Halloween may have come and gone but in the immortal words of Depeche Mode: I just can’t get enough!
So, we’re talking Horror films one more time. Any of you who read this site regularly know that Zombie films are my absolute favorites. I’ve never really gotten into which zombie films I love the most so I thought I’d correct that. Here are my “go-to” films when I want to indulge in the cinematic walking dead.
NOTE: I have never considered any of the Evil Dead movies to be zombie films. That’s my personal opinion. For all of you out there that do, I would definitely include Army of Darkness on this list if I felt it fell into this category.
I have seen every film on this list countless times with the exception of this one which I have seen only once. However, it’s such a damn good film that it immediately joined the ranks of some of these classics. It can be a little bit “rapey” at times but it’s a really well written and acted film that takes a fresh look at what can be a tired genre.
9. DAY OF THE DEAD.
First, I should mention that there will be many Romero films on this list. George Romero did for zombies what Stan Lee did for superheroes. He’s a favorite of mine and deserves even more respect than he all ready gets. The man literally put zombies on the map. As far as this installment goes, I will say that this is a nostalgic pick as this film is a bit overrated. There’s some interesting things happening here and some very iconic moments but the film is little more than a suitable bookend to a very good trilogy. I like it a lot for what it is but it’s nowhere near the top of my list.
For me, this is the little movie that could. By that, I mean that I’m one of the few people that didn’t really like this film when I first saw it. It’s a brilliant idea but it just seemed to me, upon my first viewing, that it couldn’t live up to the expectations I had for it. Yet, I call it the little movie that could because, upon further viewings, the film has really grown on me. Once the hype of it wore off and I could just sit down and enjoy the film for what it was, I thoroughly enjoyed it and love revisiting it.
7. LAND OF THE DEAD.
AKA: The Mentalist of the Living Dead. If you’ve seen it, you get it. This film looked like it could be the start to a great second trilogy. Instead, it turned out to be the an awesome end to a great quadrilogy. One thing Romero is great at is using zombies to explore the human condition and examine the next natural evolution of his monsters or the world they live in. Here, the zombies begin using the things their own favorite Scooby Snack… their brains. We also get to see the rich, even in a zombie infested world, tormenting the poor. This is played perfectly through another great Dennis Hopper performance.
6. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1990).
Is this a great remake? If you factor in acting, directing, dialogue and those sorts of things then no. However, I love this film. It’s one of my favorite remakes. It’s really just like watching the original in color with different actors, True, they do take some liberties with the ending but I actually love both endings and find them both equally as poignant. Also, the imagery of the zombies twitching as they hang from nooses in from trees at the end messed me up as a young boy.
5. 28 DAYS LATER.
One of MILF’s writers (no need to name him as I’m sure he’ll make his presence known in the comments below) and I have an ongoing debate as to whether or not this is even a zombie film. True, the antagonists of this film are, in fact, infected people and not the dead coming back to life. Still, this a by-the-numbers zombie film and a good one at that. Proof that we need more talented directors, like Danny Boyle, trying their hand at this genre.
4. DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004).
I love Horror films because they’re scary but it’s rare that a Horror film actually scares me. The beginning of this film (in the bedroom with the little girl) actually gave me nightmares for a month. I don’t know why. It seems silly now when I watch it for the 30th time but, when it came out, it messed with my wiring. Few will probably dispute this is a good film and an even better remake. It not only gave us (fanboy favorite) Zack Snyder but it also gave zombies that could chase down a Kenyan olympic runner. What’s scarier than that?
3. SHAUN OF THE DEAD.
Not only is this a great zombie film, it’s also one of my favorite all time comedies. It gave us three national treasures in (another fanboy favorite) Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Too bad they’re not even from this nation. Jesus, we outsource everything these days! This film is exactly what it claims to be on the jacket of the DVD: A romantic comedy… with zombies! Not only is this a must-see film, it’s also a great baby step for all those people out there that tell me they can’t handle scary movies.
2. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968).
I want to be VERY clear about this. While this may not be my favorite zombie film, it is, unequivocally, the greatest zombie film ever made. It’s also one of the greatest independent films ever made. While it may not be the first zombie film ever made, let’s be honest… it kind of is. At the very least, it is the honorary one.
1. DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978).
In 1978, two amazing things happened. Your friendly neighborhood Kaiderman and Dawn of the Dead were introduced to the world and the world would never be the same again. DOTD is my favorite horror film, my favorite zombie film and one of the best sequels ever made. The film is a bit cheesy to look at in this day and age and the color pallette is a bit distracting but I happen to think this only adds to the films charm. The thing I love the most about this film is the non-zombie moments. Seeing a group of people who finally have everything they could never afford to have in their normal lives but can only enjoy it while knowing that the world around them is crumbling. The film is just plain fun and a must-see-and-love for any zombie-phile!
Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.