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Top 10 Best Zombie Movies

Top 10 Best Zombie Movies (List) 2012 After being practically dead and buried in the 90s, zombie films have sprung back to life in the last few years.

So let’s stagger moaning through the annals of film history and put together a list of the… Top 10 Best Zombie Movies ever made.

10. Dawn Of The Dead (2004)

best zombie movies list
Gone is the subtext, gone is the joy of living in a mall, gone is the subtle character development, but this remake does do a number of things very well. It’s fast, it’s scary and there’s no denying it brought the genre up to date, turning it into something cool and mainstream – no mean feat. It has perhaps the most terrifying opening 10 minutes of any zombie film.

9. Return Of The Living Dead (1985)

Ever wonder where zombies got their taste for ‘Braaaiinnns?” It was this movie that introduced it –

Written and directed by the screenwriter of Alien and Total Recall, this parody of Night Of The Living Dead is so unique and inventive it feels like it’s own creation. The plot sees the dead of Louisville, Kentucky brought back to life by a toxic gas and going on a rampage, for brains.

8. Day Of The Dead (1985)

George A. Romero’s underrated Day takes a microcosm of society and observes how a lack of human communication leads to breakdown. Soon it’s mad scientist vs insane military captain, with everyone else stuck in the middle. And in Capt. Rhodes it features one of the most magnificent bastards ever to grace the screen –

Day has the most realistic gore effects in any zombie movie to date, thanks to an absence of cgi and to a Tom Savini at the height of his powers – the headless body on the Dr.’s slab is a magician’s magic trick. Romero considers it to be his best zombie film.

7. Dead Alive (aka Braindead) (1992)

new zombie movies list 2010
The cult horror-comedy from Peter Jackson almost implodes under its own manic loonacy but as a screwball take on Night Of The Living Dead it somehow holds itself together with an endless stream of “did they just do that?” moments. Probably the zombie movie most likely to make you vomit, especially if you don’t like what’s in the custard.

6. White Zombie (1932)

The film that created the zombie genre, before Romero re-imagined the rules three decades later. Zombies used to have a master controlling them, and didn’t eat people. Here the great Béla Lugosi plays a voodoo master in Haiti who turns people into zombies with the power of his mind. Now that’s badass. He also has a no-messing first name – ‘Murder’. Rob Zombie’s heavy metal band White Zombie took the movie’s title as a tribute.

5. Zombieland (2009)

Imagine a young neurotic Woody Allen in a zombie crisis. That’s effectively who Jesse Eisenberg is playing in this comedy road trip, staying alive by following his carefully formulated rules. Zombieland doesn’t explore the origins of the zombie outbreak or have a particularly interesting plot (Woody Harrelson is trying to find a twinkie), but wins over through the sheer chemistry of its leads, witty writing and an entertaining mystery cameo.

4. 28 Days Later (2002)

good zombie movies
The debate over whether these are zombies or not can rage on, but it’s worth noting just because you change a couple of rules doesn’t mean you’ve created a new genre, the zombie rules have been changing since White Zombie in the 1930s. They didn’t even used to eat people. What 28 Days Later does show is how much one simple change (they can run) can revitalise everything. Add to that the brilliant drama, atmosphere and the haunting scenes of an empty London and you have a movie that stays in the mind long after it’s over.

3. Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

It’s extremely rare that a movie can successfully bridge horror and comedy but Shaun Of The Dead smacks that challenge round the face with a cricket bat. It’s the hum-drum everyday reality of Shaun and Ed’s lives – playing TimeSplitters 2, popping to the shops for a Cornetto – that makes the introduction of blood-drenched zombies feel all the more real and unsettling.

2. Night Of The Living Dead (1968)

Top 10 Best Zombie Films
Romero’s first outing revolutionised the horror genre and the concept of zombies, in a way that is still being felt today. ‘Zombies’ became an undead horde who feasted on the living, dressed in work clothes or casket attire, sported injuries, and shuffled. Gore was introduced too. With its none too subtle references to the war in Vietnam, graphic violence and stark black and white photography, it caused a humongous stir on its initial release and while the violence may seem watered down by current standards it still remains the movie that created the modern zombie.

And here it is, the number 1 all time top zombie movie –

1. Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

With its sly take on brainless consumerism, unique atmosphere, assured director, and imaginatively gruesome FX from Tom Savini, this isn’t just the best of Romero’s ‘Dead’ series, but the best zombie movie period. At its core it taps into two desires none of us quite realised we had – to live in a mall where everything is free, and to take down a slow moving enemy with creative weapon combinations. Overall, Dawn Of The Dead is proof that a gore-fest can be thought-provoking and work on multiple levels.

