We recently asked our community to vote on the best zombie movies of all time. Whenever we ask our readers what they think are the ‘best’ of anything its an interesting outcome since our readers are so diverse. Our audience breaks down 68% male, 32% female and the age range is about as diverse as it gets from 18 to 80 and this is why anytime we do a ‘list’ that incorporates the views of our readers it will be about as diverse as it gets.
That said however I am not surprised that despite the diversity of our readers there is still a very strong consensus when it comes to the greatest zombie movies of all time. I am sure as you read this article you already have at the bare minimum 3 films in your mind and are thinking ‘they better be on the list’.
Zombies have been a part of the horror genre for a very long time and thanks to the hard work of filmmakers like George Romero and Lucio Fulci they continue to leave their mark on the horror genre today. However only looking into the past and ignoring the monumental modern zombie films is not only ridiculous but very narrow-minded. Many filmmakers since have done truly imaginative and fan pleasing zombie films including Steven Miller with Automaton Transfusion, Scott C Phillips with Stink of Flesh and Andrew Currie with FIDO. Although none of those made this list based off fan votes they are some pretty solid examples of new filmmakers putting their own unique touch on the zombie genre.
One thing is for sure the zombie genre is alive and well and will be for many years to come.
When it comes to zombie movies the formula has changed drastically from the early years of the genre but that hasn’t changed what horror fans consider the best zombie films. Below are the 13 best zombie movies based off the votes of our community who range in age and tastes across the gambit.
Please note these are NOT in order from best to worst they are simply the most popular answers provided by our readers.
George A Romero is a name most fans recognize as the grand father of the genre but you can not talk about Romero and not also talk about Lucio Fulci and his classic film ZOMBI.
Lucio Fulci is an italian filmmaker whose original zombie film is second to none except for maybe Night of the Living Dead. Just like with George Romero it spawned not only a slew of sequels many of which were not even remotely worth seeing. The worst by me was Zombie 5: Killing Birds.
Dawn of the Dead ( 1978 )
Depending on what day you ask me I would say that Dawn of The Dead is either my favorite or second favorite zombie movie of all time behind Night of the Living Dead.
George A Romero was at his finest with his social commentary in this great film where survivors make their way to the bastion of capitalism the mall to wait out the apocalypse. One of the few people to merge the same level of commentary is Jonathon Levine’s 2013 zombie-romantic-comedy Warm Bodies which is somewhat ironic given its ‘teen’ audience. [ read more on that here: Warm Bodies Ruined Zombie Movies? ]
Day of the Dead
It says something that three of the films on this list are directed by George Romero and a 4th is a remake of one of this. George Romero is clearly still a name that people associate with fantastic filmmaking and his contributions despite all the new zombie movies have not been forgotten.
Day of the Dead takes us underground as a group of rag-tag survivors, soldiers and scientists work towards a cure to zombies and their domestication. Bub the zombie is still an iconic figure to this day.
28 Days Later
28 Days Later is a polarizing film and many will scream it is not truly a zombie movie and honestly I am not sure I would disagree other than to point to the definition of zombie. A zombie is a soulless corpse so if you look at 28 days later and replace the word corpse with ‘soon to be’ you really do have a new and unique spin on a Zombie.
Sure they are not dead but they are definitely mindless, soulless and incredibly violent making 28 Days later one of the few truly terrifying new zombie movies. 28 Days Later’s hyper violence, incredible story and social commentary on the de-evolution of society makes the film shine.
When it comes to zombie movies I definitely have a soft spot for Zombie comedies and its nice to know that I am not alone. Dead Snow is a foreign zombie film about a group of medical students who head into the mountains for some time off and encounter Nazi zombies which wreak havoc.
Dead Snow is gory, funny and extremely polished. It pays homage to many early horror classics including Evil Dead which adds even more to its charm.
Shaun of the Dead
Not since Return of the Living Dead has a zombie comedy been so rewarding. Shaun of the Dead may have only made $13million at the box office but it has become a classic for fans of the genre who like some ‘haha’s’ with their zombies.
Shaun of the Dead is the story of two buddies making their way through the apocalypse in the only way they know how, the same way they get through day-to-day regular life. Shaun of the Dead is charming, witty, gruesome and nothing short of hilarious
Zombieland has the distinction of being the most profitable zombie film ever made if you just look at box office take. The film made nearly $100 million at the box office and this despite claims by the filmmaker that fans pirating the movie destroyed the opportunities for Zombieland 2.
Zombieland was downloaded over 1 million times according to writer Rhett Reese. Zombieland is one of the funniest tongue in cheek comedies ever made which also happens to feature zombies, teen love, and the end of the world.
Return of The Living Dead
Retun of the Living Dead is the original zombie comedy and every time our readers vote it onto the list I feel redeemed. I thought for the longest time I was the only one who loved Return of the Living Dead which is a hilarious comedy that tells the story of a couple of dimwitted warehouse workers who inadvertently bring about a zombie apocalypse.
The moment my early teenage hormones will never forget? Linnea Quigley’s cemetery strip tease.
Up until I Saw REC I had very little use for point of view horror movies. This spanish language horror film is from a pair of talented spanish filmmakers and is the story of a zombie apocalypse that plays out as a news reporter is shooting a documentary on the local emergency services team.
Again many will argue its not truly a zombie movie but the fact that you our readers voted it onto the list speaks volumes.
Cemetery Man stars Rupert Everett as a cemetery worker who not only has to bury the dead but put them down a second time when they rise from the dead. This 1994 zombie movie was originally titled Dellamorte Dellamore and is probably one of the least recognized films on this list but is still one of the greatest of all time.
Dawn of the Dead [ 2004 ]
Some will argue that Dawn of the Dead is a horrible movie simply because it’s a remake of one of the greatest horror films of all time but I disagree. Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead paid homage to George Romero’s but was very much its own flesh-eating affair.
A great script and an incredibly talented cast headlined by Sarah Polley are why this movie worked so well. Add to it a bad ass sound track from Johnny Cash and incredible special effects you really can’t find much to complain about.
Night of the Living Dead
I am pretty sure you knew that George A. Romero’s 60′s classic was going to be on this list. In fact had Night of the Living Dead not been included I am quite confident we would have seen outrage among zombie film fans.
George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead has made just about every list we have made relating to top horror films and is incredibly deserving.
Night of the Living Dead Remake
We all love to hate on remakes and ramble on about how they are never as good as the original and for the most part that is true but it’s not the rule.
The 90′s remake of Night of the Living Dead was directed by Tom Savini under the close supervision of George Romero and is easily one of the best zombie movies ever made. Tom Savini is a legend in the special effects field but the biggest question I have always had is why nobody has taken him seriously as a director.
It comes as no surprise our readers voted Tom Savini’s Night of the Living Dead remake one of the best zombie films of all time.
So there you have it. 13 Zombie Movies that our readers voted are the best of all time. Which ones would you have added? Sound off in the comments!