With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about zombie movies to watch with your friends and family to celebrate the grandest of all monsters: the zombie. I won’t be detailing the standard classics, no. I’ll be looking at some films you may not have seen before. There are some really great zombie films that aren’t in the collective consciousness of the mainstream and they’d make great Halloween movie night fodder.
The list is after the jump!
I’ve done a full review of The Dead, but, again, this is one of my favorite zombie films. Now, this is a bit slow and a bit depressing, but it’s got good zombie action and lots of things to talk about. Lt. Brian Murphy is the only survivor of a plane that goes down as it’s evacuating from war-torn Africa when the zombie apocalypse hits the earth. His mission then becomes finding another plane he can use to escape.
Along his way, he meets an African soldier who shares a similar mission: to find his son. The unlikely team makes a great pair as they each share their hardships and dedication to their cause. It’s a zombie movie but it’s also a very humanistic movie. You really end up caring about each of the characters.
Granted, this film isn’t for every party. It may even be best suited for an afterparty where the remnants are just couples that want to get cuddly before bedtime with a deep zombie film.
American Zombie is a faux documentary about a world where zombies live alongside living people and a new type of prejudice has arisen because of it. The documentarian takes the side of the zombies and tries to convince people that zombies aren’t all that bad. The film takes you through a Los Angeles zombie community and introduces several zombie characters, trying to make the live population see that they’re no different.
The documentarians are eventually invited to a zombie music festival to experience the zombie culture on a larger scale. The zombie customs and rituals begin to worry the filmmakers and things get hairy… or do they? It’s a fun film that’s both heavy and light at the same time.
Deadheads is one of the first zomromcoms (zombie romantic comedies) and it’s fun for everyone, NOT just women! Mike Kellerman wakes up in a government laboratory and finds that, well, he’s a zombie. Shit. The story that unfolds from here is a classic cheesy love story with a fun zombie twist. Mike finds another zombie buddy before he heads out and they get into plenty of zombie mischief before eventually finding out the truth behind Mike’s condition and its impact on his relationship with his girlfriend.
Guys, if your girl isn’t really into zombies, try this one. After all, it’s a romantic comedy. Tell her it’s like Something About Mary but with zombies.
I love this film so much I think I might even watch it today. It’s a foreign film about some kids that go to a remote cabin in the Norwegian mountains for a weekend of drunkenness, sexytime, and relaxation. Unfortunately, they stumble upon an area rich in Nazi zombies. Shit.
Dead Snow really has an 80s horror slasher feel about it and that’s what’s great about it. It’s also got a healthy dose of comedy which makes this a really fun party flick. There’s some good suspense, decent acting, and some very entertaining and gory fight scenes.
Resident Evil Degeneration
The ONLY Resident Evil movie deserving of the Resident Evil name. This one is actually canonical and commissioned by Capcom, so, it’s real Resident Evil instead of that remade garbage coming from Hollywood. It stars Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield from the games and pits them against a new outbreak of the T-virus.
They eventually find out that the T-virus has mutated into the G-virus and find out who’s responsible. They take their brand of violence to GilPharma, the pharmaceutical company responsible for the G-virus’ creation. There is great action in this film and, for fans of the video games, this is the movie they want to watch.
Personally, I’d show this to someone over ANY of the live-action films. Degeneration has a great story, plot, voice acting, and really well done art. If you’ve got any Resident Evil fans at your party, give this film a shot.
Dead Alive (aka Braindead)
Dead Alive is Peter Jackson’s first film. That’s right, the guy that made the Lord of the Rings movies started his film making career with a zombie flick! Don’t expect the HUGE budget of LotR, though. Dead Alive was made with a shoestring budget and it shows. However, that does not diminish its awesome value as a great zombie film ready for a party showing.
Beware: there’s LOTS of gore and truly stomach-churning scenes. There’s also an inventive use of a lawn mower. Dead Alive makes me cackle with delight every time I see it. It’s truly a great zombie(ish) film that’d be great for your Halloween party.
You know those films that come along every now and then and turn your perception of something on its head? Yeah, Fido does that. It’s about a 1950s world where zombies have been contained and controlled (or is it the living that has been contained?) and given collars that keep them from eating your face off. They are then sold to consumers for use as butlers, companions, whatever the customer desires. Seems like the perfect solution to an imperfect problem, right?
Well, it would be if there wasn’t so much hostility towards the zombie phenomenon by members of the community… and if this kid wasn’t so damned mischievous. Fido is the new zombie bought by little Timmy Robinson’s family to serve as their family butler and Timmy’s friend. In this universe, zombies function as pets for children, as well.
