Zombies as we know them have really only been in pop culture for about fifty years now. Seems like a long time, we know, but, it’s pretty much an eyeblink when it comes to horror; we’ve had demons for millennia, vampires and werewolves for centuries, and Frankenstein’s monster for more than a century. Everyone’s favorite flesh-munchers are practically kids.
Which doesn’t mean we haven’t had some…interesting takes on Romero’s shambling hordes. Here are ten pretty out there examples.
“Fido” is arguably the best zombie movie of the last few years because it asks the pretty simple question; what happens when you have a zombie for a pet, especially when that zombie is Billy Connolly? The answer is awesome, hilarious things.
This is a movie full of nice touches, as it riffs on ’50s existence. Our personal favorite are the subtle hints that the bucolic suburb is actually run by a brutally repressive regime because, let’s face it, it’s just being honest about what most ’50s sitcoms feel like.
The Astro Zombies
Granted, including movies like this are a bit unfair, as they were obviously assembled by people who ate great big pans of special brownies for breakfast every day, but they’re among the most fun, so what the heck, right?
Anyway, this movie consists almost entirely of men in luchador skull masks grabbing buxom women and carrying them to a mad scientist who, of course, wants to create a race of atomic supermen that will rule the WORLD! Sorry, got our movies confused. He just wants to create a race of atomic supermen. Start by losing the masks.
This is a hidden gem not many people see, which is too bad, because it’s better than almost every single Hollywood zombie movie ever put out. It asks a pretty simple question: OK, so the dead are rising. What does that mean if you work at a cemetery for a day job?
That your job consists of putting the dead back in the ground, naturally! What makes this movie awesome is the dry sense of humor (listen for the identifying marks on the hero’s assistant) and the general atmosphere. You haven’t seen a zombie movie quite like this one.
We have to admit, we don’t have the insane vision of Dave Gebroe. If we did, we still probably never would have come up with the high concept of “Zombie Honeymoon”: “Night of the Living Dead” meets “Dying Young”.
It’s about a married couple on their honeymoon where the groom gets infected, and starts slowly rotting to pieces. Oh, and eating people, but the bride seems a little less concerned about that. So basically it’s trying to be a sincere meditation on losing somebody you love, and a gory zombie movie. And it actually pulls it off, which is just as surprising.
Exploring still more unplumbed depths in the “weird zombie movie canon is this little mockumentary, which looks at zombies as if they were a repressed minority.
The idea is that some of the undead come back as “high functioning undead”, so they live their lives doing jobs, eating flesh, and generally just existing as an underclass. Then some documentary filmmakers get the idea of making a documentary about them and it goes to hell in a handbasket pronto.