Zombies are the middle children of the otherworldly family. Vampires are the oldest brother who gets to have a room in the attic, all tripped out with a disco ball and shag carpet. Werewolves are the youngest, the babies, always getting pinched and told they're cute. With all that attention stolen away from the middle child zombie, no wonder she shuffles off grumbling, "Marsha, Marsha, Marsha."

- Kevin James Breaux

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Companion to “Conversations in Horror” - “Fun & Entertaining Zombie Films Not to be Missed”

“Fun & Entertaining Zombie Films Not to be Missed”

In the podcast “Conversations in Horror” hosts Ron McLellen and I look at different aspects of the horror genre in order to entertain and educate fans.  This article is a companion to the show as a means to touch upon things that the show doesn’t have time to.  Enjoy.

Zombies are one of the most popular monsters in history and most recently has taken pop culture by storm with the popularity of AMC’s The Walking Dead (as well the comic and graphic novels) and films like Warm Bodies (2013), World War Z (2013) and especially the Resident Evil franchise (2002-2012) not to mention books, toys, Halloween costumes and more.  Following is a list of10 zombie films that might have gone missed but are worth looking for.

This is a recent zombie film that’s really a two-person deconstruction that takes place during the zombie apocalypse.  There are a lot of indie films out there which are a slow burn like this one but using baseball adds to the allure of the film.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of slow burning zombie films out there and this one may have been overshadowed but it is worth searching out.

Michelle Soavi’s uncompromising adaptation of the popular Dylan Dog comic book.  Although this film is a loose adaption of the comic book character it is more thematically accurate than Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (2011).  Its mixture of violence, gore, romance, and humor is better executed than any other zombie film out there.  There are few other zombie films produced in other countries that matches the lightning caught in a bottle like this film.

THE DEAD (2010)
Africa is not your typical place for a zombie apocalypse and this film is not your typical zombie film as location is a key component to the success and allure of this film.  The undead have never looked no menacing or desolate.  Directors Howard and Jonathan Ford did an exceptional job at infusing new life into the slow moving zombie genre which continued in the sequel (which takes place in India).  This is one of the films that should be on every zombie fans watch list.

This is not your typical zombie film as there is no apocalypse going on because there is only a single zombie girl found strapped down in an abandoned building by a bunch of kids who decide to have their own way with the undead.  A disturbing look at youth culture by way of the undead.  Not a film for everyone but an uncompromising film that stays with you long after the credits roll.

Zombie films don’t get as exciting and entertaining as this film which manages to trap a bunch of zombies on an inflight plane.  It’s a film that satisfies just about everyone.  It has everything that a zombie fan would want.  It’s a film that’s better than the title declares and should not go overlooked.

This is a very infamous film because it’s an extremely slow burn character film about a guy who discovers he’s becoming one of the undead and he must discover how to go on living as he’s slowly dying.  Director Andrew Parkinson is known for his slow burning character films of which watching a man slowly turn into a zombie probably isn’t the most entertaining way to spend an evening.  Also, this was Parkinson’s first feature so the production values are that of an indie feature so the film has never been given its due.  The dark material should not deter you from an otherwise very good indie zombie film.

Directed by William Lustig,  this return from the dead cop slasher is one of the most entertaining films of its kind and even though they made three of these films this is the first and best of them all.  The film stars Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, and Richard Roundtree but it is Robert Z’Dar as the title character that steals the entire film.  This is a crazy vengeance themed film as only Lustig can do. 

I love non-traditional zombie films and they don’t get any more non-traditional than this film where the wrong sounds can turn you into a mindless automaton.  This single location thriller is anchored by one of actor Stephen McHattie’s finest performances.  This is a film for zombie film lovers with a taste for something a little different.

A traditional voodoo zombie film as only the ‘70s can craft.  This is one entertaining film from beginning to end.  It is dated but that does not deter from the fun that this film contains.  Also, it’s one of the very few traditional voodoo zombie films that get it right.

UNDEAD (2003)
Zombies.  Aliens. Australia. What’s not to like about this over the top zombie film to the extreme?  No one does a good zombie film like Michael and Peter Spierig.  This is a horror-sci-fi-action film that successful mixes all these genres to create one of the very best undead films of the modern age.  Not only is this one of the very best modern zombie films it is also the Spierig Bros. first film who have gone on to re-define the vampire genre with Daybreakers (2009) and time travel with Predestination (2014).

Some of these films were discussed in the “Conversations in Horror” episode but more importantly here is a list of just a few great zombie films.  Some people may agree with my assessment while others may hate some of my choices.  Because zombie films are a dime a dozen there are hundreds of other films that could be on this list but I chose not to include.

What do you make of these films and do you agree with any of my choices? 

To watch the episode of “Conversations in Horror” go here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNA7grOKX7U

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