By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The season finale of the Walking Dead was a dud in pretty much every way. Truth be told, I don’t even like the show anymore. But when the worst show that my girlfriend asks me to watch is a show about zombies, and not The Real Housewives of something or other, I figure I’m lucky and just take it in stride.
It was a discussion in the office today that got me thinking about zombie movies. We were sitting around, talking about last night’s show (very briefly, bosses!), and I was mentioning several stupid decisions that the characters in Walking Dead made, that would not be consistent with people able to survive a zombie apocalypse.
“But aren’t people in horror supposed to be stupid?,” my friend asked.
In zombie movies, sure, they’re supposed to be stupid. Going up the stairs when they should be going out the door, keeping their sure-to-soon-be-a-zombie friend around just a little bit too long, it’s all fair game. But that’s because it’s a movie, and it’ll be over in two hours. A television show about people who I’m supposed to care about, who last days, weeks, months in a zombie-world, can’t be full of idiots.
So I told him, “you should just watch some good zombie movies.”
I’m including both “undead” and “infected” in this list, though I think a true zombie is of the undead variety. The distinction lies in whether the zombie has died and is now back to life (like Night Of The Living Dead), or is just diseased (like 28 Days Later).
#10 Zombieland (2009)
One of the toughest things about judging zombie movies of the last decade against movies prior is that the special effects have taken such a huge leap. My favorite thing about this movie is that it’s so visually impressive. The Bill Murray scene also sits as one of the greatest scenes of all time in zombie films.
#9 Resident Evil
BUT NONE OF THE SEQUELS.
#8 Dead Alive (Also Known As Brain Dead) (1992)
I’m pretty certain this is the goriest movie I’ve ever seen. It’s got a sense of humor, it’s got a lot of violence, and it’s got a zombie baby.
# 7 Dead Snow (2009)
#6 Fido (2006)
Though it had the largest scale release, Warm Bodies wasn’t the first zombie movie to have a different take on zombie life. This one takes place in a perfect little 50′s neighborhood, and a pet zombie.
# 5 Return Of The Living Dead (1985)
I like this one more than most do. It’s your typical zombie movie, as two idiots release a gas into the air that makes all of the dead people come back to life and want to eat brains. It’s also got one of the best zombie-movie posters out there.
#4 Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
This is the one that started it all, George Romero’s classic. It’s the first of a trilogy (the other two are higher up on the list), and its influence can’t be understated. The zombies aren’t particularly scary (gory) looking, and they’re very slow, but the claustrophobic setting and black and white make it very scary.
#3 Day Of The Dead (1985)
This is the third part of the Romero trilogy. While many zombie movies focus on the onset of zombies, and the world turning, this one takes place once all hope is lost. If you want to see what The Walking Dead would be like if it was a movie, and any good, I’d focus on this one.
#2 28 Days Later (2002)
Again, I don’t totally agree with including the “infected” from 28 Days Later into the zombie category, but this is such a great film that it gets an honorary spot in the top ten. It’s hard to match the first 15 minutes of this one.
#1 Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
It’s not only the best, but it’s the best by a mile. And although I think the remake was very good, the original is better. It’s not just better in the “BLARGH I’M OLD AND THE FIRST ONE WAS BETTER,” way, it’s actually better. It’s also got a fantastically creepy score. There’s a CD out there that captures all of the music from the mall that isn’t on the official soundtrack.
What do you think is the best zombie movie of all time? Let us know in the comments.