Sunday, May 22, 2011

Top 10 Zombie Movies of ALL TIME with Dan & Colleen

"The Zombie Marshalls" Inks on Bristol / 2011
My buddy Dan and I have talked and debated movies for a very long time now.  The man loves some gore and all that goes with the horror genre, especially when it comes to zombies.  Several years ago, he met the love of his life, Colleen with an equally insatiable appetite for the living dead.  Two years ago today, they married and even had a zombie wedding cake!  This year for their anniversary gift, I've drawn up a portrait for them as the zombie versions of their selves. 

(Feel free to visit my Portrait Page to see how you can commission a drawing of you or your loved ones as well!)

As part of this very special post on their 2nd Anniversary, I asked the undead couple to give me a list of their Top 10 favorite zombie movies of all time.  Some of the titles were even gorefully fulfilling enough to make BOTH of their lists!  We'll start with Mrs. Marshall's list...

This may be a top ten list, but I am a person who cannot really say what is number 1 , 5 or 10. The positions change with what mood I am in. But these are the most loved.   -Colleen

Both of these guys had a tough time narrowing their favorites down to just 10!  Colleen starts her list off with a few honorable mentions...

(Honorable Mention)  Army of Darkness (directed by Sam Raimi / 1992)

A man is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home. This sequel to The Evil Dead franchise features B movie legend Bruce Campbell.

(Honorable Mention) The Serpent and the Rainbow (directed by Wes Craven / 1988)

An anthropologist goes to Haiti after hearing rumors about a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people in zombies.

(Honorable Mention)  C.H.U.D. (directed by Douglas Creek / 1984)

A rash of bizarre murders in New York City seems to point to a group of grotesquely deformed vagrants living in the sewers. A courageous policeman, a photo journalist and his girlfriend, and a nutty bum, who seems to know a lot about the creatures, band together to try and determine what the creatures are and how to stop them.

10.  Dead Alive aka Braindead (directed by Peter Jackson / 1992)

A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends, and neighbors.

Gore, gore, gore and black ass humor.  -Colleen


9.  Dead Snow (directed by Tommy Wirkola / 2009)

A ski vacation turns horrific for a group of medical students, as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable menace: Nazi zombies.

Nazi Zombies and the most perfect chainsaw kill ever.

8.  Re-Animator (directed by Stuart Gordon / 1985)

A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.

Just total perfect gore and horror.

 7.  Fido (directed by Andrew Curie / 2006)

Timmy Robinson's best friend in the whole wide world is a six-foot tall rotting zombie named Fido. But when FIDO eats the next-door neighbor, Mom and Dad hit the roof, and Timmy has to go to the ends of the earth to keep Fido a part of the family.

Again with the dark humor. But I love the stylized feel of the film and the idea that maybe, we could live in harmony.

6.  28 Days Later (directed by Danny Boyle / 2002)

Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

I drove to Chattanooga to watch a pirated copy of this movie, and it was worth every stinking mile in my shitty car with no air conditioner. The music, setting and emptiness just made you want to cry. And the story of who is better, man or zombie was done so perfectly.

5.  Dawn of the Dead (directed by Zack Snyder / 2004)

A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.
It all started out with some Johnny Cash and went on to total awesomeness.  One of the better new zombie movies. 

4.  Night of the Living Dead (directed by Tom Savini / 1990)

 The unburied dead return to life and seek human victims.

It was my first zombie movie. I watched it upstairs in my room, alone and at night. It started a huge love affair. 

3.  Pontypool (directed by Bruce McDonald / 2008)

A psychological thriller in which a deadly virus infects a small Ontario town.

Another untypical zombie movie. In fact even though it points to a zombie invasion, the movie never really comes out and says it is. I love that it’s set in basically one room with characters trying to figure out what is going on from the people’s calls outside. Fantastic.    

2.  Ed and His Dead Mother (directed by Jonathan Wacks / 1993)

A mourning son makes a deal to reanimate his one year dead mother, however things turn into an unexpected direction.

Fantastic cast and great dark humor. I know not a “typical” zombie movie but I still love it. 

1.  Shaun of the Dead (directed by Edgar Wright / 2004)

A man decides to turn his life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.

Besides my crush on Simon Pegg, I love the witty banter, great zombie and sci-fi references and the fight scene.  Went beyond homage to become one of the greats!

 Here are some shots from Colleen's #1 Pick...

Click HERE for the Top 20 Horror Movies of ALL TIME! 

