Top 10 Old School Zombie Movies
Being a zombie nerd I couldn’t make a random list of movies, I had to split it into two parts: Old School Zombies, and Modern Zombies and Infected People. By “Old School” zombies, I mean zombies who follow George A. Romero’s classic rules for zombie zombies. Top 10 Old School Zombie Movies
Dead Opus by George Romero (1968-2009)
Night of the Living Dead. © Legend Movies
Any zombie list should start with George A. Romero, the King of Zombies. Romero didn’t invent zombies, but he gave us guidelines. Shooting them in the head or destroying the brain is the only way to stop them; if someone screamed at you, you would die and come back as a zombie; they are pointless, slow moving, and have little motor ability; and they admired the flesh.
The Return of the Dead (1985)
The writer / director Dan O’Bannon (who also wrote) is explicitly acknowledged his debt to Romero by having the characters in the opening scene discuss how the True Night of the Living Dead . Then, the bumbling warehouse workers release a toxic gas that replaces the dead living in the local cemetery.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
This rom-zom-com (romantic zombie comedy) stands as one of the most inspirational and clever zombie movies of all time. It pays homage to Romero with the abundance of replacing the corpses seeking the flesh, but then it creates a style of uniqueness in itself. Gore is first rate, comedy is smart, and characters are the ones who really care about us. You need a scorecard to keep track of all movie references.
No zombie list can complete at least one Italian zombie film. Lucio Fulci has made a zombie trilogy and although Beyond is the best movie of the three, Zombie offers the best zombies. Further, this rare creature possesses: the underwater zombie.
Fido. © Lionsgate Films
Fido , like Shaun of the Dead , hooks the audience with clever comedy and catchy characters. This Canadian zombie comedy usually delivers a zombie version of Lassie , but in this case little Timmy has a zombie man as his loyal pet. Fido has many conventions of the genre – zombies are slow, dumb, and hungry for human flesh. But the film moves the zombies into a kind of retro future that looks amazingly like a picture perfect picture of Eisenhower-era suburbia.
Sugar Hill (1974)
American International Pictures
Any movie that opens with the song “Supernatural Voodoo Woman” needs to be great. These are classic zombies in the lethargy, blank-eyed horror department but the cause of their reanimation and zombification stems from a voodoo ritual and a woman’s quest to use them with them for revenge. Shiny silver orbs are a unique feature for the eyes.
The Plague of Zombies (1966)
The plague of Zombies. © Starz / Anchor Bay
This is an entry from England’s famous horror studio, Hammer Films. There is a voodoo element here as an aristocrat who spends time in Haiti bringing several local corpses back from the grave to enslave them to his mines.
Let the Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)
Star Films SA
I admit that the main reason for joining this movie was for Arthur Kennedy’s line as the failed inspector: “I want the dead to come back to life, you bastard, so I can kill you again.” It’s also fun to see zombies roaming the British countryside all day.
Night of the Creeps (1986)
Night of the Creeps. © TriStar Pictures
It has a rather original reason for zombies: alien parasites enter the human body and turn their human hosts into zombie killing machines. The film pays homage to horror favorites by giving characters such names as Chris ROMERO, Sgt. RAIMI, and Detective LANDIS, and calling the CORMAN University campus.
I Walked A Zombie (1943)
Photos of RKO Radio
I also wanted to include early, eerie, and atmospheric voodoo entries from Jacques Tourneur and Val Lewton. Classic voodoo films of the ’30s and’ 40s such as I Walk with a Zombie , The Walking Dead , and White Zombie have left an indelible mark on the zombie genre, laying a dismal foundation for on what was to come to Romero in the ’60s. This one was gloriously shot in black and white, and had one of the most striking zombies ever with high black actor Darby Jones.