Zombie movies are so old news, right? I mean, with so many popular movies and shows, the concept is just old. Wrong and wronger! Yes it’s true that most zombie movies follow the same formula and that CAN get really stale, but shutting out the zombie genre altogether is a bad idea.
There are so many good zombie movies out there with fresh ideas, great camera work and hilarious dialogue but it all just shambles by us if it isn’t pushed out with heavy advertisements or flashy trailers. Well, I’m here to change your mind when it comes to the zombie genre.
Here’s a list of some of the best hidden zombie gems that you may (or may not) have heard of.
ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction (2009)
This movie came out eight years after 9/11 but it was made as a representative of the social issues that were present afterward. Oddly enough and unfortunately, this movie is just as relevant today as it was then. Whether it’s the fear of the gay couple next door or the redneck neighbor that thinks Iranian girl that he can’t stop calling Iraqi is the one to blame for all of the zombies, this movie covers a lot of bases.
The standard zombie outbreak occurs but the social commentary is heavy. This movie shows the danger of fear mongering and xenophobia and how it can make a dangerous situation even worse. On the bright side, it stars a younger Russell Hodgkinson who plays Doc on Z Nation and he’s just fantastic.
This movie made my kid friendly Netflix list, but don’t let its rating fool you. This movie is very funny and it’s sometimes nice to watch a lighthearted zombie movie, no heavy story line (I’m looking at you Walking Dead) no overuse of gore, just good ole undead fun.
Scout’s Guide to the Apocolypse (2015)
This is one of those early 2000’s raunchy teenage boy style movies that were a dime a dozen, but this one has zombies. That description doesn’t give this movie much credit but it’s actually very enjoyable. Plus, any movie that has a scene where when the only thing keeping the character falling out of a window is undead zombie dick, well that’s a win in my book.
Best line: “So, are we just gonna stand here with our thumbs up our asses? Or are we gonna go out there and save the world?”
The Battery (2012)
This movie is pretty focused on the character development which is unusual for a zombie flick. So named for the catcher/pitcher duo in baseball, the movie follows two retired ball players which opposing personalities.
As they try to navigate the new world with zombies, they evolve into very different people. Not the common zombie movie, this takes a break from the gore to focus on the characters themselves.
I cannot say this enough: GO WATCH THIS MOVIE. In the vein of the Fallout franchise, Fido combines high technology with 1950’s nostalgia. In a world where zombies are commonplace due to Earth being surrounded by a cloud of radiation but they are still dangerous, ZomCom comes to the rescue.
They created a device that makes zombies docile and that makes them great house servants. Little Timmy discovers a wild zombie that he takes home and names Fido, but when Fido eats the neighbor lady, Timmy has to do what he can to protect Fido.
Best line: “In the brain and not the chest. Head shots are the very best.”
Something that made The Walking Dead so real and intense was the beginning of the show. Rick is walking around a gas station and sees a little girl. He goes to help her and discovers she is a zombie and has to kill her. It was one of the first instances of child zombie killing I’ve ever seen.
I don’t know if you know this, but movies and shows tend to stay away for the most part from the visuals of child murder. People just don’t like it. Cooties, however, has zombie child murder galore. It follows Clint, a sub and aspiring horror writer at the elementary school in his home town.
His first day on the job: a zombie virus outbreak that only affects people before they’ve hit puberty. Must be a Monday.
Best line: It’s hard to pick my favorites but the tie for first is “I’m gonna squeeze in there and slap your dick off” and “Naptime, motherfuckers!”
Aaah! Zombies!! (2007)
This remains one of my favorite zombies movies of all time and it’s a breath of fresh air. Forget Warm Bodies, this was the first movie to tell the story from the zombies’ point of view and the way they did it was genius.
The story is silly, like really silly but the way it’s filmed is just so damn smart. When the movie is in color after the people start turning, it’s from the zombies’ perspective. When it’s in black and white, it’s in the perspective of those who haven’t turned.
We get to see the lead zombies how they see themselves and each other vs. how everyone else sees them. It’s pretty fantastic.
The Walking Deceased (2015)
Scary Movie really started a trend when it came to horror movie spoofs. The first two movies were the perfect spoof formula. Then Shaun of the Dead came along and blew them all away in the horror-comedy genre and zombie movies in general. Unfortunately, others tried to cash in on the trend and not very successfully. Needless to say, I had very low expectations for this movie when I started watching it.
While some of the slapstick comedy and obvious jokes miss the mark, I was actually surprised at how funny this movie was. The first of its kind to spoof just zombie movies, I think they did as well as can be done for this particular sub-genre.
Dead Set (2008)
Not quite a movie and not quite a show, Dead Set falls in the purgatory-like space of the two. This mini-series follows the cast of a fictional season of Big Brother. While the show is going on inside, the apocalypse has started outside.
While the Big Brother house is safe, the contestants need supplies and to stay alive while stuck in a home where everyone hates each other. While low budget, the quality works and fits the theme. Reality trash TV and horror work well together and it’s surprising that more hasn’t been done like this.
I hope that this list breathes new life and resurrects (see what I did there?) your love for zombie movies. Don’t give up on it because even though it seems like the trend has run its course, if 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that ANYTHING can come back into style.