Now for Mr. Marshall's Top 10 Zombie Flicks...

(Honorable Mention) Flesh Eating Mothers (directed by James Martin / 1988)

A venereal disease turns an entire town of two-timing mothers into cannibals! 

Flesh eating mothers – the title says it all.  -Dan

10.   Pontypool (directed by Bruce McDonald / 2008)

Canadian zombie horror flick done in the only way Canadians know how to – thought provokingly. How is the virus transferred? Why is a movie filmed almost entirely in one room scary? Watch this and find out. Great discussions will follow.

9.   Dead Snow (directed by Tommy Wirkola / 2009)

There is something in the water in Norway. I don’t know what it is, but it makes every movie that comes from there screwed up in ways I can't even begin to explain. Suffice to say Zombie Nazis and ski trips don’t mix. Best kill scene weapon outside of Dead Alive’s lawnmower, and it is used twice.

 8.  Resident Evil (directed by Paul W.S. Anderson / 2002)

Milla Jovovich in a mini skirt battling the undead in a corporate/government research facility with lasers, killer computers and mutation make this another guilty pleasure of a movie. But hey, BILLIONS of dollars in video games and franchise sales, Capcom might just have the money to become Umbrella.

7.   Re-Animator (directed by Stuart Gordon / 1985)

Jeffrey Combs=GOD. There are reasons why some movies are classics, watch this one.

6.   Return of the Living Dead III (directed by Brian Yuzna / 1993)

Sometimes, guilty pleasures trump the quality of acting/script writing and directing when it comes to movies a person can watch time and again. Maybe it is the Romeo and Juliet ending, or how the army turns a homeless guy into an undead robot. Or perhaps it’s the super hot girlfriend who constantly pushes glass, nails and other sharp objects through her skin in an attempt to delay her inevitable transformation into the undead.  I don’t really know why I love this tripe.

5.  The Zombie Diaries (directed by Brian Bartlett and Kevin Gates / 2006)

This is yet another movie using the hand-held camera/self recorded plot device – which I absolutely hate – yet somehow works in this film. Produced by some English kids a year before George Romero’s embarrassing trash “Diary of the Dead” this movie reminds you how we are all only one step out of the primordial ooze.

4.  Return of the Living Dead (directed by Dan O'Bannon / 1985)
When I watched this movie again a couple of minutes ago, I laughed my way through it. The kind of nervous laughter a person has when deep down, something primal is triggered; a flight or fight response. This movie scared the ever-loving shit out of me as a kid, and makes it to the list, because it’s the first time we find out why zombies want to eat our brains – “They ease the pain.” Creepy.

3.   Shaun of the Dead (directed by Edgar Wright / 2004)

Killing zombies in time with the tempo of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” is just one of the scenes that will win ANY moviegoers heart for this zombie comedy. This could easily be one of the best spoofs in history and is in a word: Genius.

 2.   Dawn of the Dead (directed by Zack Snyder / 2004)

There are few movies that I can think of that cause more arguments amongst zombie geeks than this remake. Yes, I like the original and yes, it was a groundbreaking testament to the genre and a commentary on consumerism. But which movie would I rather watch? This remake. Bloodier, funnier, better music score, faster and just plain scarier than the original, this movie severs ties, and paves its way 

1.  Dead Alive aka Braindead (directed by Peter Jackson / 1992)

Peter Jackson has been my lifelong hero long before the LOTR movie franchise fan boys looked him up on IMDB and started watching through his other movies. Why does this movie make it to #1 on my list? Simple: it is the goriest, funniest, foulest, most fucked-up matricidal adventure ever concocted. Zombie sex- check. Zombie Baby – Check. Sumatran Rat Monkey – check. Lawnmower as the weapon of choice – well, I couldn’t have written a better scene if you gave me the rest of my natural life.

And here are some scenes from Dan's #1 Pick...


  1. Wow, just wow.You should have seen the looks we got at Cracker Barrel as we debated our lists over breakfast! I tip my hat to you in thanks, dear sir.

  2. Glad you got a kick out of it. I assumed you guys would have a blast making the lists... Happy Anniversary brother!

  3. such good lists with a few new ones for me to see now

  4. Glad you got some suggestions to follow up on Charles! Scrounging through some other lists out there, I see so many I've never heard of. It's a broad genre that has spanned fifty years or more of cinema. Let us know what films missed the lists that you guys have seen!