Any good zombie movies I missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Also see: New Zombie Movies

Top 10 Vampire Movies

Top 10 Werewolf Movies

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194 Comments »

  • buccbacker said

    wait until you guys see zombieland!

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  • cameron said

    i love george a. romeros diary of the dead. it was brilliant and thought provoking. And the recent release zombieland is really good as well. diary of the dead will always be my fave

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  • Gwiz said

    Is it just me or would “28 days later” be better if they just cut off the first minute, and have him just wake up in a hospital. The monkeys with rage was corny. I would like to hear some conversation about “Invasion of the Body Snatchers(1979 is my fav)”. It’s not a “real” zombie movie, but I like it and it is kind of similar. Maybe it would be appropriate for a top 50 list or something. I did like how the list paid homage to the innovators and original films. I was impressed you had the balls to put “Shaun” so high, I love that movie. And…I will watch Fido, I promise.

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  • FDC 75 said

    I agree fido was good but not one of the best the best 1 lately is flight of the living dead when the old lady zombie tries to bite some guy and he say she tried to gum me a must see for any zombie fan and i have to say return of the living dead 2 is way better than the 1st one.

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  • Ted Harris said

    I have a feeling that anyone who wants a bit of comic relief will add Zombieland to the newest list of Top Ten Zombie movies. Sadly, it doesn’t look as if Shaun will be doing a sequel but Zombieland could do at least two more easily with the same pattern. Get from point A to point B while avoiding deadly flesh-starved zombies,aquiring weapons and vehicles and throwing in a big batch of gruesome gore and pepper the whole thing with plenty of one liners and Rules For Staying alive. There presumably are more than 30 but they just barely touched base. Also, have another hilarious cameo by a celebrity who has avoided death until the group comes along and have them killed by humans who admire and respect them because of some stupid misunderstanding or “knee-jerk reaction” and I can see the formula working at least three times or as long as Jesse and Woody want to continue.

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  • AREVSTA said

    Totaly agree with no.1 but where’s Re-animator?

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  • Gwiz said

    I would like to hear from some people about why they like these movies. What your criteria for judging? I like overall good movies that tell a great story. Do you like these movies for the laughs or the scare? I watched Dawn (1978) today and it just didn’t do anything for me. It was not scary to me. I liked the desperate scenes where they were attacking the guy in the truck and the elevator. To me the character development was haphazard and the script was awful. Worst moment – you want an abortion because I know how to do it. WTF? Where did that come from?

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  • Dan said

    I can’t remember its original title, but Cemetery Man with a then unknown Rupert Everett is a real fun watch, very strange but well worth a viewing

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  • tara said

    Already mentioned by another commenter: Pontypool. Thought-provoking zombie movie with a “role of a lifetime” type performance from Stephen McHattie as a Don Imus-like shock jock. It didn’t have a huge budget and takes place almost exclusively inside the recording studio of a small-town radio station, but it really stayed with me afterward.

    Also really enjoyed The Invasion as something very zombie-like. (Yes, the Daniel Craig/Nicole Kidman version.)

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  • Ritesh said

    Hey Zombieland is also very good. It lives up to the expectation. Not too hi-tech and doesnt loose the element of the zombie movies. Bill Murry is excellent…

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  • Gwiz said

    Has anyone seen “The Plague of the Zombies” from
    1966?

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  • Brainzz said

    I didn’t read all the coments as I am lazy.. But have anyone mentioned the Resident Evil movies?
    Or am I the only one who thinks they were really great?
    There is a good combination of action, mysteries, zombies and horror.. Great movies in my oppinion

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  • Noah from Chicago said

    Nice List. Here’s Mine:

    10. Planet Terror
    9. The Beyond
    8. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
    7. Re-Animator
    6. 28 Days Later
    5. Shaun of the Dead
    4. Dead Snow
    3. Evil Dead
    2. Braindead (aka Dead Alive)
    1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

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  • Natt said

    Im so dissapointed at the omission of the Evil Dead trillogy from this list!

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  • Jonnyboy said

    One movie that never gets any love, but that scared the heck out of me, is Dead and Buried. Spoiler Alert! You don’t know it’s a zombie movie until the end…because the whole town is THE LIVING DEEEEEEAAAD!

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