Zombies have a rich history that dates back hundreds of years.
Stemming from voodoo traditions and their ideas about the living dead, the zombie is a creature that Americans have adopted from West African culture and turned into a star of the silver screen. Nearly 90 years after the first zombie movie White Zombie, the creatures have crossed horror, romance, comedy and sci-fi, proving that audiences not only love them, but that they can adapt to any gender.
These eerily undead demons have taken many forms across cinema: there are the slow, haunting walkers of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, the frenzied monsters of World War Z, the rotting guy… the exploders… hauntings…stalkers and more. We’ve seen zombies learning to love again, zombies fighting sharks, zombie Nazis, zombies acting as a metaphor for society. The list is endless, but if one thing’s for sure, Creatures have made for exciting, important, and interesting cinema over the years.
In the hands of passionate, gore-loving filmmakers, zombies are always a tool for great movies, and here are ten you need to see. They might not necessarily be the ten best of all time, but they’re all landmarks for the genre, great movies, or present major talking points. Have fun digging through this list.
Lucio Fulci is the Italian king of zombies and City of the Living Dead is his masterpiece. An over-the-top gory fest of vomiting and brain tearing, the film took on a life of its own and became a must-watch for its quality and insane sequences. Fulci is a director known for his epic dedication to filming the unfilmable and pushing things further than before (AKA the zombie vs. shark scene in Zombie 2) and City of the Living Dead features pushing boundaries.
Maddening and full of excess, the film centers on a group of mismatched characters battling a zombie outbreak in their town. Like many great zombie films, it was made on a shoestring budget and doesn’t overstay its reception, but it manages to pack in plenty of entertainment and genuine commentary on the despair of humanity.
Fulci treats City of the Living Dead like a nightmare you’ll never be allowed to wake up from, ravishing and terrifying to the same effect. He may have made films like George A. Romero satires, sequels, and zombie homages, but he also created a style of cinema all his own, and it’s horribly brilliant.