Jamie’s Top 5 Zombie Movies

I remember the first zombie flick I ever saw. I was 9 years old and I had stayed up way past my bedtime to watch a Channel 4 showing of Night Of The Living Dead. I had seen horror movies before; down at my buddy’s house, we would raid his dad’s extensive Video Nasties collection and spend hours watching fluids fly and people getting hacked up. All was well and I’d never ever got scared.

The thing that really scared me about Romero’s classic was the ending, sure I’d seen the hero make it through only to have one final scare and then a tacked on does-he-or-doesn’t-he-die ending. This had something different, something really special, and something which has stayed with me all this time. Night Of The Living Dead may not even make it into this list, but it spawned something in me. From that moment on I was hooked and I am pretty sure I will never stop digging those shuffling nasties.

I’ve thought long and hard about this list, and while it might not include anything surprising, it is mine.

So here are my Top 5 Zombie Flicks in no real order:

The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue

The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue

There is nothing like seeing a little bit of home in your Italian zombie gore flicks. Seeing a few choice locations from around Manchester in this interesting little flick really tips it over the top of the bulk of the other Italian offerings of Fulci and his ilk.
The plot centres around a young man being pursued for a slew of cultist murders actually being committed by re-animated corpses after an agricultural mishap. Check out some of the best zombie swarming scenes ever put on film, and how about that climax? Awesome!

Return Of The Living Dead

Return of the Living Dead

After The Night Of The Living Dead events it transpired that George Romero and producer, John Russo would go their separate ways. While George continued making socio-econo-political statements caked in gore, Russo took the walking dead to another level with this movie.
Throwing out the zombie rule book while the ink was still wet, Return included talking, running, sentient zombies with enough nous to radio the headquarters of some still-digesting paramedics for back up. Return makes this list because of its spectacular gore, a gripping story and an extended nude scene starring Linnea Quigley that just about got me through adolescence. Woah mama!

Day Of The Dead

Day of the Dead 1985

Obviously this list wouldn’t be admissible without at least one Romero flick amongst its number. I chose Day because it has almost everything you could possibly want from a zombie romp. It is chock full of that social commentary I mentioned back up there; this one seems to be about social control and the concept of majority rule. It’s also full to bursting with some of the greatest deaths in any movie, some of the best direction in the genre, and OTT characters galore. What more could you want? How about that freaky ass dream sequence? Oh, and “choke on ‘em!”

Dellamorte Dellamore

Dellamorte Dellamore aka Cemetary Man

I’m hardly Rupert Everett’s biggest fan, his involvement in Dunston Checks In makes him of increasingly dubious stock, but this is clearly his finest work. Michele Soavi has crafted a beautiful, haunting film about death and love (just like the title suggests) with a little existentialism thrown in for good measure. In the Buffalora cemetery, after three days of being buried the dead are returning. They don’t get too far though as Francesco Dellamorte, his faithful sidekick/gravedigger Gnaghi and a box full of hollow points stand in their way. While all this is going on, Dellamorte falls in love with a beautiful widow, Gnaghi falls in love with a disembodied head, and it doesn’t end well for either of them.

Re-Animator

Re-Animator Jeffrey Combs

If you like your zombies mindless and shuffling, and your disembodied heads performing cunnilingus, then Re-Animator is the movie for you. It is funny as hell, with some serious scenes of some of the scariest shit this side of Iraq. Herbert West is a medical student who has perfected a formula that brings the dead back to life. After killing a teacher who attempts to steal his credit, West and his buddy Dan Cain have to fight waves of zombies, save the girl and kill the baddie. Its a whole tonne of fun, and sometimes that dead cat wail just goes round and round my head. Haunting!

The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue, Return Of The Living Dead, Day Of The Dead, Dellamorte Dellamore and Re-Animator are all available from Amazon.

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