For All You Zombie Film Buffs

20 10 2008

Out of sheer boredom and an unnatural obsession + fear of a possible united zombie front or army of walking dead and re-animated rotting corpses utilizing invasion tactics, I have complied a list of the top eight zombie films, only to be observed in my unprofessional and narcissistic opinion. Why eight you ask? Because I freaking said so. Also, I couldn’t decide on another two that I liked enough to round it up to an even ten. Whatever, I’m lazy, sue me.

8 – Dawn of The Dead (2004): I know this is a remake of possibly the most classic and infamous zombie film ever made (at least in my opinion), and could never do it full justice, but the calloused despair that this film is wrought with forces it to break into my top eight. Ving Rhames and Jake Weber play the recreated roles of Peter and Stephen with plenty of fear, however the perspective is skewed onto Jake Weber’s character as opposed to Ving Rhames. The survivor group is much bigger than in the original and therefore suspect to plenty of stimulating conflict. The documentary-style-film shot ending didn’t hurt much either. 


7 – Planet Terror (2007): Fortunately Robert Rodriguez kept Tarantino away from this one except for being cast as “Rapist #1”. Planet Terror is overly bloody and stylistically gory, therefore I try to give it as much credit as possible. The excellent aspects of this film are the sympathy developed for El Wray and Dr. Block so early in the story, despite them both taking opposite paths in the way of character development (or rather revealment) by the end of the film. Don’t get this one confused with the double feature it was released with, “Death Proof”, as I promise you, it’s not worth it. Rose McGowan is freakin’ hot too.  


6 – Shaun of The Dead (2004): I believe this was technically a comedy, but it delivers the same commentary on society as any other zombie film of our time. Shaun of The Dead has more allusions to any other zombie film, and can be called a tribute film I suppose, however I believe it carries its own weight. Plus, Chris Martin is a zombie extra somewhere near the end of the film, and man how I hate that guy. 


5 – Day of The Dead (1985): Romeros third, and still classic film, Day of The Dead is on my list due to the ideals of the population attempting to survive infection, and the unforgettable Captain Rhodes, unmatched in his sinister and badass demeanors. Not to give away too much about the film, but as Rhodes is eaten and torn apart alive, he chants “Choke on me, choke on me!” to his attackers with the vigor of Captain America in the face of the Canadian Prime Minister, whoever the hell he may be.

Check that out here


4 – Return of The Living Dead (1985): This is about as stereotypical 80’s culture as you can get for zombie films, stylized with the Flock of Sea Gulls/Morrissey twinge with a synth-oriented, poppy snare sounding soundtrack. This is illustrates a government experiment gone awry, with an ending open to interpretation. Zombies keep getting burned and put back into the atmosphere, infecting parts of the population when it rains the toxic zombie gases from the rotting flesh incense of the town morgue. These zombies retain emotions of their once human lives, only now, they crave their loved ones brains.


3 – Night of The Living Dead (1968): As George Romero’s first zombie film it is somewhat automatically given the status of a zombie classic. One of the first movies ever made to tackle the sub-culturally relevant subject of the living dead, this film sets the groundwork, so fruitfully utilized in years to come, for a small group of survivors hellbent on fighting their way through the masses of the walking dead. It is about as low budget as they come, but has grossed much more than $30 million globally. According to wikipedia (therefore the absolute of truth?) the Library of Congress registered it to the National Film Registry as a film deemed “historically, culturally, or aesthetically important”. 


2 – 28 Days Later (2002): Though technically not a zombie film, 28 days later is compromised of the same themes and elements necessary to portray a post-apocalyptic culture often ferociously ravaged in a world run by the newly risen dead. Instead of “Zombies” you have people afflicted by the “Rage” virus, originally tested on monkeys, and passed on in the same way “normal” zombies would infect their population, through the exchange of blood, i.e. biting some chump on his exposed forearm or larynx. Maintaining the same cliques of cut throat survivors and flat-barricaded families as any other zombie flick, I’d say it’s a great one for the kids. 


1 – Dawn of The Dead (1978): Often revered as the zombie film classic, this is Romero’s second film detailing an uprising of the dead. The only feasible complaint I can fathom of this film is the goddamn music, surely a product of a seventies film on a seventies porn soundtrack budget, most of the music is lounge music played in the strip mall the documented gang of survivors inhabit. Regardless, this is the one that started it all, asserting the thesis used as the building blocks for all zombie films to come, “When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth”.




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