#1: The Night of the Living Dead
In "the Night of the Living Dead" ,Romero's classic movie, we can see our first zombie. Easily recognizable because he dresses like he just went to his own funeral. Which actually is the case here. Mind you, the movie never uses the word Zombie and although it was not the first zombiemovie, it was the movie that started our current fascination with these wonderfully weird creatures.
#2: Dawn of the Dead
A sorta sequel to "Night of the Living Dead", "Dawn" shows the zombie apocalypse from the point of view of a handfull survivors that seek refuge in a shopping mall. The social commentary stands out here; the braindead who can't think for themselves do what they've been programmed to do: go to the mall. And eat people.
#3: the Return of the Living Dead.
There's a lot we can learn from this one. For one, the eighties were a really campy era, but it also answers the question:" What do zombies like so much about eating people?" the answer is of course: Braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains! This is the movie that coined the phrase. But in my opinion that is it's only acomplishment.
The word Zombie is actually derived from the African word "Nzumbe". Some cultures believed corpses could be brought back from the dead using witchcraft. "The Serpent and the Rainbow" explore the roots of these myths as a pre-independence day Bill Pullman travels to Haiti to investigate a voodoo practice that can bring back the dead. It's a fascinating take on the zombiestory, and based (very loosely) on actual research done by Zora Neale Hurston.
#5: Braindead (dead alive)
There's fun to be found in almost everything, even the zombieapocalypse. While the Return of the Living Dead is campy and fun, Braindead takes it to a whole new level. One of Peter "Lord of the Rings" Jackson's first movies not only has a zombiebaby, but also shows us the best use for a lawnmower besides well, mowing the lawn.
#6: 28 days later.
Until "28 days later" zombies were a bit boring. The general view was that of slow moving creatures whose motto seemd to be"everyday i'm shuffeling". Danny Boyle's zombies couldn't be more different: fast as hell and ultra-violent. It changed the way Hollywood looked at zombies and took the zombie movie out of the horrorsection and into mainstream action entertainment.
#7: Dawn of the Dead remake
Why remake one of the best zombie movies ever made? Well because now whe have running zombies, that's why. Watch it for the incredible first 20 minutes alone, but this remains a steady entertaining movie from there on. 28 days later wasn't really an indie-flick, but this one is Hollywood embracing the new zombies in a big way, and launching Zack "Man of Steel" Snyders carreer.
#8: Shaun of the Dead
Shaun of the Dead is the rarest of movies.Part zombie movie, love story, comedy, parody, but most of all a heartfelt hommage to the zombie genre. As far as watching zombiemovies goes, this is a no-brainer (pun intended).
Found footage comes to the zombie genre. This could have easily gone wrong, because the format can either ruin or enhance a movie. In Rec it really improves on the claustrophobic feeling of having no control and being isolated from the outside world in a zombie-infested appartmentbuilding in Barcelona. It's incredibly tense and has a better story than most. It's running time is only 80 minutes, but it never lets up. This is a great use for the word running time.
#10: World War Z
Zombie movies don't usually come with a huge budget and some serious starpower. World War Z provides both and has a more disastermovie feel than other zombiemovies. For the first time we see the global impact of the apocalypse and it's a welcome change. This movie has come back from the grave more than the zombies in it, and it's a surprising succes. Here's hoping for a sequel.
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