Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Braaaaaaains!


In honor of Halloween (which happens to be my favorite holiday), the svelte and sultry Earl has been counting down his top 5 favorite horror movies, by genre, each day. He wisely left the “undead” genre for me, since he knows that I am a nut for it. Sure, I loves me some hot werewolf, vampire, and demon action, but for me, nothing shivers me timbers like a good zombie movie.

So, let’s get right down to my list of the top 5 zombie movies of all time:

5) Return of the Living Dead – This movie gets overlooked a lot because, at its heart, it’s a spoof of George Romero’s Dead movies, and that’s a shame. When this movie came out in 1986, a budding young high school senior named Slyde went to see it with his friends, and it simultaneously made me laugh my ass off while scaring the shit outta me. The acting is solid, the jokes are actually funny, and it’s extremely well-written for what it is.

4) Night of the Living Dead – The one that started it all. Say what you will about George Romero, but his fresh new take on the concept of the zombie blew away anyone who saw it back in the day, and now, 40 years later, it still stands the test of time. I think NotLD is beautifully undated, and while it was made years before the blood-and-gore scenes that became this genre’s trademark years later, it will still give you a solid case of the heebie-jeebies. Even the 1990 remake is creepy, although it falls apart a bit at the end.

3) 28 Days Later – Yeah, yeah, I know that the baddies in this movie aren’t technically ‘undead’, but I would still lump this movie in with the zombie crowd. 28 Days Later was a pleasant surprise for me when it first came out. It’s smart, scary, and does a great job in showing an updated take on the genre. Director Danny Boyle, who I sometimes love and sometimes hate, really hit it out of the park with this one.

2) Dawn of the Dead (2004) – I’m torn between this movie and 28 Days Later as my #2 pick, but since 28 Days isn’t even “technically” about zombies, I’ll give this movie the edge. When I first heard that young director Zack Snyder was redoing one of my favorite movies of all time, I was very skeptical. But damn, if ol’ Zack didn’t hit it out of the park with this one. Snyder’s retelling of the now-clich├ęd tale of a group of survivors hiding out in a shopping mall while trying to hold off an army of the undead was great fun to watch. I would LOVE to see Snyder make a viable sequel to this film, but now that he has hit it big in Hollywood with some big-budget blockbusters (300, Watchmen), that will probably never happen.

1) Dawn of the Dead (1978) – Not much surprise here, is it? One of the reasons I almost didn’t do this post was because I didn’t just want to just make a list containing nothing more than all of Romero’s “Living Dead” movies. Also, I’ve spoken a bunch of times here that I consider Romero’s sophomore Dead film as the scariest movie of all time. I have watched this movie at least 2 dozen times in my life, and I can guarantee you that if I pop it into my DVD player today, when I go to bed tonight I will have a seriously messed up freaky dream about it. It STILL gets to me.

Cutting this list down to 5 was damn hard. Here are some honorable mentions off the top of my head:

Resident Evil- SOOOOO Close to putting this on the list. In retrospect I should have combined the two Dawn of the Dead movies as 1 entry and added this one to the list. The sequels have sucked, but this one was done quite well (and made me lust after Mila Jovavich)

Shawn of the Dead – A total send-up spoof of every zombie movie ever made. Great fun!

28 Weeks Later – VERY inferior to the original, but the opening 10 minutes were so amazingly good (the only part that was directed by Boyle), that this movie almost made the list.

Evil Dead – Not really zombies, either. I honestly don’t know WHAT the Hell you’d call them, but when I first watched this at the tender age of 17 it scared the shit out of me.

Scary Edit: Kudos to Earl who just reminded me about Dead Alive. Way before Lord of the Rings ever saw the silver screen, Peter Jackson made a small Aussie Movie about a man, his mother, a housefull of zombies, and a monkey. Probably the hardest Earl and I have ever laughed in the theatre.

So do yourself a favor and check any one of these out this Halloween. Just remember to sleep with the lights on.

36 comments:

Sunshine said...

I wanted to be first... oxoxox
Rather sleep with the lights off and then some...

Chris H said...

