Zombie movies were rampant in the Horror genre in the 2000s and early 2010s. The “fashion for the living dead” took hold of theaters and it seemed like a terrifying new zombie movie was popping up almost all of them. the months. Some would argue that the genre has become completely oversaturated and while it is true that an abundance of B-movies and questionable films have been produced, there were still some absolute gems.
Even today, the zombie trope is strong, although the hype has eased considerably from what it was a decade ago. Fortunately, those looking to satisfy their undead cravings have a wide variety of movies to choose from. Here’s a look at some of the best, but possibly forgotten, zombie movies that never hit theaters and streaming services.
Before director James Gunn and actor Michael Rooker teamed up for Guardians of the Galaxy, they were busy making horror movies together. Rooker was featured in one of Gunn’s most visually alarming films, Slither. This parasite-based sci-fi horror is a part of The Thing and a part of zombie infestation.
Rooker plays an unfortunate ordinary man possessed by a space organism who travels to Earth via a meteor. Once infected, the parasite begins its sinister plan to reproduce itself and infect the whole city. It’s body horror to the next level, with some truly overwhelming special effects and makeup work.
Maniac Cop (and its sequels) have gained cult status since its original release in 1988. In what looks like an episode of Cops Meets Friday the 13th, the story follows a recently revived policeman who begins to roam the streets at the search for those who wronged him during his lifetime. The zombie officer launches into a killing spree, causing the general public to descend into utter chaos.
Bruce Campbell makes an appearance as a central character, helping to cement his status as an icon in the Horror genre.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
This 2016 film attempted to capitalize on the zombie-fueled craze in one of the strangest ways possible. It’s hard to think of Pride and Prejudice as a horror flick (unless you consider marriage proposals and potential suitors to be an absolute nightmare), but that’s exactly what director Burr Steers set out to bring. to the public.
The end result is a surprisingly tense, action-packed zombie riot that features solid effects and sometimes tense scenes. The 19th century setting is a unique backdrop for a zombie uprising and the witty, comedic dialogue feels perfectly at home in the genre.
28 days later
There have been a lot of “typical zombie movies” created over the years. Zombies are associated with particular tropes, and many films present the undead as heavy, savage, and clumsy. These types of zombies don’t seem to pose much of a threat to survivors unless they sneak up on them or overwhelm them with numbers.
This concept was completely overturned in 28 Days Later, which features zombies created from a “strain of rage”. These modified human beings are much faster and much more lethal than their slow counterparts. They are fast and really help increase terror levels with their speed.
Train to Busan
Most would find it hard to forget Train to Busan, as it was released recently, but many American and European viewers missed this zombie festival because it was from Korea. Those who found the film online were faced with a gloriously tense story centered around a man’s journey to save his daughter from ravenous ghouls.
It’s a “classic trope,” centered around a chemical leak that leads to hordes of undead roaming the streets, but it’s definitely not a re-hatched zombie flick or b-movie. Train to Busan can be really scary at times and has enough high octane action to keep any zombie lover entertained.
Fans of the video game series will surely experience this release but the general public may have slept a bit on the game-based feature film. While it was a farcry of what devoted Resident Evil enthusiasts wanted, it still offered enough action and referrals to keep most observers on the edge of their seats.
Set in Umbrella’s NEST, Resident Evil follows Alice as she runs to escape the research lab and learn more about her hazy past. It’s not all zombies in this action-packed version.
George A. Romero fans know they can expect stomach-turning zombies and gruesome scenes strewn across his most iconic films. One director who isn’t so “firsthand” when it comes to zombies is Peter Jackson, but that hasn’t stopped the legendary director from making his own horror films.
Dead Alive is perhaps the most impressive of them, featuring incredible practical effects and a healthy dose of comedy to counter the absolutely smelly scenes sprinkled throughout its execution. Those who love the Evil Dead series should have fun with Dead Alive.
A lot of zombie movies are pretty tense as they feature massive waves of undead swarming over the survivors like a sea of vengeance. But ghouls can be just as annoying, if not more, in fewer numbers and in much more claustrophobic places.
This idea is amplified to eleven in Quarantine, which focuses its “zombie apocalypse” in a single apartment building. A press team is dispatched to investigate a strange event in a residential building and soon finds itself in quarantine. Everything seems to be routine until the undead begin to prowl the area.
I’m a legend
Will Smith is a great actor but he really went above and beyond for his role in I Am Legend. While it hasn’t received the global attention it rightly deserves, it has done very well at the box office and feels like a truly unique premise thanks to its “seemingly empty world.”
As perhaps the last man left on Earth, Will Smith plays a regrettable scientist haunted by his inability to stop a virus from consuming the world and turning humans into hungry monsters. I Am Legend feels extremely lonely with its huge empty streets, enticing viewers with the idea that Smith is truly the last man alive, creating a palpable tension that steadily builds throughout the film.
Return of the Living Dead
Night of the Living Dead is a classic, helping usher in the “zombie genre” with its terrifying black and white horror on a graveyard that comes to life with reanimated corpses crawling from their eternal resting places. This film helped shape the genre as a whole and was a terrifying concept for viewers at the time.
Return of the Living Dead shares a similar name to the iconic classic, but is a very different film in both presentation and advancements. Smack dab in the midst of the ’80s horror boom, this campy flick features solid practical effects and truly gruesome zombies.
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