Theyellowranger’s Top 10 Zombie Movies

I want to preface this with one thing: this was REALLY hard. First of all, I had to look at every zombie movie I’ve ever seen. That’s like…a kajillion. Second, I had to think about what really constitutes a zombie film. Can it be a comedy? Should it be all gore? How about how they became zombies and what kind of zombies they are? Are they just people in a drugged out trance? How about raging, screaming banshee zombies? Slow, staggering, radioactive zombies? So difficult! Third, I had to cut the list down to only ten films.

So I want you to know that these are my favorites, but there are many more than nearly made the list. I considered everything from I am Legend to Army of Darkness when it came to the “undead” in question.

Here is what I came up with in NO particular order:

SPOILER ALERT!!!

1. Shaun of the Dead – Yes, it’s a comedy with a zombie backdrop, but it is AN AMAZING COMEDY WITH A ZOMBIE BACKDROP. All of the zombie cliches and jokes off of the undead were so appreciated. Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are a delight. One of my favorite scenes because it combines zombie slaying with Queen:

2. 28 Days Later – And so we come to the rage-monkey-infected-screaming-running-absolutely-terrifying zombies. These are the worst kind because they don’t just stagger after you and bump in to walls, they chase you for blocks and then some just for the hopes of a nibble on your earlobe. The casting is amazing (especially Cillian Murphy), so the acting is really well done and even throughout the movie’s emotion-action roller coaster. I feel like it will stand the test of time and I will find it just as great 20, 30, 40 years from now.

3. Cabin in the Woods – Another comedy with a zombie backdrop but whatever. This film is a love letter to horror films and is one of my favorites in the past decade. I love that they played with the archetypes of horror films and that a zombie family of religious rednecks got to be the baddies. Sorry merman, you were cool too.

4. Dawn of the Dead (Snyder reboot) – I know, I know, it isn’t the Romero original, but this is one of Zack Snyder’s best works in his career because the gore is spot on and the cast is such a fun bowl of party mix. It had to make the list. Seriously, speaking of the crazy cast, do me a favor and watch this movie and then try watching Modern Family right afterward. I dare you to not remember Ty Burrel as the creepy scumbag when you see Phil Dunphy acting all goofy and endearing. Impossible.

5. Zombieland – The last comedy, I swear! This cast was amazingly quirky as well and they each played their parts perfectly. All of the animations were great too. I loved Columbus’ list of things to do and how they would pop up amidst zombie-killing action. I kind of wish that it had been made into a television show with a running “Kill of the Week” award like the creators had originally planned. I would soooooooo watch that. Oh, also, can we just talk about Bill Murray’s scene in the movie? Probably one of the best cameos ever because he pokes fun of his own acting choices *cough* Garfield *cough.*

6. 28 Weeks Later – A lot of people didn’t care for this one. Maybe because Boyle wasn’t directing this time around or because the story centered around completely different characters, which in turn put the emphasis less on isolation and questioning one’s own willingness to do anything to survive, and more so onto the dynamics of a family and questioning whether or not blood really is thicker than water. Whatever the reason, I thought it was pretty fantastic. How painful was it when the father abandons his wife to the zombies? And then how LITERALLY painful was it when they’re reunited? Also, hats off to the rest of the cast including Rose Byrne, Idris Elba, Imogen Poots, and Jeremy Renner. Come to think of it, who wasn’t in this movie?!

7. White Zombie – This was one of the first scary movies I watched as a kid and it makes the list because Bela Lugosi. That is all. Go watch it. Now.

8. Night of the Living Dead (Romero) – You knew at least one of Romero’s films would make it on to this list, didn’t you? How could I not? I’ve seen them all, and the original is still my favorite. I so liked the premise of radiation causing the dead to rise. I feel like you could find some kind of climate change or even cancer treatment symbolism in there if you really wanted to stretch this movie into a research paper. I hope someone has done that. I really do. Maybe it was Barbara? They’re coming to get you, Barbaraaaa!

