Top 12 zombie stories

Published by siroutlier_tt2i6p on

Everyone loves a good apocalyptic zombie tale. Well, except for my cousin Peggy, she finds them repugnant, stereotypical, and offensive. For the rest of us, zombies take our greatest dead of the night fear, getting chased and gormandized by a disgusting, rotting corpse, and fondly shoves it right down our throats.
Research shows that our next two greatest fears are having our identity stolen and losing (the illusion of) our free will. And when you boil a zombie down to its gooey core, isn’t that what it’s all about? Some poor slob who’s lost their identity and free will and now mindlessly wanders the Earth consuming anything that crosses their path. Hey, that suspiciously sounds a lot like Peggy. Enough of the armchair analysis, let’s sink our teeth into my top zombie stories.

12. World War Z – aka Zombies on a Plane. This movie embraces the modern track and field zombie and adds an insect aspect, they move in swarms kinda like ants, building rotting flesh bridges to overcome obstacles. And you get all that carnage in 3-D, because who doesn’t want body parts leaping off the big screen into their ginormous tub of popcorn.

I guess in this situation it’s better to put the mask/muzzle on the person seated next to you first.

11. Resident Evil (video game series) – aka First-Person Pew Pew Chewier. The first video game that gave millions of gamers nightmares, well, maybe second one, after Atari’s E.T. This simulation really puts you into a Super Romerio World where a Machiavellian corporation causes the whole downfall of humanity with their convoluted plot to rule the world. Or at least, own the world? I’m still not sure what the Umbrella Corp was planning.

This might be the most fun yet triggering game series ever… not counting Dance Dance Revolution, of course.

10. Warm Bodies – aka Zombie and Juliet. This one’s more like a tweeny zom-com and is perfect for someone turned off by the traditional gore and violence of the genre. It leans into the humor and romance, but still respects the rules. It even gives us the zombie perspective which is missing from most other stories. So, if you claim to love zombies this is definitely a worthy entry.

Missed an opportunity to have zombie Lloyd Dobler holding a boombox blasting the Cranberries classic song, ‘Zombie’.

9. The Walking Dead – aka the Good, the Bad, and the Zombies. The first undead soap opera where we follow a group of post-apocalyptic survivors as they learn, laugh, love, and liquidate… not only zombies but the real villain of most zombie stories, OPPs (other pesky people). These zombies are the classic slow walkers who after a season or two, stop being the main threat and fall more into the background, kinda like wasps, the necrotizing fasciitis, or CrocHeads (people who collect Crocs).

You think Andrew Lincoln and Chandler Riggs still get people yelling “COORRRALLL” at them? I hope so.

8. Zombieland – aka the American Shaun of the Dead. Here comes the ‘Merican take on a comedic undead dystopia with our signature over the top, violence, carnage, gun porn, and on-the-nose humor. And like with a lot of our culture, it comes a couple of years after the Brits did it. Still, the cast and Oscar winning best cameo of 2009 makes this a zombie wonderland winner.

This is the perfect film for zombie noobs because it spells out the rules we hardcore fans knew back in the 80s.

7. The Last of Us – aka The Mandalorian vs. Vegombies. The new wrinkle here is this is an evil fungus among us. So, it also makes this a nature gone wild story where we f-up the planet’s climate and pay for it in spades (and other gardening tools). So, we’re not dealing with the undead, more like the fundead. But don’t let the name fool ya, these plant-based zombies are far more terrifying and unsettling than your Uncle George’s.

Ummmm, you got something on your face.”

6. Shaun of the Dead – aka the British Zombieland. This oh so British comedy introduced the world to Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg and turned the zombie tropes on their decaying head in that reserved and subtle English way. Hilarious from start to finish, only the Brits could make a grave zombie apocalypse (see what I did there) seem rather ho-hum and routine.

“Hanging out in quiet desperation is the English way.”

5. Train to Busan – aka Zombies on a Train. Just when the genre was starting to decay again, along comes this fresh tale of a bad dad and his estranged daughter trying to reconnect and survive during an undead doomsday. These zombies are flat out relentless, it’s almost like the folks on the train owe them money or something. But of course, they pale in comparison to the rich, cowardly businessman who, unlike the zombies, chooses to be an evil douche pot pie.

I mean, you can tell people this is really a family film.

4. Return of the Living Dead – aka Brains – It’s What’s for Dinner. The tongue and cheeky “sequel” to Night of the Living Dead is a perfect time capsule of the glorious 80s. It’s also a fun, scary, and campy flick that pays homage to its source material while doing its own brain thing. Considered by most (i.e., me) to be the very first punk rock zombie jam.

Thank Rob we didn’t have the internet back when this came out. Imagine the outrage over talking zombies.

3. 28 Days Later – aka Olympic Unzombies Attack. In 2002, Oh Danny Boyle reinvented the admittedly stale zombie story by making the contagion a manmade virus that makes you sick, but never tired. You also feel no pain and gain a Captain America level of fitness. Even though you rage against the machine, you’re still a mindless, ravenous automaton hell bend on cannibalistic snacking. But in the end, the true villains are the army OPPs.

It’s not like I wouldn’t watch the zombie Olympics.

2. Night of the Living Dead (1968) – aka Zombie Home Invasion. This is where George Romero, the godfather of zombies, defined the genre. He’s a lot like Tolkien—he might not have invented the zombie, but he designed their post-apocalyptic world. He created the blueprint for their distinctive characteristics along with the undead atmosphere which has become the template for all stories that followed. This simple but extremely effective film is the progenitor of the hugely successful genre we enjoy today.

How many movies can you say started its own genre?

  1. Dawn of the Dead (1978) – aka Mall Walkers Bite Back. The brilliance of this tale is it gives us both our nightmare and our dream all wrapped up in one movie! Who hasn’t wished they could go hog wild in a mall with unfettered access to all stores, backrooms, security areas, and Orange Julius drinks. Couple this with a horde of living dead trying to spoil the consumerism fantasy like a Black Friday zombie mob and you just summed up capitalism.

“Anybody else got Robin Sparkles’ banger ‘Let’s Go to the Mall’ stuck in their head right now?”


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