Today the world seems totally overrun by zombies. They’re the creature of the moment – like the Cold War-metaphor aliens from outer space in the 1950s.
And whether they are metaphors for the impending devastation of viral plague, environmental meltdown or the insidiousness of terrorism from within, these undead, flesh-and-brain eaters rule.
While “World War Z” seeks to be the ultimate zombie apocalypse film, here are some other contenders suggested by Statesman staff and readers. Fire up the Blu-ray:
• “Night of the Living Dead” (1968): George A. Romero’s stark black-and-white B movie, pictures above right, defined the genre. He created the slowmoving, flesh-eating mindless undead – caused by radiation from Venus – that we now know and love.
• “Shaun of the Dead” (2004): Director Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s send up and loving tribute to the zombie genre. In it, zombies are a natural evolution of contemporary culture – so much so that no one notices the transformation until brains come into the mix. It’s so funny and spot on, why would anyone make another? It’s part of the “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy that includes “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End,” due out in August.
• “Dawn of the Dead,” (2004): This is Zack Snyder’s remake of Romero’s 1968 classic. I like that the first attack you see comes from the main character’s young daughter. Right up front, it shatters any sense of domestic security. That unease never goes away, even after the group of survivors achieves a measure of stability in their shopping mall refuge.
• I’m not sure of the best but I know my worst. “Diary of the Dead” (2007). This film by zombie-godfather George Romero was so bad that I couldn’t stop laughing, and we had to leave the theater.
“28 Days Later” (2003): These zombies aren’t your run-of-the-mill slow, shuffling sort, but fast-moving and powered by Rage (the name given to the virus infecting them). Add in great shots of a barren London, the mystery of “if there is any hope for survival,” and what a possible apocalypse does to otherwise sane people and it’s past your standard zombie fare.
PICKS FROM SOME READERS:
“Zombieland” (2009): This horror comedy stars Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg as part of a rag-tag group trying to get though a zombie-filled America.
“Warm Bodies” (2013): If you’re looking for a teen zombie romance, here it is. Like the popular vampire-with-a-soul, you have R (Nicholas Hoult) who saves Julie (Teresa Palmer) from an attack and falls in love.
“The Crazies” (1973 and 2010): Another spawn of Romero about a plague caused by a toxic leak that turns people into crazy zombie-like creatures.
“Return of the Living Dead” (1985): Punk rockers meet zombies. A great combination. BRAINS!!!
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