9. Rec and/or Quarantine – To me, these movies are pretty equal. Rec is the original and it is in Spanish, so it takes a little eye shifting to read the subtitles and watch at the same time if you’re not a native speaker. Also, if you do happen to understand Spanish and English, it will be painfully obvious when the subtitles and what the characters are saying don’t match up. I’m sort of astounded every time this happens. When we have a clear word or phrase that would make for a logical substitute, why not use it? We all know “mierda” doesn’t mean “damn,” so go home, captions, you’re drunk. On the other hand, Quarantine is in English which is convenient for a lot of people, but aside from the ending, it’s pretty much a shot-for-shot remake. It’s awesome to see Jennifer Carpenter wig out in the darkness though. She does that as Emily Rose and Deborah Morgan as well and it just proves what a great talent she is. Ahhhh, I miss her in the glory days of Dexter. *Solemn tear runs down face à la the crying faux Native American in those anti-pollution PSAs*

10. Resident Evil – No other Resident Evil films will even get honorable mentions on this list, though I have seen them all. The original is really the only one worth noting. Mila Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez are high on my girl crush list for their ability to kick ass in an underground company infested by a bevy of homicidal creatures. Though, additional spoiler alert, my lady Michelle doesn’t make it.

What are your favorite zombie films? What do you think qualifies as a zombie in the first place? Is it someone in a voodoo-style trance or someone completely undead? Do they have to come back in a specific way in order to qualify? I’d love to hear all about it.

Check back for my review of Wondercon I just attended today! It was awesome!

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The Walking Dead Season 4 Wrap Up

Well, my friends, another season of our collective zombie nightmares has come to an end. It was filled with a lot of fun surprises, and I myself, enjoyed it quite a bit. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Top Five Favorite Moments

1. The Governor finally gets it – We all needed to see it. Their hasn’t been a villain’s demise quite so satisfying since Dolores Umbridge was left to the centaurs in the Forbidden Forest. We all needed to so badly to see The Governor/Phillip/Brian/Who-cares-he’s-a-total-monster-no-matter-what-you-call-him taken out, and though I would have liked to see him fed piece-by-piece to the undead, it was still satisfying. (Note: I didn’t include a picture for this first point because I thought if it appeared up above it might spoil things before anyone even got to read “Spoilers Ahead!” So if you want to relive the awesome moment, youtube it.)

2. Carol kills Lizzie – Another character that just had to go. I had been saying out loud all season, “This kid is going to have to die,” but it wasn’t until they found her with Mika’s lifeless body all hopeful and demented, until I was REALLY like yup, this is it. Dunzo. There are some people who simply cannot exist in the new world after the old one falls away, and she was one of them. I actually liked that they used her to illustrate that point.

from examiner.com

from examiner.com

3. Daryl and Beth connect – Okay, so their relationship was a bit forced. I get that. It was an odd pairing post-prison war fallout, but so was Tyreese and the girls. It was all for a reason though. It was really great to flesh out Beth’s character a bit from flighty blonde singing girl who isn’t Maggie, to an actual human being with heart and hopes and hidden strength. Likewise, Daryl is unarguably the most bad ass character on the show, so it is great to see brief moments of vulnerability and tenderness. We know from the whole Sophia saga and his love of Carl and Judith (aka Ass-Kicker) that he has a whole lot of love to give.

Side note here: When is Daryl going to get some? He really deserves some tail whether it is from Beth, Carol, or just some rando. This guy is riding around on a motorcycle, killing zombies with arrows, while wearing a FUCKING PONCHO and somehow looking good in it. Hi, yeah, he needs to get laid right now. Continuing with that thought–do you ever think about how much sobbing masturbation time must occur in the zombie apocalypse? No? Just me. Okay then, moving on.

from guardianlv.com

from guardianlv.com

4. Tyreese kills a horde of zombies with a hammer – This was a great nod to the comics. The show and the comics at this point have separate canon, so when the show gives nods here and there to specific scenes within the books, it feels really great for readers. Also, I would really love a GIF of this with some MC Hammer’s “Hammer Time” playing in the background. Thank you in advance.

from businessinsider.com

from businessinsider.com

5. The gang reunites FINALLY at Terminus even though that wasn’t a great thing really – The finale is always a big deal on The Walking Dead no matter how boring you think the season has been. This one was no exception. When I saw the riot gear and the poncho and starting connecting the dots, I screamed at the TV, “WHERE ARE THEY?! THAT’S THEIR STUFF!” just as Rick grabbed his Terminus hostage. Heart-pounding stuff!

