one that blew me away when i was 15! George Romero was on top of his game with this other masterpiece. Beyond the amazing action and gore by Tom Savini in this movie, i learned there was a bit of social commentary on consumerism by using zombies as the shoppers and how society goes awry.
3. Dead Alive (a.k.a. Braindead): The movie besides the Frighteners that turned me into a Peter Jackson fanatic. I rented this baby when i was 14 in October of 96 for Halloween, what a riot! this movie repulsed me and nearly made me puke, but in a good way. It also made me laugh my ass off, this horror-comedy is recommended for horror and zombie fans but this one maybe too much due to extreme gore and violence.
4. Cemetery Man (Dellamorte Dellamore)(1994): Another wonderful surprise this was at age 14! this was my first Italian horror movie. This import from France and Italy is based on the Italian comic books "Dylan Dog", Rupert Everett plays as a cemetery worker with a Curly-esque fat sidekick who fight the undead at night. He makes a deal with the grim reaper on how to make the undead not come back from their graves is that he has to kill some of the living. The ending is quite odd but this movie is pure gold of gore, sex, and gunplay.
5. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (a.k.a. Living Dead at the Mancester Morgue and Don't Open the Window)(1975): Loved this movie since i was 16 back in 98 when i bought the video from one of the malls's here in Albuquerque. I was in for a treat, this Spanish/UK/Italian Sci-fi horror shocker is inspired by Night of the Living Dead but with some originality thrown into the film. Last year i bought it on Blu-Ray with it's other foreign title called "Living Dead at the Mancester Morgue" and it looked fantastic as well as the new extras which satisfied me, i urge zombie movie fans to buy this movie on Blu-Ray.
6. Grindhouse (2007): Saw this movie when it came out since i've always been a Rodriguez and Tarantino fanatic. This big screen anthology of 2 full length movies as tales really hit the spot, the first tale is a full fledge zombie movie that is exploitation at it's finest. The zombies in this movie are badass and all gooey to the max, Cherry is the hottest one-legged chick to hit the screen as a plus.
7. The Return of the Living Dead (1985): A personal fave since i was 15 when i rented it from one of the local movie stores in Rio Grande town. This movie is just a flawless classic combining horror, science fiction and comedy in one terrific mix from Dan O'Bannon. This one had early fast moving zombies before you seen in some new movies, the zombies in this movie also go in packs like football players, can talk like regular people and feed only on brains but no flesh.
8. Zombie (a.k.a. Zombi 2) (1979): Lucio Fulci's immortal classic! At age 16 i found this at one of the movie stores in one of the malls mainly Cottenwood. This movie blew me out of my chair and showed me some memorable gore like the infamous wooden splinter through the eyeball scene. Now Blue Underground, release this baby on Blu-Ray so it can look great in High Defintion.
9. Zombieland (2009): What a pleasant surprise! this is one of the funniest and most original horror comedies i've seen in a long time. It's almost like "Left 4 Dead" brought to the big screen with some influence by Umberto Lenzi's "Nightmare City", Woody Harrelson kicked ass as Tellehasse and friends who head out to L.A. to be in one of America's most beloved amusement parks even though there is a zombie apocalypse growing in America.
10. Re-Animator (1985): What zombie movie list can't be complete without this Sci-fi/horror comedy classic. H.P. Lovecraft's masterful story is told in a more modern for the 80's kind of way as Herbert West was perfectly played by Jeffery Combs and Barbara Crampton is hot as hell even in the nude complete with bush which turned me on at age 16. The zombies in this movie are brought back to life by a serum that it could even bring a body part to life such as a dead professor's severed head which would later get jiggy with Miss Crampton.
11. Day of the Dead (1985): Unfairly underrated installment of Romero's legendary zombie series. Although claimed to be inferior to the first 2 movies, this one delivered every scene of shock after shock of realistic gore that it gave the film an X rating. I nearly puked at this movie's realistic gore when i was 16 but it satisified me. Gotta love Bub!
12. Evil Dead 2 (1987): Surpasses the original movie! i rented this at age 16 as it with the first movie blew me away. It made me laugh with thrills, chills and rollercoaster spills, it will swallow your soul.
13. The Evil Dead (1982): What's there to say about this masterpiece of fear and tension! renting this at age 16 was a pleasure, it's just the perfect gore and fright feast as it's more serious than it's semi-remake/sequel mix follow-up. Not a zombie movie you say? the deadites in this movie are half-possessed demons and part zombie as they can chew your flesh and even rise from their grave.
14. Shaun of the Dead (2004): Brilliant horror-parody from the UK! Edgar Wright is a genius and watching this at one of the city's theaters was a pure pleasure. Great laughs in the Monty Python way, great acting and gore abound makes this a remarkable horror movie.
15. City of the Living Dead (a.k.a. The Gates of Hell) (1980): First Fulci movie i ever saw at age 15 when i rented this under the title "Gates of Hell". This had one of the most stomach churning and realistic scenes i've ever seen
16. Night of the Creeps (1986): A long lasting and popular underground cult Sci-fi horror comedy fave since 1986. Before Fred Dekker gave us the beloved "Monster Squad" there was this movie. Alien slugs from space land in 1956 somewhere in a town as they enter some college student's body and gets frozen in time. 1986 is where things go wrong when it gets unfrozen to unleash slugs to turn people into killer zombies.
17. House By The Cemetery (1981): Frightening and graphic Italian haunted house shocker is a cult fave. Slow moving at times but worth seeing to it's shocking violence, awesome zombie Dr. Fraustein, supernatural happenings and part of the Gates of Hell trilogy from Fulci as this is the middle part that began with City of the Living Dead and ended with The Beyond.
18. Dawn of the Dead (2004): 8 years ago when i heard a remake of DOTD was gonna be made, i was mad. Why screw with something when it's not broken? even fans were upset at the idea. I saw the trailer and thought maybe not be so bad then i went to see it in the theater, WHAT A SURPIRSE! really good reimagining that is quite loose to the original much like Brian Depalma's Scarface or John Carpenter's The Thing. Zack Snyder made one hell of a debut before he made 2 awesome comic book movies like "300" and "Watchmen" with an upcoming original movie called "Sucker Punch" hitting next spring. This time the zombies are more like "Return of the Living Dead" and "Nightmare City" than the original stumblers, i learned to accept the idea of this being remade much like Night of the Living Dead was in 1990. A winner in it's own right!
19. Night of the Living Dead (1990): Some say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!", not in the case with 1990's Night of the Living Dead remake. Tom Savini directs and George Romero wrote and produced this fantastic remake of the immortal masterpiece with Candyman himself Tony Todd and Bill Mosley.
20. The Serpent and The Rainbow (1988): Not a traditional Romero-esque zombie movie but comes close. Wes Craven's underrated cult fave is based on Haitian voodoo zombie lore and this is supposedly based on a true story even though there's magic and ghouls in this one. Captain Lonestar himself Bill Pullman plays the scientist who will discover a potion that has the secrets of bringing the dead to life, see the cringe inducing "Make you Scream" sequence.
21. Plague of the Zombies (1966): Atmospheric, moody and scary Hammer cult fave. This one is more on Voodoo ghouls and predated Night of the Living Dead here in the US, loved it since i was 15 since i've been a hammer fan since i was 10 watching Horror of Dracula on TBS.
To be concluded...