How about kicking off Top 10 Tuesdays with a list of zombie movies that have stuck with me over the years? I grew up watching the most age inappropriate films ever. My mother was a horror/gore junkie. Back then, the only movie ratings were G (cartoons), R (horror, comedy, or sex romps), x (hard core porn), and PG (everything else in between). It wasn’t until I was going on 11, and Red Dawn became the first PG-13 movie, that things began to change. But up until then, there were movie theaters that you could easily sneak into, and the glorious creation that was HBO. 8pm started “prime movie watching time”. And mom would sit us down to all of the goriest horror classics you can imagine. It’s no wonder that I grew up never wanting to swim, or camp, or have a birthday party, or go to a sleepover, or go out at night, or go in the basement, or drive past a cemetery, or have dolls with eyes that moved, or get a big dog….She ruined me. Or maybe she helped to mold me into the well-adjusted individual I am today?
The thing that really messed me up, above all else, was the original George A. Romero gem Night of the Living Dead. To this day, it holds up against other horror films, even without all of the special effects and makeup that we have now. It’s a complete mind-screw that plays on our basic fears. Psycho…that was another one that didn’t need special effects to scare the bejeezus out of you. All you needed was a good imagination and Hitchcock did the rest.
Night of the Living Dead set me up for a life time of irrational fears, panic attacks and a thirst for more zombies. Death and dying are upsetting subjects for me to begin with, but add in the idea of zombies and that’s it. I’m done. Messed up for life. And so, without further ado, here is a list–off the top of my head and in no particular order of importance–of 10 of my favorite zombie movies of all time.
Please note: I did not include 28 Days Later on my list. It is one of my favorite movies, not gonna lie. But I am one of those people who will argue categorizing it as a ‘zombie’ film. They were not “undead”. They were infected. They didn’t eat you. They punched, kicked, clawed, bit, and tore at you, pummeling you to death. The title itself references how long it takes for them to begin to die from starvation. However, this film holds a special place in cinema history for being so damn cool to watch. It is horrifying and I hate that it set a new standard for other zombie films to have ‘runners’ in them. I hate zombies that run. Zomg, shoot me now!! Ok, on with the list:
- Dawn of the Dead ’85
- Dawn of the Dead ’04
- Night of the Living Dead ’68
- Shaun of the Dead
- Dead Alive
- Return of the Living Dead (first film to use the phrase “braaaaaains”)
- Night of the Comet
- Army of Darkness
- Resident Evil (my husband totally tricked me into watching this with no warning, “Hey, this looks good…it’s from a video game…it’s an action movie” …ugh)
(Runner-ups include Dead Snow, Night of the Living Dead ’90, Warm Bodies, Night of the Creeps…oh, feel free to add your own to the list!)