I love that despite the horrible situation they’re all now in, they’re in it together. Like Rick said, I hope they feel pretty stupid when they realize they’ve screwed with the wrong group of people. The only bummer was not having Tyreese, Carol, and Beth there too. Well…I guess that’s actually a good thing.

from 17world.com

from 17world.com

Top Five Least Favorite Moments

1. Carl being an asshole – I’m trying to like Carl. I really am. Sometimes it’s easy, but other times it is sooooooo hard. After the episode with the chocolate pudding, I was just thinking good thing you didn’t get eaten by your zombie dad after thinking you could make it on your own, huh pussy? Then after the finale, Rick had to gut that rapist hog and go all Mike Tyson on that other guythat actor plays a creepy, horrible guy in everything, by the way. He’s like the Willem Defoe of character actors.and Carl’s reaction was so irksome.

I know that teen angst is very real and when you feel like your mom, your sister, and essentially everyone and everything around you has been taken because of your father’s lack of bad assery (or just grip on reality in some cases), you’re bound to get moody. Hey, seeing your dad eat a guy’s throat is traumatic as well. I once saw my dad eat a particularly rare steak too enthusiastically, and I’m still shaking. Your dad said he was proud of you and he thinks you’re a good man. Blah blah blah.

Carl is just the worst. He went from precocious to annoying to total d-bag in four seasons flat, and I’m over it. SO THERE!

from examiner.com

from examiner.com

2. Hershel dying - What a painful moment. If you read the comics, you know that this grand decapitation was actually meant for Tyrese, but in the show’s world, who else could incite rage and heartbreak quicker than the prison’s wise old patriarch? His death was felt so thoroughly that it took a toll on the actors as well. At least we got to see him in some finale flashback moments.

from businessinsder.com

from businessinsder.com

3. Sympathy for the devil Governor – Didn’t you hate starting to sort-of-maybe-kind-of sympathize with the Governor for like 0.2 seconds? I know I did. Even though I knew where it would all end up, seeing him stagger around with his weird Brian beard allowed me a moment to really understand the character of Phillip or “The Governor.”

from happynicetimepeople.com

from happynicetimepeople.com

4. Artificial, inorganic romances set up just to watch ‘em die – The cast is limited. Can we all just understand that? People who watch the show demand violence and death on the side of the dead AND the living. How else are you going to do that without introducing characters really for the sole purpose of killing them off and hoping that it resonates with the audience somewhere in between? Whether it was Zack, Karen, or that one lesbian army chick I won’t even bother looking up, characters are forced together and apart so quickly that sometimes it feels random and meaningless. That’s right, I want some REAL love to end in life-shattering pain. Maggie and Glenn, I’m looking at you. Jk jk jk jk jk jk.

from wetpaint.com

from wetpaint.com

5. Carol kills – The entire time Carol was banished, I was sticking to a theoryLizzie, the child psychopath, had murdered David and Karen just to see what it would feel like, Carol then found them, and she covered up the whole thing to save Lizzie from the groups’ collective wrath. When it was finalized, however, that she did in fact kill David and Karen, I kind of felt…well…meh about the whole thing. I love that Carol has grown as a character and she’s not taking anyone’s abuse anymore and she’s really strong, but a double murder seemed like a big leap for me no matter the motive. Couldn’t we have stopped at her having to off walkers or people that may turn any second? Did they have to still be human? I don’t know. I guess that if we were going there, I would have like a slow burn.

from mtv.com

from mtv.com

 

All in all, I felt like this season was pretty great. I really liked seeing other characters’ perspectives by having whole episodes be completely Rick-free. Everyone is bound to experience traumatic events differently, so seeing all of these characters going through their own drama was really interesting for me. I love gore—that guy in the last episode getting his face bitten off? come on!but it is the human moments that are always the best in my opinion. That’s the heart of the show. Scott M. Gimple even said that the show’s ultimate goal for this season was, “To give every character a story, to have those stories crash together, and to have them count.” I think they definitely achieved that goal.

