I thought since Halloween is coming, I’d write a post each day up to it, because I quite like horror and sci-fi and Halloween-esque movies. And yeah, I love zombie movies so I thought my first post could be a sneaky little top 5 of my personal favourite zombie/contagion/virus movies.
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Obviously, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead had to make the list. Not only is it one of the best zombie movies out there, it is also the movie that defined the genre; It has all the key elements of the zombie movies we know today. Romero’s first feature-lenght film was made with only $114,000 and it has become one of the most successful independent movies ever made. It is genuinely scary and the special effects and makeup work perfectly for the movie. Whether you like zombie movies or not, if you’re a film enthusiast, you should definitely watch this movie. (I also made a scene analysis for a class a few years back, you can read it here if you want.)
28 Days Later (2002)
This Danny Boyle movie takes place in a rage-like-virus-infected-United Kingdom (what a phrase) and is quite stressful. Not only the infected people look terrifying with their bloodshot eyes, they can run, so yeah, unlike typical zombies, these ones are pretty fast. Little anecdote: I watched this movie with my friend and a vein in her eye popped and her eye turned all red and that was real scary. Anyway, the infected people are not the only threat in the movie; the army is also a quite dangerous group. The movie is quite eery, in parts because of the song that plays thought the film, but also because of the camerawork and the pretty serious themes present in the movie.
Don’t you just love campy 80s movies loosely based on a H.P. Lovecraft’s novella? Cause I know I do. This movie blends many genres, comedy, horror, sci-fi, etc., and the amount of fake blood involved in its making is pretty amazing. It has a Frankenstein-esque vibe to it, mixed with 80s special effects and a spectacular B-movie aesthetic: it is pure gold. Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West is a lot of fun to watch and the movie makes a few references to Hitchcock’s work (if you know me, you know I love to spot references in movies). This movie might not be the best movie ever made, but I personally think it has a lot to offer, both as a cult movie and as an entertaining one.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The first of Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, Shaun of the Dead is, in my opinion, one of the funniest movies out there. It pokes fun at the zombie movie genre, by having Shaun (Simon Pegg) telling Ed (Nick Frost) not to say the word “zombie”, for exemple, or by re-using zombie movie stereotypes, only to deconstruct them as the movie goes on. Absurd and genuinely enjoyable, Shaun of the Dead is a great horror-comedy movie, with a pretty cool soundtrack and a fun use of foreshadowing. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost work very well together, as usual, and so does the rest of the cast (Bill Nighy as Phillip, Shaun’s stepfather, is pretty amazing). And watch the other two of the trilogy as well (Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World’s End (2013)), they’re all pretty great.
The Evil Dead (1981)
This movie is more of a supernatural/demon-possession kind of movie, but the looks of the possessed people is quite zombie-like and therefore, I decided to include it in this list. Anyway. This movie is a bit disturbing, as you don’t always know whether to laugh or to be scared, and it gave birth to one of the most popular cult movie franchise ever. Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) has become an icon of the cult movie type and the movie itself inspired many spin-offs, such as video games and comic books, and more recently, a tv series starring Bruce Campbell. The Evil Dead makes great use of stop-motion animation (as I mentioned in I love stop motion animation) and even though the possessed laughter of a certain character is probably the most annoying thing in the History of cinema, this movie is a great Halloween watch.
- Dawn of the Dead (1978)
- Dead Alive (1992)
- Zombieland (2009)