18 Zombie Movies That Are Always Worth Revisiting
As is undoubtedly proven year after year by the continual success of zombie shows like The Walking Dead , we all seem to have a genuine love and appreciation for stories about the undead. And it's pretty easy to understand why. In zombies, we're all given the ultimate opportunity to face a literal representation of our own mortality, and, sometimes, zombie films can even provide sharp commentaries on the horrors of humanity. Some of the best zombie films of all time have been so scary because they provide political or social commentaries that eerily reflect conflicts that remain with humanity over time. But, crucially, there are also some classic zombie films worth revisiting just because they're so damn fun.
The zombie genre of horror film might be one of the few that can so easily combine completely ridiculous humor with the sort of squirming, toe-curling scenes of gore and violence that are also totally horrific. They're films that can sometimes be hilarious, often ridiculous, occasionally emotional, and, every now and then, completely poignant, which makes zombie movies some of the most versatile grounds for horror ever.
Whether you're discovering some of these movies for the first time, or have seen some far too many times, all of them are worth revisiting now, forever and always — just like a zombie returning to the Earth.
1. Dead-Alive (1992)
Before Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson became a critically acclaimed Oscar winner, he was making very silly (and outrageously fun) films like Dead-Alive. This Australian comedy-horror is an absolute riot from start to finish and features the best use of a lawnmower in cinematic history.
2. The Return Of The Living Dead (1985)
Fantastically ludicrous, The Return Of The Living Dead features one of the most iconic cinematic zombies of all time in the shape of brain-guzzling Tarman. The film is full of endlessly quotable lines and lashings of supremely silly death scenes, making it perfect for a zombie movie party.
3. Zombieland (2009)
Seven years later and Zombieland is definitely a zombie movie more than worthy of praise. In fact, it's a film that actually seems to get better with time. It's probably one of the least gruesome zombie films on the list, which makes it ideal viewing for those of you who might not be into the blood and brains of most zombie movies.
4. Evil Dead 2 (1987)
What is essentially a more comedic retelling of Sam Raimi's genuinely chilling first film, Evil Dead 2 makes great use of its low budget and is stupendously funny. As the film series' long suffering hero, Bruce Campbell is absolutely perfect and hams it up in every single, blood splattered scene that he's in.
5. REC (2007)
This Spanish found footage zombie film is the stuff of nightmares. Set in a quarantined apartment block which appears to be containing a rapid outbreak of zombies, REC is claustrophobic, creepy, and completely haunting.
6. Pontypool (2008)
A unique re-imagining of zombies as we know them, Pontypool is a post-modern approach to the zombie film. Set in a radio station, the "virus" of the undead is transmitted not through the flesh but via words and ideas. However, that doesn't make the zombies any less violent for it.
7. Dawn Of The Dead (1978)
George A. Romero's anti-consumerist masterpiece remains perhaps one of the (if not the absolute) greatest zombie films of all time. Combining sharp satire with gleeful and adventurous gory sequences of horror, it's a masterpiece that set the bar for every zombie film that was to follow.
8. Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
Zack Snyder's remake may not have hit the same great markers as the original, but it's still definitely worth a watch. Energetic and uncompromising, the movie also happens to have one of the greatest intro scenes of any zombie movie ever.
9. Re-Animator (1985)
Based on a story by H. P. Lovecraft, Re-Animator has something of a reputation for being a cult-classic which is both terrible and terrific. Full of great, morbid humor, Re-Animator is campy yet utterly gross and horrifying, too. If you like your humor dark, then this is the zombie movie for you.
10. Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Full of zombie-movie references and so smartly clever that you can notice something new to laugh at with every viewing, Edgar Wright's zom-rom-com is deservedly renowned for being a modern day classic. Be sure to enjoy it with your best friend while eating an ice-cream, before popping to The Winchester for a swift pint.
11. Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
Undoubtedly the most crucial zombie movie ever made, Night Of The Living Dead still manages to pack a mighty punch. This is the original and the best, with heavy political undertones that are still worthy of celebration to this day.
12. Planet Terror (2007)
Completely tasteless and stupid, Robert Rodriguez's contribution to his and Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse double bill is an anarchic parody of cheap, exploitative zombie films. It's also so ridiculous and comical that it just so happens to be great fun, too.
13. Night Of The Comet (1984)
Probably the quirkiest zombie film on the list, Night Of The Comet kind of feels like what might have happened if John Hughes had made a zombie film. Character driven, gloriously listless, and featuring an actual scene where two teenage girls go on a shopping spree in the midst of all the misery, it's an undead dream.
14. Zombi 2 (1979)
You might be thinking, "Yeah, but what the heck happened to Zombi 1?" Honestly, that's not something you need to be concerned about with this film. All that you really need to know is that it features a banging soundtrack and a scene in a which a zombie fights an actual shark.
15. Flight Of The Living Dead (2007)
Wonderfully low-budget and gleefully bad, Flight Of The Living Dead isn't just a great play on words, but is actually great fun as a concept, too. If you love the unbridled stupidity of the Sharknado movies, then this is the zombie film for you.
16. Cooties (2014)
Starring Rainn Wilson and Elijah Wood, Cooties is a supreme zombie-comedy in which some tainted chicken leads to a zombie outbreak in an elementary school. It's wonderfully dark and features tone-perfect riffs on zombie movie tropes, which are played out perfectly by some comically scary fourth graders.
17. The Horde (2009)
This French horror starts out as something of a standard gangster movie before trailing off very suddenly into the realm of zombies. It's also a set-up that works out perfectly, with the enemy groups established at the start of the film being forced to work together for survival.
18. 28 Days Later (2002)
Danny Boyle's U.K. set zombie film feels just as pertinent, beautiful, and haunting as it did back in 2002. Full of genuine heartbreak and high-intensity scenes of horror in which humans are posited as the true monster, 28 Days Later was a game-changer and is so worth revisiting today.
Oh zombies — they can make you laugh, cry, and squirm in grotesque horror at the sight of a reanimated corpse snacking on a fresh brain. Whatever effect zombies have on you, all of these films are always worth a rewatch and make for the perfect addition to any horror movie party.
Images: Universal Pictures