Zombie movies are a staple of cinema, as beloved and reviled as any recurring trope, and it would be a fallacy to say they haven’t had a chance to shine in countless movies, comics, TV shows. , novels and even IRL through getaways. like local zombie marches. Yet there are still plenty of hidden gems lurking in the archives, many dating back to years or even decades before the film that is credited with starting the phenomenon, Night of the living dead.
There are lots of zombie movies that deserve more credit beyond this list, and many that unfortunately cannot be found on streaming (e.g. 1994 Graveyard man is a must-have watch that is not currently available online). However, if you have seen all by George Romero greatest hits, and you’ve watched every season of The Walking Deadwe bring you other offbeat picks that helped make the zombie subgenre the monolith it is today.
“The Beyond” (1981)
The middle (and some would say the largest) entry to the “Gates of Hell Trilogy”, the afterlife opens with a brutal scene of a wizard and an artist being attacked and killed by a mob after painting the 7 Gates of Hell. Fast forward to modern 1981 and a woman has inherited a hotel in New Orleans and is plagued by constant misfortune as she attempts to renovate it. Misfortune and… the living dead!
Those who know the works of Lucio Fulci will expect a fair amount of goo, gore and grime from any of his films, but one of his underrated talents is the ability to bring characters tropey while infusing them with a certain degree of life. Although the filmmaker is often criticized for his loose narratives, in the afterlifethe inability to say for sure what is “real” is a huge plus to the film’s haunting quality. the afterlife is available to watch on Peacock and Tubi.
‘Carnival of Souls’ (1962)
Mary is in a car with two friends as it flies off a bridge into a river on a fun run. Although she survives, she is deeply shaken and moves to Salt Lake City to become a church organist.
Look a bit like a long and particularly haunting episode of The twilight zone, carnival of souls is one of those movies you only need to see once because the scary visuals and settings will stick with you for years to come. Although notorious for its conclusion in an abandoned amusement park, the feeling that something is seriously wrong kicks in in the film’s opening moments, and it’s a feeling that’s hard to shake. carnival of souls is available to watch on Peacock and Tubi.
“Dead and Buried” (1981)
After an extremely brutal opening sequence in which a photographer is attacked and killed by an entire town, Sheriff Dan is sent to investigate a series of seemingly inexplicable murders. It’s a film with a lot of twists and turns, so it’s best not to spoil anything, but let’s just say that at some point it also has a literal horde of zombies to deal with.
While none of these movies are for the faint of heart, dead and buried is particularly brutal and graphic, and it’s unlikely to leave you with anything resembling a warm fuzzy feeling at the end. Generally overlooked despite its top-notch twists and doomed protagonist, this one’s for anyone looking to watch a sincerely hidden gem who doesn’t mind getting really dark for a few hours. dead and buried is available to watch on Peacock and Tubi.
A mysterious escaped convict is forced to ally with a gang of Yakuza in order to survive an attack by a horde of zombies. That should already be enough of a selling point, but the movie takes it a step further by telling us that 666 portals that connect us to “the other side” exist on Earth, and the prisoner is right at the otherwise known 44th. as the Resurrection Forest.
Sometimes you just want to focus on a violent action-horror scene, and among that subgenre, you can’t do much better than Versus. Filled with incredible action sequences and genuine gruesome horror, this is a unique entry that never got its due despite its cult status. Versus is available for rental via YouTube.
“I accuse” (1919)
The pro-war fanatic François is sent to the front alongside the poet Jean, who had an affair with François’ wife, Edith. Jean eventually returns home to find that Edith has been brutally attacked by German soldiers and now has a German child as a result. Beginning on a note of joy as the village reacts favorably to news of the war, the film shows the true cost to the townspeople and ultimately presents the fallen dead as, you guessed it, a group of zombies.
I accuse almost never comes up in conversations about silent films, but that’s a real shame, because it remains one of the most haunting anti-war films ever made. That’s no small feat as it was partly filmed on real battlefields during World War I, putting it somewhere between a romantic epic, a horror movie, and an important historical document. That said, this movie doesn’t shy away from the atrocity of war, and all possible caveats are in place here. I accuse is not available on most streaming sites, but can be viewed on YouTube.
“Graves of the Blind Dead” (1972)
A woman named Virginia gets upset when her ex Betty and her friend Roger hit it off. She abandons them and wanders off to camp overnight in an abandoned town. The next morning, Virginia is dead, and it’s up to Betty and Roger to figure out why (spoiler alert: it was zombies).
It’s one of those films that doesn’t completely hold up if you pay attention to the plot and the production, but if you’re in the mood to live it to the fullest, it’s a good choice. Perhaps best known for the incredible scene in which a female zombie rides a zombie horse with a horde of zombies behind her, the premise of this is enough to drive through some flimsy production values, ultimately giving it a lot of B-movie charm. Tomb of the Blind Dead can be watched for free on Vudu.
“Horror Express” (1972)
A group of passengers are stuck on a train with a humanoid monster brought on board by an anthropologist, Professor Saxton. After a few people end up murdered, it’s deduced that the creature is able to absorb the memories and skills of its victims, making it a surprisingly unsettling movie monster. If this summary seems a little light on zombies, all we can say is don’t worry, they’re in there.
taking all the Agatha Christie rocks any moody train movie alongside the campy B-Movie fun of a low-budget 70s horror film, Horror Express remains a cult favorite among horror fans. Indeed, the film was widely honored in Shudder’s horror show Season 2 episode, “Night of the Living Late Show”. Horror Express is available to stream on Shudder.
“Prince of Darkness” (1987)
When a priest invites a quantum physics professor and his students to investigate an ancient monastery called the Brotherhood of Sleep, they discover a cylinder filled with a mysterious liquid. Well, it turns out he’s the embodiment of Satan, and as the group tries to figure out what exactly is going on with this weird jar, they’re put in the place of possibly needing some more. prevent an impending apocalypse.
The second director John Carpenter “Apocalyptic Trilogy” Prince of Darkness is one of the filmmaker’s most underrated releases. There’s some crazy stuff thrown in here, for example, the claim that Jesus was a space traveler, which is a big part of why the movie is as fun as it is. Fans of Carpenter’s work will be doing them a favor by seeking this one out. Prince of Darkness is available to watch on Shudder.
“Let the Corpses Sleep” (1974)
After a surprise collision with a vehicle makes Edna and George unlikely allies, they find themselves traveling together to the house of Edna’s sister, Katie. Katie is a drug addict stuck in a rocky marriage, and Edna is surprised to find her on the run and her husband dead when they arrive at her home. They’re suspected by the police, but none of that really matters because it turns out the countryside is absolutely lousy with zombies.
This movie is non-stop intrigue and features a number of surprising deaths, making it an interesting and unsettling entry on this list. Although noted for its similarities to night of the living dead, Let the sleeping corpses rest very much remains its own thing. Let the sleeping corpses rest is available to watch for free on Vudu.
Rose survives a motorcycle accident but is in a coma and undergoes an experimental procedure that ultimately leaves her starving for human blood. She attacks and kills a number of innocents who all resurrect, apparently suffering from “a new strain of rage” (it’s zombies).
There was a time before Fly in which director by David Cronenberg the works were generally reviled by critics despite their appeal to the public. It’s easy to understand when you watch a movie like Enraged, which is full of relentless and often genuinely revolting body horror. That said, it has that classic Cronenberg appeal and features intriguing commentary about how human bodies are used and discarded IRL, as well as the feeling of suffering from a debilitating infection in which your body seems to turn against you. Enraged is available to watch on Pluto and Tubi.
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