Zombie movies have become firmly entrenched in our culture. Thanks to Hollywood, zombie movies have become a genre of their own even though the films can be also classified mainly as horror. Some zombie films cross over into the genres of comedy, romance, or science fiction. Certain sub-genres of zombie films have also developed like zombie apocalypse and zombie romance. In these films, zombies are portrayed as cannibalistic dead corpses that have come back to life to wreak havoc. Zombie movies have been around a long time, and the first to actually be called a zombie film was made in 1932. Since then, zombies continue to be the subject of many films every year.
The popularity of zombie films demonstrates that people continued to be fascinated with zombies and other undead creatures like mummies or vampires. Here are five famous zombie movies that have been made over the years:
White Zombie – White Zombie was made in 1932 and is often singled out as the first zombie flick ever made. The movie was directed and produced by Victor and Edward Halperin. The actors who star in the move include Bela Lugosi, Madge Bellamy, John Harron, Robert Frazier, Joseph Cawthorn, and Brandon Hurst. The plot of the movie revolves around Madeleine Short who meets up with her fiancé Neil Parker in Haiti. A plantation owner named Charles Beaumont falls in love with Madeleine and convinces an evil voodoo master, Murder Legendre, to turn the woman into a zombie via a portion. After Madeleine and Neil’s wedding, Madeleine dies from the portion, and Murder brings her back as a zombie. Neil finds out about Madeleine’s fate and enlists the help of Dr. Brutal to rescue her. When Murder ends up is killed by being pushed off a cliff, Madeleine comes out of her zombie trance.
Night of the Living Dead – This black-and-white classic from 1968 could be called the grandfather of all zombie movies. Director George A. Romero revolutionized the zombie genre with this flick that still gets positive reviews. The film stars Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, and Karl Hardman. The plot follows the two main characters, Ben and Barbra, and five other people who become trapped in a Pennsylvania farmhouse. The characters Barbra and Johnny are visiting their father’s grave when they are attacked by zombies. Barbra runs into other people who are hiding in a farmhouse. The group discovers that zombies are overrunning the country and feeding off the bodies of the living. All the members of the group are killed by the zombies before they can be rescued by a party from the sheriff’s department. The film generated a lot of controversy because of its grisly scenes and accessibility to children and teens before the ratings system.
Dawn of the Dead – A sequel to Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead is a zombie films written and directed by George A. Romero. It stars Ken Foree, David Emge, Gaylen Ross and Scott Reiniger. Dawn of the Dead was released in 1978, and the story follows an outbreak of a plague that has caused the dead to come back to life who eat the living and causes mass hysteria. The film explores the idea of a zombie apocalypse as the survivors of the plague seek to escape the zombies. The world is in chaos as members of a television station try to get away from the zombies via a helicopter. The main characters soon find themselves in a shopping mall but are able to fight off the zombies in order to survive. The group of zombies break in with the help of a gang of motorcyclists, but Peter and Francine are able to escape in the helicopter. The movie has been the subject of numerous parodies and remakes.
Shaun of the Dead – One of the parodies of Dawn of the Dead is the British zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead. It was released in 2004 and directed by Edgar Wright. The film stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, and Bill Nighty. Simon Pegg plays Shaun, a salesmen who is desperately trying to deal with his girlfriend, his mother and stepfather, while trying to make sense of his life amidst an apocalyptic uprising of zombies. After his girlfriend breaks up with him, Shaun and his best friend Ed get drunk and then wake up to a zombie attack on their house. After escaping, they take refuge in their favorite pub and fight the zombies. They are finally rescued by the British Army. Later, the remaining zombies are used for slave labor, and Shaun is keeping his friend Ed, who was bitten by a zombie, in his shed where he plays video games.
Zombieland – Released in 2009, Zombieland was directed by Ruben Fleischer. The film is a comedy that follows survivors of a zombie apocalypse starring Jessie Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin. A strain of mad cow disease has mutated to create zombies who have overrun the United States. Columbus, the main character, is a college student making his way from Texas to Ohio who picks up Tallahassee, and sisters Wichita and Little Rock. The group eventually agrees to head to Los Angeles to escape the zombies. In Los Angeles, the zombies invade a theme park and trap Wichita and Little Rock. The other two eventually eliminate the zombies and rescue the girls.