Zombie movies have been made and enjoyed for decades, in one form or another. In pre-Romero times, they were generally depicted as some sort of voodoo monster. After Romero, they were often portrayed as they are today – senseless, tottering corpses bent on eating flesh.
There have been many fantastical and massively influential zombie movies over the years. And as is often the case, there have also been numerous scams. Some scams are actually quite good. Others are cheap, quickly put together films that were forgotten as quickly as they were made. These are just a few.
ten Revolutionized: White Zombie (1936)
white zombie is often considered the very first mainstream zombie film. Directed by Victor Halperin and based on a 1929 novel titled The magic island, white zombie is about a woman turned into a zombie by voodoo. The film is notable not only for introducing voodoo zombies to the mainstream, but also for starring Bela Lugosi as voodoo master “Murder” Legendre. While the acting certainly leaves a lot to be desired, white zombie looms large in the zombie genre and its influence is simply undeniable.
9 Snatched: Countless
In fact, its influence is so extraordinary and massive that countless scams have stemmed from its success. He served as an archetype for many subsequent films, most of which “borrowed” heavily from white zombieThe style and elements of , which included elements of voodoo, brain-dead zombies, zombies performing manual labor, and the eerie clanking of voodoo drums. Some of his biggest scams include the 1940s The Ghost Busters1941 zombie king1943 I walked with a zombieand 1966 The plague of zombies. white zombie triggered a phenomenon.
8 Revolutionized: Night of the Living Dead (1968)
night of the living dead could very well be the most influential zombie movie ever made. Made by George A. Romero for only $114,000 (about $850,000 today), Night was another kind of zombie movie. Gone are the corny voodoo zombie movies of the 40s, 50s and 60s, make way for bloodthirsty walking corpses. While it’s insinuated that the zombie plague is the result of some type of space radiation, it doesn’t really matter. night of the living dead was a truly terrifying movie that not only changed how zombies were portrayed, but how the whole genre was created.
7 Snatched: Tombs of the Blind Dead (1972)
Romero didn’t just change the way zombies were portrayed or the way the whole genre was created – he changed the way zombie movies were. title! Tombs of the Blind Dead was an obvious Spanish-Portuguese scam of night of the living deadpublished under its original Spanish name The night of terror ciego.
It proved an incredible hit in his native Spain, even sparking a popular boom in horror films that permeated the early 70s. Director Amando de Ossorio bluntly stated that night of the living dead had a major influence on the creation of his film.
6 Revolutionized: Dawn of the Dead (1978)
As influential as night of the living dead was, Romero no doubt got over himself with dawn of the dead. Arguably the most famous zombie movie ever made, Dawn was made for $1.5 million, about 13 times the budget of Night. The results were obvious – a larger and more ambitious scope (including the terrifying first twenty minutes illustrating the end of the world) and many more blood and gore. Many zombie filmmakers would borrow heavily from Dawn over the years, and it’s rightfully considered the seminal zombie movie.
5 Ripped Off: Hell of the Living Dead (1980)
Tombs of the Blind Dead was probably influenced by night of the living deadcorn Hell of the Living Dead is a complete scam Dawn. Directed by Bruno Mattei, the film was written to capitalize on the new boom in zombie movies. The script was given to Mattei, who conspired to create a stripped-down version of dawn of the dead. The story concerns a French press team who are sent to investigate a zombie outbreak in Papua New Guinea. The film borrows heavily from Dawneven directly stealing the iconic goblin music that permeated the classic.
4 Revolutionized: 28 Days Later (2002)
28 days later did something a little different, and it changed the way zombie movies were made for much of the 2000s. 28 days later depicts fast-moving zombies running towards their victims, beating them hard rather than biting them, and howling with a piercing, animalistic howl.
Gone are the slow dragging corpses, make way for the running, screaming zombies of the new millennium.
3 Snatched: Dawn of the Dead (2004)
This shift in focus for the new millennium is perhaps most prevalent in 2004 dawn of the dead remake. The original Romero consists of the traditional slow zombies that use numbers rather than strength and speed. But slow zombies were old news, and the remake used the fast, howling zombies of 28 days later. That certainly helped with the tone of the film, as the remake is much faster and action-oriented than its slower, more melodic predecessor.
2 Revolutionized: Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Shaun of the Dead is probably the best zombie comedy of all time. Many zombie comedies have preceded (including Peter Jackson’s marvelous Undead/Braindead), but Shaun of the Dead was indeed a game-changer. The film helped popularize Simon Pegg as an actor and Edgar Wright as a director, and many critics loved its unique style of English humor, zombie-based horror, and blending of the story of the Shaun’s coming of age with the zombie apocalypse. Zombie comedies will forever be compared to Shaun of the Dead.
1 Snatched: Zombieland (2009)
zombieland may not have much in common with Shaun of the Dead. His sense of humor is much more “American”, the story had no connection (apart from the zombies) and the pace was much faster. However, it has been universally compared to Shaun of the Dead due to its zombie comedy status. Even to this day, fans can debate the qualities between the two and “argue” over which is better. Of course, “better” depends on your subjective personal preferences. But comparisons between the two will always be made.
NEXT: 10 Zombie Movies With A Better Story Than George A. Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead
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