Updated: The Best 10 Zombie Films of All Time

Way back in 2009, we offered our list of the top zombie films of all time (the original post appears bellow). After seeing World War Z, we’re back to update the list.

First, a few words about why World War Z makes this coveted list. It earns plenty of merit for, frankly, delivering a better zombie. Gone are the slow, plodding zombies we’re accustomed to in the past. These zombies are so fast that they damn near fly. They’re also quick to turn – less than 10 seconds, as Brad Pitt’s learns as he watches one early in the movie. This is but one of several ways that the film establishes its own convention. In another, Pitt gets some zombie juice in his mouth, and runs to the edge of a building, counting to 10, prepared to jump should he begin to turn. Again, this is only the first act, and we’re quickly learning that infection is spread through biting alone. A little later, we learn that they are attracted to loud sounds.

World War Z Movie Poster

World War Z Movie Poster

By the movie’s second act, we learn two more pieces of critical information that really set the film’s rules apart from the rest. In Israel, we watch in horror as a horde of zombies – thousands strong – suddenly activate in response to some loud singing on the Israeli side of an impossibly high wall. At that point, the creatures pile on top of each other similar to the way ants swarm, stepping over themselves, elevating themselves high enough to spill over the wall. Minutes later, we learn the thing that will be their undoing, as they run straight past a likely victim without seeming to notice him.

Enough spoilers – we’ve got to let you have a few surprises!  Here’s our updated list:

  1. 28 Days Later
  2. World War Z
  3. Shawn of the Dead
  4. Night of the Living Dead
  5. Return of the Living Dead
  6. Zombieland
  7. Army of Darkness
  8. Night of the Living Dead
  9. Omega Man
  10. Dawn of the Dead

 

 

Saw Zombieland this weekend, starring woody Harrelson with a nice cameo by Bill Murray, and am pleased to report that it’s an instant genre classic in the style of Shawn of the Dead. Since it’s nearly Halloween, I’m inspired to create my list of top zombie thrillers. This list is dominated by sequels, and in this case, it’s justified. There are but a few masters in the zombie genre and many, many pretenders.

Zombieland Movie Poster

Zombieland Movie Poster

Note the inclusion of Charlton Heston’s 1970s horror flick Omega Man. This is an often overlooked bright spot in the genre, which is often praised as an artistic condemnation of man’s self-destructive nature. Balderdash! It’s just an old fashioned zombie movie.

  1. 28 Days Later
  2. Omega Man
  3. Shawn of the Dead
  4. Night of the Living Dead
  5. Return of the Living Dead
  6. Zombieland
  7. Army of Darkness
  8. Night of the Living Dead
  9. Shawn of the Dead
  10. Dawn of the Dead

One Response to Updated: The Best 10 Zombie Films of All Time

  1. thomgiroux@gmail.com'
    Thom August 22, 2010 at 8:45 pm #

    This list totally holds up. Very nice.

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