Top 5 Zombie Movies – A Fresh Look

By Brock Cooper (doddleNEWS)

A few years back, I did a Top 5 Zombie Movies article, and I feel it’s time to revisit the list, as new movies have opened, and I’ve had more time to consider the classics, as well.

The Walking Dead is a cultural TV phenomenon, as Rick and his “family” survive the zombie apocalypse, cannibals, and much more. It’s no secret that this series has helped to rejuvenate an overused horror genre, but it is not the only defining element to the zombie phenomenon. Through the years, several movies have brought new life to the undead.

5. Warm Bodies (2013)

Zombies have long been relegated to horror and comedy genres, but Warm Bodies was a mainstream success and a romantic comedy. The film follows the exploits of the zombie R as he falls in love with a human, which brings back his humanity. Starring heartthrob Nicholas Hoult (Beast in the latest X-Men movies) and hottie Teresa Palmer, the movie not only was a success, but also helped bring a whole new generation into the zombie fold. At PG-13, it let a younger set in, who are usually afraid of, or not interested in, zombie movies. It had the perfect balance of comedy, romance, and scariness.

4. Dawn of the Dead (1978, 2004)

The special effects in this 1970s entry of the Unholy Trilogy are incredibly cheesy, but the message behind it was prolific. Zombie god George Romero showed the world that we are all just sheep when it comes to commercialization. As the undead rule the world, the survivors go to the mall. While it kind of makes sense on a survival aspect, the sudden proliferation of the undead is an obvious nod to consumerism. The lifeless dead drawn to the only recognizable structure their brains remember, The Mall. This was the movie that showed a horror movie doesn’t have to just be about scaring people, but can carry a message… an incredibly gory and viole,t message.

3. Dead Alive (1992)

Long before he visited The Shire, Peter Jackson grossed us out and introduced the world to rat monkeys in Dead Alive (aka, Braindead). Yes, rats from a sinking ship raped monkeys on an island and created these abominations that can turn people into zombies. What makes this movie awesome is its use of over-the-top gore and sheer humor. What could be better than a son with an overprotective mother who tries to get with the girl after his mom becomes a horny man-eating zombie? This movie is totally irreverent, complete with a rebirth at the end.

2. Resident Evil (2002)

I bet there are a ton of die hard zombie fans cursing my name for putting this on the list, but it really does deserve to be on here. Alice’s fight against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead was a major commercial success, and helped take zombie movies mainstream. The video games are also groundbreaking, first released in the mid-1990’s. They were no longer relegated to straight to video releases or late night viewings. There wouldn’t be a Warm Bodies or a World War Z without Resident Evil. The zombie action movie was born. The film series is quickly becoming almost farcical in its plot lines, but the original was a game changer.

1. Night of the Living Dead  (1968 – we won’t even talk about 1990)

There can be no other choice for this list. George Romero began the genre with Night of the Living Dead. Filmed in black and white on a shoestring budget, it became the poster child for zombie movies. Romero became a zombie god to millions and it has spawned countless spinoffs, rip-offs and homages through the decades. The plot is your staple horror movie about people trying to survive the rising of the dead, but to this day the black and white contrast and the shambling dead can still people the creeps.

Addendum:

There are countless great zombie movies out there, from Fulci’s Zombie 2, Shaun of the Dead, Re-Animator, and many more. These films helped to shape the zombie genre into what it is today, and as such, have become the best. I know you don’t agree with me, so tell me what you think deserves to be on this list in the comments below.