Every zombie walk and kitschy zombie indie comedy is milking the zombiemania cash cow. However, the films that paved the way still get little recognition, which is a darn shame.
These films explore just what a human can do under apocalyptic circumstances and how far people will go to survive. Also, they're really gory and just plain fun to watch. We intend to right the injustices served to these overlooked classics, and with that, we proudly present the top underrated zombie films list.
Dead Alive (a.k.a. Braindead) is the story of two lovers in New Zealand torn apart by the ravages of a rare rodent bite that turns people into pus-filled flesh eating machines. In his pre-Lord of the Rigs days, Peter Jackson directed this gem, which is arguably one of the best zombie movies ever made due to its intensely disgusting special effects. In the clip below, the film's heroine Paquita lays the smack down on a zombie baby.
If the villain of Re-Animator is a severed head in a tray, that means the hero is Herbert West, a whacked-out med student hell bent on resurrecting the dead. He uses his glowing green ooze, called re-agent, to breathe life into dead tissue, even a severely mangled cat. The eight-minute clip below showcases the "money shots" of every gory moment of the film. Warning: May contain some zombie nudity.
Next on the list is the aptly-titled Zombie (a.k.a. Zombi 2). When a creepy deserted yacht floats into the NYC harbor, the yacht owner's daughter goes on a quest with a handsome journalist to find out what happen to her father. The quest leads to a cursed zombie infested island, but luckily, the zombie scourge doesn't stay at the remote location and the leading lady and her man return to a very zombie New York City. With an initial cult following in the U.S. prior to its release and a tagline like, "We are going to eat you!", it is a must for any zombie film connoisseur. Watch this clip from the movie where a zombie fights a tiger shark!
Sweden. Snow. Slopes. What more could you ask for? A cursed mountain crawling with Nazi zombies, you say? Well, alright. Dead Snow is kind of like Night of the Living Dead meats Inglorious Basterds (except we didn't wish it would end already). The film asks important questions like: What happens when a group of happy-go-lucky twenty-somethings get bombarded with ghoulish Nazi's that pop out of the snow like daisies? The answer: A delightful blood bath. However, our favorite part of the film's trailer is the momentary lapse of Swedish to bring a semi-nonsensical homage to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. "Fortune and glory, kid."
Loosely based off true events, Return of the Living Dead Parts I and II really popularized the zombie dialogue staple, "BRAINS!" The first two films are pretty similar plot-wise, which is why they're lumped together in this list. The third Return of the Living Dead is pretty awful though, and we don't suggest it. The lovably decomposing and inarticulate Tarman is sure to capture your heart... but then he'd probably just eat it afterward. Try to not enjoy the scene below taken from the sequel.
We just had to include the Mystery Science Theatre 3000: Zombie Nightmare episode. The film itself is about a boy whose father was stabbed and killed when he was young, only for him to be hit by a car and killed later in his life. His grief-stricken mother turns to a family friend who happens to know voodoo, and the boy is re-birthed as a vengeful, roid-ragin' zombie. Adam West and Tia Carrere are in the movie, so how could you say no?
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