Well, I can’t wait for season five in the fall, and to get some of my burning questions from this season answered. Until then, I’ll be dreaming about it. Andrew Lincoln said on The Talking Dead season finale that this show fuels him and I couldn’t agree more as an avid watcher and reader of The Walking Dead. I hope you’ll all be watching with me when it comes back.

from toofab.com

from toofab.com

Thank you for reading, and be sure to check back for my top ten zombie movie list coming shortly! If you have any comments, I would love to read them below.

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If you’re at MSU, do it right.

Hi guys!

A long time ago I made a post about how Michigan State University was offering a course on the zombie apocalypse. I did it mainly as evidence that I’m not insane in my obsession with zombies and the idea of a Z-day in general. Well, whether I convinced you back then or not, MSU is at it again! The man who teaches this awesome course, Glenn Stutzky, let me know that there there is a new video for the upcoming “Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse: Disasters, Catastrophes and Human Behavior” class, and it’s pretty epic. I would totally sign up if I went to MSU. In my opinion, this is such a valuable course to take because z-day is really just a fun, relevant example being used to help illustrate the ways in which mankind reacts in disastrous situations, be it good, bad, or very VERY ugly.

Speaking of zombies, be sure to pop on back to my blog in a couple of weeks for my opinions on this season of The Walking Dead as well as my definitive ranking of zombie movies. I always do a Game of Thrones wrap up, but since I am equally devoted to The Walking Dead and I’m currently cruising through the second compendium of the comic (available on amazon!), I thought I should give the show a little bit of my time just to be fair. I can’t wait to discuss the all that zombie gore, but more importantly, the wonderful human moments!

Oh, and I’m headed to Wondercon in April as well, so get ready for another convention piece!

x0

Theyellowranger

 

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Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer

Yet another potentially awesome superhero flick. Can’t believe I left this off the list in my previous post. Watch this cool official trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy below.

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Game of Thrones Season 4 Promo

Not only is The Walking Dead back tonight, but I just watched this bad ass season four promo for Game of Thrones.

Enjoy all of the back-stabbing-fire-breathing-gold-handed goodness!

UPDATE: A fan-made trailer has just come out for Game of Thrones and it is pretty damn impressive. The fan(s) evidently edited together a bunch of material from the 15 minute promo as well as the official trailers, reordered some things, added some eerie alt music, and voila! Amazing! I can’t wait for April 6th. You know I’ll have some things to say about the season at the end in one of my infamously long summary posts. Yeeeeeee!

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Cool Guy News: Lex Luthor and Alfred have been cast!

http://cheezburger.com/8031513088

taken from the article/link above

taken from the article/link above

Jesse Eisenberg has been cast as arch-nemesis to Superman, Lex Luthor, in the new Batman vs. Superman movie, while Jeremy Irons will play Batman’s faithful manservant Alfred. This is shaping up to be an interesting movie to say the least. Though I’m never particularly invested in a Superman flick, I will definitely have to check this one out in hopes that it will have even an ounce of The Dark Knight Returns coolness in it. *Fingers crossed*

On the other hand, I’m SOOOOOOO looking forward to X-Men: Days of Future Past. I really hope that they have weaved a descent, albeit not canonically correct in the slightest, storyline together with the hodge-podge of X-Men movies they’ve had in the past. It really just needs to avoid half-baked X-Men: Last Stand character craziness, and everything will be alright. I really enjoyed X-Men: First Class, so I think it’s going to be smooth sailing.

Also, Wintersoldier! Yay! I feel the same way about Cap as I do about Superman, but given Marvel’s track record, I’m willing to go out on a limb here and say that this one will be entertaining as well.

Only time will tell!

 

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Walking Dead Season 4 Return

Yet another show I am so excited to have back. I feel like Sherlock, Community, House of Cards, and The Walking Dead are like little puppies and for the next few months, I’m just going to be rolling in a pile of them giggling like a ninny. That isn’t weird, is it?

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Cool Guy News: Ant-Man Update

http://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/michael-douglas-ant-man-hank-pym

Things are really getting interesting with this whole Ant-Man business. Hmmmmm.

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