Needless to say, things go awry and mayhem ensues. I can’t really elaborate any more than that without giving things away. It’s campy, it’s fun, it’s 100% entertaining and PERFECT for movie night with friends. Fido is one of those films you just have to watch. You’ll love it, I promise.
Zombie (aka Zombi 2)
Lucio Fulci’s Zombie is one of the quintessential zombie films that, unfortunately, doesn’t get as much recognition in America as it should. It’s an Italian film made by Lucio Fulci, one of the great horror masters. It revolves around a mysterious ship that sails into New York City harbor with no living soul on board, but with a dark secret below the decks.
This is zombie horror at its finest. Edge-of-your-seat suspense mixed with a great story and acting make this a must-see for any zombie fan. It’s even got a zombie fighting a shark! Who wins? Does the shark become a zombie? Only one way to find out, now get it and watch it!
I was a bit hesitant to make a judgement on this film the first time I saw it, but I really do appreciate it for what it is. It’s a unique zombie tale about some high school students who find a zombie chained up in an old hospital when they go exploring beyond the “No Trespassing” signs. I think the message behind this film is that people will do things they’d never do if they think there are no consequences to their actions. Of course… they find out that there ARE consequences that end up being quite dire and horrifying.
Deadgirl is a very cool departure from your normal zombie apocalypse film that hits on quite a personal note. It’s not about the impact on society and it doesn’t serve as a metaphor for any societal issues. It’s more about the individual and the impact an individual’s choices may have on them.
Zombies of Mass Destruction
I really wasn’t sold on this film before I watched it. Online reviews were so-so (not that you can ever trust them), but I figured I’d give it a shot. It’s a campy thriller about a small community that is plagued with a zombie-inducing meteor shower that turns the entire town into ravenous ghouls. It’s got plenty of laughs and zombies with great personality (that’s the important part, right?).
I can’t recommend this one highly enough for your Halloween film fest. This has GOT to go in your lineup if you haven’t seen it before.
The Serpent and the Rainbow
Again, this is an underappreciated classic. The Serpent and the Rainbow is loosely based on a book written by Wade Davis where he travels to Haiti in search of the real zombie phenomenon. He finds himself entwined in Voodoo rituals and strange drugs as he investigates the strange case of Clairvius Narcisse. Narcisse was a man who was drugged with substances that made him appear dead, even to physicians of the time. He was then dug from his grave and put to work on a sugar plantation.
The movie doesn’t keep to the real story as much, but that’s okay. Seriously, though, read the book. The film is, however, a really fun Voodoo zombie film to watch. In the film, fictional Dennis Alan is the protagonist, rather than Wade Davis, who travels to Haiti in search of the same thing. Wes Craven shows his influence in adding lore and some more movie-ish things to the story, making it a fun watch.
Crap! I can’t believe I forgot these films!
This film is actually set about 150 years ago, just after the Civil War in Tennessee. The dead rise up and give Edward Young something to fight for again. Now, this film is a bit slow, but it’s well-written and full of interesting twists and turns. Not only does this movie have zombies, but it’s got witchcraft AND a jaded ex-Confederate general who can’t accept defeat.
Check out my review for more detailed info about Exit Humanity.
Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies
How can one pass up a flick with good old Honest Abe fighting zombies with a retractable scythe? I don’t know the answer to that question. Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies is another film by The Asylum, who is known for let’s say “borrowing” ideas from the mainstream and making their own movies with similar concepts. This is, of course, a response to Abe Lincoln Vampire Hunter.
While this film has gotten a lot of flak for being what many people consider to be a rip-off. I don’t care. It’s fun and it’s gory and it’s awesome. PLUS, it stars Bill Oberst Jr., who is a really great actor who has been in too many films to list. Oberst Jr. does a great job portraying one of the greatest Presidents the US has ever known… with a scythe that he uses to chop zombies in half.
Again, how can you say no?
Come on! How can you not want to watch a zombie flick about Osama bin Laden? It’s cheesy and campy but it’s also really good. An American military outfit in the Middle East is besieged by zombies which, as it turns out, is led by none other than the risen dead Osama Bin Laden.
Needless to say, there is lots of gunfire, gore, and explosions in this film. What else would you expect? I had fun watching this one and I think you will, too. It’s B-grade all the way but… chances are, if you’re reading this site, you like the cheese.