14. Day of the Dead, 1985
George A. Romero is just a genius when it comes to zombie flicks.
It is his tradition to focus on the people rather than the actual zombies, the struggle of being confined to an underground bunker stuffed with a few military men and a trio of scientists. The development of the characters is great, my favorites were the guy who everyone called Dr. Frankenstein and Sarah (the main lady).
The opening scene is pretty damn impressive, takes by surprise and gets you right into the movie. The special effects and the gore once again are awesome (Savini, of course!), it doesn’t give you too much throughout the movie, but the final act is just a flesh eating fest.
I have always loved the idea of having the living dead remember things subconsciously, in this film that is major development in the plot. Here may be better handled the social satire and also takes a little touch into ethics and religion.
Unlike the two Romero films I talked about in the past days, I had not seen this movie before, so it got me pretty hooked from the beginning.
If you haven’t seen it be sure to check it out, if you don’t ‘Bub’ will get sad and lose his shit.
P.S. Gorillaz had a bit of this movie remixed in the song “M1 A1” from their 2001 album, also the song “Hip Albatross”, features a clip of John’s (Terry Alexander) dialogue.
11. Dawn of the Dead, 1978
So tonight I wanted to watch something a bit more gory than the last few movies I’ve been watching… well here’s the early work of effects man extraordinaire Tom Savini who also acts in the film.
This is a bloody fun film, the mall setting makes wonderful scenarios and tools for the zombie killings and the humor of the movie. The same setting may be interpreted as social satire comparing mall shopper to zombies, but to me it is just a fun horror/gore flick (I’m not that deep when it comes to horror, sorry).
I love how red the blood is! Supposedly, Savini was unhappy with how the blood photographed; to him it looked too bright and fluorescent. Romero felt it was perfect for the film’s comic book style and decided to keep it like that, the fake blood was a mixture of food coloring, peanut butter and cane sugar syrup.
If you haven’t seen it or if you just saw the remake, you’re missing out.
10. Night of the Living Dead, 1968
"They’re coming to get you Barbara"
Shot beautifully in black & white even when color was available. The movie starts right into action, they don’t explain anything in the first act, you just have to deal with it. It focuses a lot in the human relation of the people trying to work together to survive, also the zombie action is amazingly eerie and with the shitty independent look it just feels even more awesome. It may feel slow at times but if you just sit tight and wait a bit,you are in for a treat.
This movie is a big deal in the horror genre for many reasons: this was one of the first films to graphically depict violent murders on screen also the casting of the protagonist Duane Jones; a black man was not something you would see frequently. When this movie came out they didn’t had a restriction system, so I bet a bunch of kids would’ve shit their pants on the theater.
Supposedly Romero had a big deal but with the condition of changing the ending to be more upbeat and add a love story subplot, which of course he didn’t, he stuck to his guns and got a great independent film.
It is very interesting that the undead are never referred as zombies. The best description the media can come up with in the film is “ghouls”.
This movie is in public domain, so you can watch it pretty much anywhere, on Google video, on You Tube, Internet Archive, etc. I bought my copy for about a dollar.