WTD's Top Zombie Movies

My ALL new top 20 which has been a long time coming, and though still not sure it's exactly right, it ticks a lot of boxes.

There were many films that nearly made this list and many omissions will not only find disapproval but stoke downright contempt. Day of the Dead,  Zombie Flesh Eaters 1 & 3, [REC], Dead of Night (Deathdream), White Zombie, The Mask of Satan (Black Sunday) and The Horde are the obvious ones, and while top, top films I was concious to keep the list diverse (I just prefer Dawn original and Night remake over Day, sorry!), and on point (so no Evil Dead), rather than just fill it with all the usual suspects.

Others that would appear on an expanded list, and some personal favourites / guilty pleasures are Land of the Dead, Fido, Zeder, Wyrmwood, The Last Man on Earth, Return of the Living Dead 3, Harold's Going Stiff, Deadgirl, Plaga Zombie: Mutant Zone, Demon Resurrection, Flight of the Living Dead, Poultrygeist, and even Warm Bodies and Paranorman, amongst many more.

Let me know what you think...


Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead

Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead is just about the most audaciously daft and stupidest film. Scatologically obsessed, exploitative, crass, repulsive and downright stupid; but it's Japanese zombie inappropriateness at it's brazen finest and an absolute hoot for all the same reasons.


Ruben Fleischer has produced a highly stylish and extremely creative zombie masterpiece that never takes itself too seriously. It's heart warming and more a tale of friendship and hope set against a beautifully realised post apocalyptic backdrop. Also it has Bill Murray in. As a zombie.


The first of Amando de Ossorio's Blind Dead tetrology is a brooding, moody intelligent horror full of 70's continental European flair, surrealism and eccentricity. Shocking without ever being overly exploitative complex characters are allowed to take centre stage in an creepy and extremely atmospheric horror film that oozes macrabre style and atmosphere.


Yes it's a pop-corn flick, yes it's daft and it seems a lot of non-genre, new wave TWD fans liked it, yes it's Brad Pitt's WWZ, not Max Brooks' but it's I have to admit, also unwaveringly full-on, intense and utterly brilliant.


In 1975 a young Canadian David Cronenberg with a penchant for body dysfunction, infection, parasites and the blurring of psychological with physical released his first feature film and while several years ago I'd not have called it a zombie one I'm now holding my hands up.  There's ground zero, there's the slow but exponential spread; there's confusion, screaming, violence, loss of self and in the end total pandemonium and inescapable hopelessness. Fabulous and deeply disturbing.

(Bruce Campbell vs.) Army of Darkness 

The Evil Dead 1 and 2 are farces of a sort but they're still, unquestionable horror flicks full of provocative vision, disturbing ideas and gratuitous bad taste and probably two of the best films ever made. But are they zombie? Possibly, but maybe not enough for this list. Army of Darkness crosses that line and whilst not quite as good as its predecessors is still brilliant, wacky, proudly b-movie-esque and Raimi and Campbell on top form.


Before Lord of the Rings Steve Jackson produced arguably the bloodiest, goriest over the top zombie film of all time. Ludicrous, iconic and utterly brilliant.

Going to be controversial this one but to talk zombies and ignore the crazy mind of Paul W. S. Anderson would be a crime. Yes it's style over substance and often incoherent with daft boss fights but when it gets it right it's as strong, powerful and dramatic as you're likely to get.


Wes Craven's take on the real world adventure of Dr. Edmund Wade Davis who sought to uncover the secrets of the Haitian zombie. It's all about voodoo, the black arts, suggestion, symbolism and blurring the perceived boundaries of life and death / dreams and reality. It's as ambiguous as it is beautiful and a must see for all those invested in the zombie myth.


A few years ago I dismissed this as a non-zombie, infected-but-living film. These days I hold up my hands that it's not quite that straightforward. Zombies are about loss of self, soul, will, super-ego, control; dead-ness doesn't necessitate actual loss of pulse. The zombies of 30s were both alive and dead, but always under a masters control, in the 60s Romero freed them from their shackles and Boyle provided a contemporary narrative that let them slide into the modern psyche. They're all manifestations of the same dead-ness, and the films' the exemplification of the intransient fear we all share that order and control are illusionary and precarious. As for the film? It has some plot holes but it's scope and style were at the time unprecedented.


Everyone else will pick the 1932 film White Zombie which is highly regarded as the one that started it all off but it's King of the Zombies from 1942 that for me best epitomises the voodoo zombie before Romero got his grubby mitts on it. Also Mantan Moreland is hilarious.


Yes I know it says Demons and we're talking Zombies, but Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento's gratuitous no nonsense 80s claustrophobic horror-slasher has zombie written all through it. With oodles of blood, gore all surrounding infection and possession many years before [REC] tried it, it's full of charm and an often overlooked genre monster.


A European art house film about the philosophical struggle with life, death and love and it's also an absurd, dark b-movie comedy. A very young Rupert Everett is the only thing between the living and the dead. What's not to like?


Dead Snow 2 isn't a film, it's more an experience. A riotous explosion of guts, blood and fun; it's perfectly paced, perfectly formed and oozes style and imagination from a director and team that clearly understand how to approach the absurdness and inherent contradiction that lies at the heart of zombie cinema. Everything you'd want from an absurd splatter horror comedy it's perhaps the best Evil Dead / Dead Alive (Brain Dead) film we've ever had. 


Amazing characters, amazing scenes, amazing acting, well amazing everything. This Cuban film is a zombie apocalypse fan's wet dream. Better than Dawn? I almost think so.


Absurd, disturbing, memorable and utterly compelling. Dan O'Bannon's comedy sequel to Night of the Living Dead brought many things to the zombie table, not least of which is the now synonymous love of bbbbbrrrraaaaiiiiinnnnnssssssss!


I could hardly do this list without the film that inspired a generation. Well, I kind of can and I can't. Romero and Tom Savani came back and tried again and many took a severe dislike but I loved and respected what they did. It's the Romero zombie and its metaphor perfectly realised; the fight against being inevitably consumed by the tide. The narrative may have changed but it's just as strong and pace and production have benefited from Romero's 22 years extra experience.


Zombie Flesh Eaters (Zombi 2) may well be the Fulci pick on most top zombie film lists but it's The Beyond that in my opinion best represents his surreal avent guarde style and shocking exploitative violence.

Still the undisputed master of zombie parody. A great zombie film, a great comedy, a great buddy movie, and a cutting satirical commentary on modern ennui. A triumph.


The Daddy of modern zombie cinema, there were many pretenders but this is still king. What else can I say that hasn't been said. Iconic scenes, stunning cinematography and a sub text that came to define the malaise of a generation. 

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