It seems new zombie movies are released every other day. And while many of us have our favorites, there are those of us who wish that the entire genre would disappear. I mean, the first zombie movie you watched was probably novel, fascinating, terrifying, even. But there are only so many ways that a zombie story can be told – dead people coming to life for whatever reason (voodoo, alien spaceships, a curse) and it’s up to those who aren’t the walking dead yet to fight their way to safety until things blow over.
This list of zombie films that have been produced since the beginning of the genre will recommend all the movies you need to watch, the best zombie movies that will satisfy a lot of your curiosity about the horror and conflict that zombies could bring in their wake.
10. 28 Weeks Later, 2007
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This film does everything right – the rage virus that inflicts the UK, the gore are all there there. What really makes this movie one of the top ten is its willingness to look at how us humans – and not the mindless zombies – that are the real monsters. The survival instincts that kick in during zombie apocalypses have ugly results, and like the brilliant 28 Days Later, this movie in the low budget series does the theme well.
9. Day of the Dead, 1985
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What we love about Day of the Dead is the bleakness of the world where the living are outnumbered by the zombies, one to four hundred thousand. The zombies in the film look great, for their time and ours. It may not be as good as director George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. But the story is satisfying, the setting is great and by the end of the film, you do feel the desire to see some of the characters get well-deservedly eaten.
8. 28 Days Later, 2003
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There is a debate about whether this Danny Boyle movie can be put on a list of zombie films, but we’ve included it. Simply because it’s the rage virus spreading through the UK that is the cause of the apocalypse, and not zombies per se. But there are zombie-like humans trying to kill people. And in their efforts to survive, normal people commit atrocities that can only be called savage. Like trying to rape a woman and a teenage girl because they are sex-starved while they try to contain the chaos.
7. Shaun of the Dead
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This hilarious and iconic horror comedy has that attractive British humor we love, along with a decent zombie plotline. This is a film for the zombie movie haters. Shaun is a 30-year-old non-achiever whose girlfriend breaks up with him, and he tries to get her back in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. The only reason this film is ranked no higher than nine on our list is because this is a zombie spoof. Check it out. There are poignant moments that highlight lessons in life. There is enough gore to satisfy that side of you. The film will have you laughing till the end too, which is not something you can say about most zombie movies.
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Zombieland is another one of those zombie movies that have a wicked sense of humor. And laughs in the middle of a zombie apocalypse are always welcome. Plus the movie has gore, a charming zombie slayer like Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg in the role of a timid shut-in, and Emma Stone. All of them are on a mission to find the last Twinkie on Earth. What’s not to love?
5. Dawn of the Dead, 1978
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It’s no surprises that Dawn of the Dead is one of the highest ranked zombie movies on Rotten Tomatoes. In fact, the movie had a budget of $1.5 million but grossed a humongous $55 million. Four survivors are stuck in an indoor shopping mall while the world outside falls to zombies. The zombies are like mindless shoppers in the mall. If you’ve been watching the Walking Dead, you may have a hard time believing that Dawn of the Dead was given an X-rating when it was released, because of the gore and bright red blood. But there is nothing dated about the movie, and is considered one of the best zombie movies ever made.
4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1978
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This movie is a remake of the 1956 sci-fi horror, and unlike many remakes, it’s a brilliant offering. The camerawork is superb and the ideas in the film go deeper than in the original. Donald Sutherland is a health inspector who is sent to investigate the strange behaviors of some San Francisco locals. But soon he finds even people around him are acting strange. Is this because of an alien attack? The music is iconic, the acting is fantastic and the action is tense. This is one of the best zombie movies that will has stood the test of time.
3. The Evil Dead,1981
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Here’s another old-timer on the list of zombie films you must watch. It’s a classic black comedy created on a low budget, shot in the local woods by Sam Raimi with 16mm, on a budget of $350,000. Abandoned cabin, impenetrable woods and a group of young college kids on vacation sets the tone for this gory and graphic zombie flick.
2. Night of the Living Dead, 1968
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This classic debut of George Romero is the pioneer of the zombie films as we know it today. It was a low-budget indie horror at the time, made on $114,000. The movie went on to gross $30 million in the US and international box offices. The plot is simple – a group hiding from zombies in a farmhouse. But there is a clever political theme underlying it, the gore is realistic, and the editing is sharp. This makes it one of the best zombie movies of all time.
1. Evil Dead 2, 1987
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If you made a list of zombie films ranked on Rotten Tomatoes, Evil Dead 2 from two decades ago would top the list. It has fantastic special effects, slapstick gore and original humor that makes it a fun ride. Those who haven’t watched it already, go check out Evil Dead 2!
Did all your favorite zombie movies make this list? Let us know if there are any that aren’t getting the love they deserve.
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