- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 15, 2013

“World War Z,” the Brad Pitt film, reported to be the most expensive zombie film ever made with an estimated $125 million budget, is set for release June 21. This week, The List looks at the top 10 zombie films.

  • 10. “Planet Terror” (2007) — This tribute to zombie films was directed by Robert Rodriguez as part of a double feature of horror with “Deaf Proof” by longtime pal Quentin Tarantino under the title “Grindhouse.” Mr. Rodriguez’s segment features zombie action and a heroine (Rose McGowan) with a machine gun where her leg once was.
  • 9. “Dead Alive” (1992) — Before his famed “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson made this over-the-top zombie splatterfest, which almost broke records for on-screen gore.
  • 8. “28 Weeks Later” (2007) — This sequel to Danny Boyle’s terrific “28 Days Later” didn’t match its 2002 predecessor, but it does pack a punch, notably the terrifying opening scenes. It stars the talented, wiry Scotsman Robert Carlyle, who returns to London as part of NATO force led by the U.S. military as they attempt to repopulate the city after the zombie virus has run its course. But one survivor harbors the virus.
  • 7. “Resident Evil” (2002) — Milla Jovovich starred in this the surprise hit spawned from a popular horror survival video game. The beautiful Miss Jovovich plays Alice, a zombie-fighting superhero who slays ravenous zombies that have overrun the world. The Resident Evil film series has birthed five films, all directed by Miss Jovovich’s husband, Paul W.S. Anderson.
  • 6. “Zombieland” (2009) — Woody Harrelson (Tallahassee) and Jesse Eisenberg (Columbus) star in this horror-comedy about survivors of a zombie plague who take shelter in an amusement park. Chaos and bloodshed reign as the duo use funny kills and outrageous action to deal with the flesh-eating hordes. A running gag throughout the film involves the two guys deciding which of their tall tales fits as “zombie kill of the week.”
  • 5. “White Zombie” (1932) — This haunting 1932 voodoo classic may have been the film that started the whole zombie craze. Bela Lugosi cuts a memorably evil figure as zombie master Murder Legendre in Victor Halperin’s sometimes melodramatic but genuinely atmospheric and overwhelmingly unhealthy tale of lust, death and voodoo on a vintage Haitian plantation.
  • 4. “Shaun of the Dead” (2004) — This timeless British zombie comedy pits the living dead against, well, the almost brain dead. Shaun (Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the movie) is an appliance store salesman in North London who is wasting his life away drinking beer and playing computer games with fat friend Ed (Nick Frost). It suddenly dawns on Simon and Ed that zombies are taking over and they need to spring into action. This hilarious film is a real zombie spoof with real laughs and satirical smarts.
  • 3. “Dawn of the Dead” (1978) — This was the towering sequel to “Night of the Living Dead” and the second film in George A. Romero’s zombie trilogy. It is set in a shopping mall overrun by surprisingly consumer-minded zombies. It featured many, many people getting killed in truly imaginative and stomach-churning ways. Produced with $650,000, the film went on to make $50 million worldwide. A remake was released in 2004.
  • 2. “28 Days Later” (2002) — A psychological-rage virus, unwittingly unleashed by animal rights activists, transforms the vast majority of the British citizenry into hyperactive zombies in director Danny Boyle’s suspenseful chiller. Hospital patient Jim, played by Cillian Murphy, awakes to a London stripped of human life. As he wanders the streets, Jim is rescued from rampaging zombies by two survivors. This film was a welcome addition to the living-dead ranks. The film was shot for less than $14 million and went on to make more than $80 million.
  • 1. “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) — Where would the world be without horror specialist George A. Romero? He wrote and directed this original black-and-white, $114,000-budgeted zombie extravaganza, which became a cult classic. Hero Duane Jones plays Ben, who has to deal with legions of bloodthirsty, cannibalistic zombies and uncooperative fellow humans. This film upped the nightmare ante for fear films to come. They don’t get any scarier than this.

What is your favorite zombie flick?

Compiled by John Haydon
Source: The Washington Times, Associated Press