Zombie Movies I Love
I have been a long time zombie geek. Well, I’m not actually a zombie (although I really am and always have been a geek), but ever since I first saw the original Dawn of the Dead, I’ve pretty much been hooked on the genre. I will sit through any zombie movie at least once (even the really bad ones), a fact that’s a source of wonder to some and cause for despair to my boyfriend. Poor guy’d never seen a zombie movie before he started dating me. Then again, he also didn’t drink wine until he started dating me. I’d say I’ve enriched his life immeasurably, right? RIGHT?!
Okay, the top two classics: George Romero’s original Night of the Living Dead. It’s the point of origin for the whole flesh-eating ghoul/zombie genre as we know it, and is a creepy, atmospheric movie to boot. Sure, some people make fun of the near-catatonic Barbra, but who doesn’t still love to quote the line “They’re coming to get you, Barbra!” at the drop of a hat. Besides, Pat Tallman’s kick-ass portrayal of Barbra in Tom Savini’s remake of NotLD more than makes up for the original, wimpier version.
Dawn of the Dead (1979). Other people have dismissed the original DotD’s slow-moving, blue-faced zombies, saying they’re just not scary and the make-up looks fake. Feh to those folks, says I. Every movie should be viewed with an eye towards when it was, along with the budget and shooting schedule of the project. The mall sequences of DotD were filmed at an actual working mall when the shops were closed. Things had to be cleaned up in time for business to continue the next day. Makeup on the zombie hordes had to be quick and dirty, with extra time given to the “hero” zombies. C’mon, people, Roger and Steven were some of the creepiest zombies I’ve seen and their reveals both standout moments in horror movie history. And the scene where Peter and Roger have to clean out the basement where the apartment building residents had thrown their dead, with bodies wrapped in shrouds undulating like cocoons about to burst open with the “heartbeat” music playing in the background… it doesn’t get creepier than that.
Also: original Day of the Dead (original, Shaun of the Dead (It is to zombie movies what Galaxy Quest is to Star Trek); The Dead (fantastic South African zombie movie that captures exactly why I think slow zombies are scarier than fast ones); Return of the Living Dead (yes, I love it even though it’s responsible for the whole “bra-a-a-ains!” nonsense); 28 Days/Weeks Later (yes, yes, I know they’re technically “infected” and not zombies, but this is my post so just chill!); La Horde (starts as a crime drama and heads into major zombie territory really quickly; excellent action, acting and FX); Rec and its remake Quarantine (even though I’m not a fan of shakycam, still loved these movies about folks trapped in an apartment building with infected/rabid/flesh-eating residents).
Honorable mention: first 10 minutes of DotD remake and the opening sequence of Resident Evil.
And now the bad, with the caveat that I consider these movies classics in their own right:
Lucio Fulci’s Zombi Flesh Eaters (Zombie versus shark, some goofy camera angles focusing on nostrils and eyeballs, annoying heroines, and some genuinely creepy moments make this the top of my list); Hell of the Living Dead (bad dubbing, zombie rats, mercenary donning tutu and top hat to do a soft shoe routine for no apparent reason, gruesome slow zombies all make for good times); Gates of Hell (Christopher George as hero, rain of maggots, Bob the pervert, premature burial, and the Gates of Hell); Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things (low budget cheesy fun, acting=ham, worst pants crime against humanity ever); Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (a poor man’s Michael Caine playing the most sexist hero I’ve seen in a zombie movie, another useless heroine, and inexplicably wheezing zombies).
Sigh. It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling realizing there are many more I haven’t listed. So how about you all share your favorites with me?
Dana Fredsti is ex B-movie actress with a background in theatrical sword-fighting. Through her volunteer work at the Exotic Feline Breeding Facility/Feline Conservation Center, Dana’s had a full-grown leopard sit on her feet, kissed by tigers and licked by jaguars. She’s written numerous published articles, essays, short stories, screenplays, and two non-fiction books with Cynthia Gentry. Plague Town, the first in a three book zombie/paranormal romance series with Titan Books, was released April 2012, with its sequel Plague Nation due out in April 2013, and she has a sequel in the works to her mystery, Murder for Hire: The Peruvian Pigeon (Rock Publishing, 2007). She writes erotica under the nom de plume Inara LaVey, and has five stories and three novels published by Ravenous Romance.
Dana Fredsti’s Plague Town [Titan Books, April 2012], the first in a new urban fantasy series of zombie novels, introduces Ashley Parker, an unlikely heroine who offers up heavy doses of action, humor, and romance in the vein of Patricia Briggs and Charlaine Harris.
In the small university town of Redwood Grove, people are succumbing to a lethal strain of flu. They are dying —but not for long. Ashley Parker and her boyfriend are attacked by these shambling, rotting creatures that crave human flesh, and are overcome. When she awakes, Ashley discovers that she is a “wild card” – immune to the virus – and is recruited by a shadowy paramilitary organization that offers her the chance to fight back. Fatally attracted to her gorgeous instructor, and bonding with her fellow wild cards, Ashley begins to discover skills she never knew she had. As the town falls to ever-growing numbers of the infected, Ashley and her team fight to contain the outbreak – but will they be enough?
“Sexy, weird, creepy, over-the-top zombie goodness.” – Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Patient Zero
Dana is giving away TWO (2) finished copies of Plague Town
For entry into the giveaway please answer the following question then fill out the form below: Tell Dana your favourite and least favourite zombie movie and why.
This giveaway is UK/US only and ends 12:00am GMT 30th November 2012
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