The zombie movie genre has seen many changes over the past 80 years. The original zombie is something most moviegoers today would never recognize, based in the realm of voodoo rather than the walking dead again. However, after filmmakers like Val Lewton mastered the original zombie horror, George Romero created a new type of zombie and changed everything.
About a decade after Romero introduced the idea of the dead coming back to life with a thirst for brains, other filmmakers acted quickly. They added comedy and satire to the mix, and today there are so many different offshoots of zombie horror cinema that it remains one of the most successful horror brands. With so many movies, some may end up being overlooked, and here are 10 of the most underrated zombie movies of all time.
Released in 2006, Fido is a Canadian-made zombie movie that had a familiar cast and a brilliant premise. The zombie apocalypse has already happened and humans have won. A device was made that zombies could wear that turned them into servants of the human population. However, when the devices begin to malfunction, a vast conspiracy is uncovered.
Billy Connolly portrays the zombie named Fido, who is under the control of a young boy named Timmy and his parents, the zombie-phobe Bill (Dylan Baker) and his wife Helen (Carrie-Anne Moss).
9 TRAIN TO BUSAN
Released in 2016, Train to Busan was a great little zombie movie that focused on a father and daughter trying to stay together and survive a zombie apocalypse. Most of the film takes place on a train bound for Busan, which the two boarded when the outbreak began.
The film, outside of the zombie menace, was about a man obsessed with his job and his neglected child, and the two connect during the end of the world.
8 THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS
Released in 2016 and based on Mike Carey’s brilliant novel, The girl with all the presents came and went without fanfare but deserved a much better fate. The film is set after the zombie apocalypse and is about a military camp where children attend classes while soldiers keep on going to take down zombies.
The twist is that the children are second generation zombies. They are kept under control and can react and learn, but can still burst into rage at the scent of humans. The catch is that the hero of the story is one of the zombie children, Melanie, and her ignorance at first that she is a zombie.
7 WARM BODIES
Warm bodies hit theaters in 2013 but was passed on by most people because it was a zom-com, a kind of zombie romantic comedy. It stars Nicholas Hoult (Beast of the Last x-men movies) as a zombie named R. He can think but can’t really talk and just hangs around, not really wanting to eat anyone.
Then, one day, he sees and meets a living girl named Julie (Teresa Palmer) and falls in love with her. While she first sees him as a zombie, she realizes he’s trying to connect, and it changes everything she knows about zombies in her world. John Malkovich also appears as Julie’s father.
6 DEAD SNOW
Released in 2009, dead snow might be the quirkiest, most deranged zombie movie ever made. Directed by Tommy Wirkola, dead snow is a film for zombie fans who want a little Evil Dead-style humor in their horror movies.
The Norwegian film centers on seven college students vacationing in the mountains of Øksfjord being chased by Nazi zombies. The film goes on to feature some of the most ridiculous zombie kills in all of horror cinema. These scenes include one where a child hangs on a mountain for his life, clinging only to the innards of a zombie.
5 CEMETERY MAN
In 1994, Michele Soavi directed a cult zombie comedy with Rupert Everett named Dellamorte Dellamore. The title in the United States was changed to Cemetery Man and was about Francesco Dellamorte (Everett), a caretaker at an Italian cemetery. However, his main job was to kill the zombies that came back from the dead before they escaped the walls.
However, when he meets a woman, who eventually dies, then kills her when he returns, things get worse. See, Dellamorte isn’t sure she was really dead when she came back and he killed her again, and he’s slowly starting to go insane.
4 THE SNAKE AND THE RAINBOW
As mentioned, the original horror movie zombie wasn’t the walking dead at all. It was based on voodoo rituals where a priest would bury a person and leave them underground until their spirit was almost gone. The priest would then dig them up and have complete control over their minds.
These were the type of zombies involved in the 1988 Wes Craven film The Serpent and the Rainbow. While everyone is talking about her Nightmare on Elm Street movies, this zombie flick starring Bill Pullman and deserves a reassessment over 30 years later.
Released in 2018, Suzerain was an interesting film that subverted all expectations when it hit theaters. That’s not always a good thing, because it can be beaten by people who were surprised that this military movie about American soldiers turned into a zombie monster movie at the end.
JJ Abrams helped produce Suzerain, a film that saw American soldiers try to prevent secret Nazi experiments from taking place in an old church. Although they were never told that it created zombie soldiers, when they made this discovery, it was even more important to stop it.
2 LIFE AFTER BETH
Life after Beth was a 2014 independent zombie comedy film. Unfortunately, the film only received a limited theatrical release after its appearance at Sundance, and many people probably missed it entirely. The film stars Aubrey Plaza (Legion) as Beth, a girl who dies and then returns as a zombie.
It’s a huge surprise for her boyfriend Zach (amazing spider man 2 Dane DeHaan) when he learns that her parents (John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon) are keeping her locked up at home as her brain slowly erodes. Once Zach breaks it out, he realizes that having a zombie girlfriend isn’t all it’s meant to be.
1 TO GLIDE
Before joining Marvel and doing guardians of the galaxyJames Gunn made a great little horror movie in 2006 titled To glide. The movie is more of an alien invasion movie similar to Invasion of the Body Thieves than a zombie movie, but the possessed humans clearly turned into zombie-like creatures by the end.
The film has a fantastic cast, as well as Nathan Fillion (Fireflylisten)) as the local sheriff, Elizabeth Banks (hunger games) as another lead, and Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead) as one of the possessed. This movie was a box office flop, but it’s a movie that every horror movie fan needs to see.
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