Filed under Zombie Movie Trailers

28 Weeks Later

I just rewatched this a few days ago, the first time I’ve seen it since it was in theaters, and damn does it hold up. It is a lot more epic than I had remembered, the firebombing of the city in particular was impressive (it’s in the trailer, so not a spoiler). The cast is pretty insane. Idris Elba and Jeremy Renner are awesome. On top of that there are some powerful family dynamics and a frightening scene that is shot through an night vision camera (though it doesn’t quite match the final scene in [Rec]). There was a 5 year gap between 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks later, which mean we are due for 28 Months Later… Let’s hope it eventually happens.

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Day of the Dead

“First he created the most frightening film ever made. Then he took his unique vision of terror on step further. Now George A Romero takes us out of the Night beyond the Dawn and into the darkest Day of horror the world has ever known. Day of the Dead.” Such a great trailer. Day of the Dead is an amazing work and is on par with Night and Dawn, but it does have a few issues that keep it from being as beloved as the first two. Dawn had this comic book adventure tone, Day is simply bleak. The characters aren’t very likable, and because they have been stuck underground so long that are very on edge and are constantly yelling at each other. This continuous arguing and screaming makes the movie much less fun to watch. While I’m not the biggest fan of the zombie makeup (the large brows make them look like cave men IMHO), the gore effects are some of the best ever put on screen. The whole movie is on Youtube:

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Cemetery Man AKA DellaMorte DellAmore

I talked about there being a few gems in the 90’s in the trailer for Dead-Alive, and this is one of them. Based on the comic series Dylan Dog (which you should really read, it is incredible), Cemetery Man has a unique tone. It is simultaneously funny, serious, dreamlike, erotic, silly, and even a bit pretentious. Do yourself a favor and watch one of the most original zombie movies ever. And yes, that is Rupert Everett.

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Resident Evil Retribution

It has come to this. I haven’t seen a lot of recent zombie movies, I’ve been meaning to watch my copy of Juan of the DeadThe Walking Dead has really been scratching my zombie itch so I haven’t really sought out too many zombie movies from the 2010’s. But I did see Resident Evil Retribution, which the Movie Movie Dudes reviewed on a live podcast. I actually had fun with the film, it is dumb as hell but an enjoyable watch.

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Rec

There are a lot of zombie films to choose from in the 2000s so I figured I’d choose the one that freaked me out the most. Rec uses the found footage style to give the audience a trapped feeling. The film is really intense and the ending is simply nightmarish. It was followed up with the great Rec 2 which expands the mythology is a way that many didn’t like, but I’m a big fan of. Rec 3 came out to divided reviews, but I haven’t watched it yet so I can’t comment. The first one was remade as Quarantine which is a decent film, but doesn’t reach the same heights as the original.

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Dead-Alive AKA Braindead

The 90’s were a rough period for zombie movies. After Scream revitalized the slasher movie genre it seemed like there wasn’t a lot of room for more traditional movie monsters, werewolves vampires, zombies and the like. But luckily there were one or two gems, including Dead-Alive. Widely considered the goriest movie ever, Dead-Alive is one of my favorite pre-Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson movie. You can see elements from Peter Jackson’s early movies in his Middle Earth films. The obvious one from Dead-Alive is that the actor who plays Void is Nori in The Hobbit. People don’t talk about how much his horror movie experience added to the Lord of the Rings. I’m trying to finally get through the LOTR books and the Nazgul (black riders) don’t come off the page as being that menacing, but in the film Jackson makes them horror movie villains. The bold excesses of gore found in the lawnmower sequence is related to the excesses in the final battle of The Return of the King with it’s hundreds of thousands of soldiers. But apart from Jackson’s later works, Dead-Alive is still an extremely strong and fun film that doesn’t let the gore overpower the characters or the story.

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Return of the Living Dead

The 80s were a great time for zombie movies and horror movies in general. The tone started to skew more toward fun and comedy than the bleak fare of the 70s. There is no better example of this than The Return of the Living Dead. Return which came out in 1985, the same year that Romero completed his Dead Trilogy (and you know how much I love trilogies). Audiences embraced the lighthearted Return much more than the grim and serious Day. Return, an unofficial sequel to Night of the Living Dead, is just so much fun. It is a great movie to put on during a party. It’s one of the best horror comedies of all time (right up there with American Werewolf in London), and if you haven’t seen it, give it a watch, it’s even on Youtube below:

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Tombs of the Blind Dead

So we are finally post Night of the Living Dead. Tombs of the Blind Dead is the first of the Blind Dead series and has three sequels, all pretty decent flicks. The zombies in this one have a cool backstory- in the middle ages, the Knights Templar begin using black magic in an attempt to gain eternal life, they were killed for their crimes and crows ate their eyes out, they of course are resurrected and start to kill. It’s a great series, but unfortunately, just like a lot of other 70s grindhouse movies, it contains a lot of rape. Other than that, it is totally worth checking out.

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The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed up Zombies

The 1960’s brings us to maybe the best movie title ever The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!? The movie is god-awful but it did lead to a classic episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The trailer gives a good taste of the insanity of the film, so just imagine that stretched out to feature length (or watch the film below). Let’s get to a post Romero era where there are decent zombie flicks (in fairness, 1966 did have The Plague of the Zombies a great Hammer Horror flick, but it is an exception). I also included a video with clips from the MST3K episode.

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Plan 9 From Outer Space

There aren’t a lot of great zombie movies in the 50s, but there is some cheesy fun to be found with cheesy Z grade science fiction stuff. The most iconic and fun filled of that type is of course Plan 9 From Outer Space. I’d recommend doing a double feature of Plan 9 and Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, Ed Wood is amazing, and in its own way so is Plan 9. The full movie is below, and I might as well add the trailer for Ed Wood.

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