  5. I decided to draw my own list up real quick this morning when I noticed a couple of movies I thought were worth noting... (of course these are the movies I have seen- some of Dan & Colleen's picks I haven't had the chance to check out yet and my level of zombie knowledge is indeed amateurish by comparison.)

    10. Land of the Dead (2005)

    George Romero returns and teaches zombies to swim... that and a city under siege with Dennis Hopper at the helm is enough of a cheap thrill for me.

    9. Resident Evil (2002)

    I don't play video games so I have no means of comparison as far as this adaptation but I know I love the style and the above-mentioned reasons from Dan.

    8. Army of Darkness (1992)

    Dare I say this is the best Bruce Campbell movie ever made?

    7. Planet Terror (2007)

    You can NEVER go wrong with Robert Rodriguez, especially with this Grindhouse take on the zombie theme.

    6. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

    I'm not a fan of remakes but this one scores for Zack Snyder. A constant thrill and I love the continuation of the story through the credits.

    5. 28 Weeks Later (2007)

    Robert Carlyle is one of my favorite actors and he really takes it home here, giving the story a main character in zombie form you can sympathize with. We get to see both sides of the dead vs. undead war.

    4. White Zombie (1932)

    You gotta give props to the film which launched the genre (though they didn't realize what a pop culture phenomenon it would be at the time.)

    3. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

    George Romero puts zombies on the map... period.

    2. 28 Days Later (2002)

    Danny Boyle made one of my favorite movies ever with this new take on the zombie genre. This film really studies the human condition in the wake of crisis.

    1. Pet Sematary (1989)

    I put this film at the top because it really handles the theme of loss and the consequences of regaining the lives of those lost. This film absolutely terrified me as a child. I think just realizing this was a zombie film created the need for me to make my own list.

    What others would you give notice to?

  6. AnonymousJune 12, 2011

    Dusk Till Dawn
    Awesome Flick

  7. Vampire Anonymous- that is a terrific flick and it'll make the cut when we get around to the Top 10 Vampire Movies list!

  8. Though I am pleased with both of your number ones, I am disappointed Army of Darkness only made Honorable mention on Collen's list. Also, although I was pleased with the remake of Dawn of the Dead, the original should have made at least one of your lists.

  9. I agree that the original Dawn of the Dead should have made one of the lists!

  10. There are several movies on here I still need to see. I appreciate the list just for that! The Romero originals (the first two) would hold a fairly high spot on my list, as would Return of the Living Dead. Loved Dead Alive. I always feel Shaun of the Dead gets often too highly rated because it's a comedy, but that's just me. Pontypool I've never even heard of. But a Canadian zombie flick? I'll be watching that this weekend.

  11. Good deal Ryan- glad we could turn you on to some new ones!

  12. Not a huge Zombie fan, but it is growing on me. Shawn of the Dead would be my favorite for sure then Zombieland. In my opinion 28 days later really isn't a zombie flick.
    1) They don't eat humans.
    2) They can be killed very easily.(no head shot required)
    3) They can starve to death.
    4) Infection is instantaious.
    Yes they are zombie-like, but not actual un-dead creatures. Just saying.

  13. this blog is a zombie heaven lol

  14. What about Diary of the Dead!? Directed by George A Romero --> one of the best zombie movies i've seen.

    Another good one is Survival of the Dead, directed by Mr. Romero as well -->

  15. 1. Night of the living dead
    2. Night of the living dead remake
    3. Dawn of the Dead
    4. The Crazies
    5. 28 days later
    6. 28 weeks later
    7. Land of the Dead
    8. Shawn of the Dead
    9. Zombieland
    10. Its a tv show The Walking Dead

    My top 10


      watch all the episodes of the walking dead at this website


  16. No Fulci? No De Ossorio? The Dawn remake better than the original?

    I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

  17. deadset , i was a teenage zombie , zombie.

  18. Yes, the universe provides. Just what I wanted- a list of zombie movies that I can watch until October when Season 4 of The Walking Dead returns. :)

    Thank you, you rock! <3

  19. Very helpful blog! It is easy to use, and answered all my questions! I will be back after I finish my first set of Zombie movies I got from the list!
    Check out our Pseudo-Zombie Films page to find out what's what.

  20. My favorite zombie movies include “Shaun of the Dead” for some wonderful zombie humor, “28 Days Later” the most eerie zombie movie I’ve seen and “World War Z” for showing zombies in a frightening new light.


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