Fuck I don't 'do' horror movies, they scare the shit outta me! Getting me power bill does the same thing! Pays not to open the mail sometimes. Have a great Halloween weekend.. we dont 'do' Halloween here either.

B.E. Earl said...

That's about how my list would have looked. I probably would have gone with Shaun over Return, but that's just nit-picking.

Cemetary Man was a pretty damn good zombie flick too! And it had the awesome Anna Fulchi. Rowr! And Dead Alive (aka Braindead) should probably at least get a mention.

Dr Zibbs said...

I agree with 28 days later. I was surprised I liked it.

Bruce said...

I find it interesting that there is enough interest in the genre to keep it going. Just like westerns, how many indians do you have to kill before it starts getting old?

I must admit that Night of the Living Dead was a great film, more so because of the time it was made in and the style that Romero used. Stark black and white and the concept of isolationism and fear with racial inequality thrown in and bigotry. In the end there is no big mystery of why the dead have come back to life or what caused the whole thing, just the 'good-ole' boys going around and finishing off the dead folks that came out of the grave and killing the protagonist by mistake.

I like the fact that this whole film was basically a spoof on the concept of Communisum being an infectious desease against Democracy and in the end it was fear that we were afraid of, fear and ignorance. It works well on so many levels which it why it withstood the test of time.

All the others sort of suck....except Shawn of the Dead.....

Michelle J said...

I just like Shawn of the Dead!!!


The other movies, both here and over at b.e are way way too scary for little chicken me!!!

Do i suck??? How about a list of chick flicks???

:O)

Ali said...

I have to confess...I am a total suck about scary movies. Thrillers, zombies, aliens - they all scare me so bad that I refuse to watch them.

I DID watch Shawn of the Dead, which I liked, but I was still looking over my shoulder for about a week after.

I'm tough, but not tough enough for that kind of scare :)

Shania said...

I must say, I was so pissed off when the guy got shot at the end, after fighting off all of those zombies for so long, that I never watched another zombie movie. I'm still mad and it's been a hundred years.

teeni said...

Horror movies are the best. I have lots of good memories of going to them with my uncles and grandmother when I was a kid. We'd all laugh at the scary parts except for one Uncle who kind of got the bugged-eye fraidy cat look about him. LOL.

Tamara said...

I'm not much of a fan of horror movies. I tend to find them lame. But I really enjoyed 28 Days Later. And, although it's not a zombie flick, I still rate The Shining as one of the best horrors I've ever seen. To this day I'm terrified of Jack Nicholson. but then again, he is a scary man.

Glad to see I am Legend is not on the list. It's also not technically about zombies (but close enough). Super lame!

Being Brazen said...

Shawn of the dead was hysterical...I love the part where they throwing records at the zombies heads.

Slyde said...

sunshine: see? even THAT comment from you turns me on..

chris: halloween is actually next friday, but thanks!

Earl: i havent seen cemetary man yet... always wanted to. and thankd for the catch on forgetting about dead alive.

zibbs: even my WIFE liked it!

Slyde said...

bruce: thats why i love romero so much. Pretty much EACH of his dead movies is a social commentaty on one form of society or another. Dawn of the dead was his condemnation on American consumerism, for instance...

michele: i will leave the list of chick flicks to you :)

ali: not to worry. When i start sleeping over, we'll watch them together.

shania: you should watch the 1990 remake. It ends..... differently.

Slyde said...

teeni: thats cool.. i was WEENED on horror movies..

tamara: yeah, i thought about i am legend, but you are right.. they were DEFINITELY not zombies..

brazen: yeah, SHAWN rocked.... i love simon pegg. if you like shawn you should check out HOT FUZZ..

Faiqa said...

You were a high school senior in 1986? Wow. ;)

Slyde said...

faiqa: yeah... i'm old right?

but i still look SOO damn good!

Real Live Lesbian said...

I'm creeped out just reading about these! I love NoTLD. The original. When I was 16 and home alone.

And 28 Days Later...while different, was chilling. I've been wanting to see the sequel, but now I know just to watch the first 10.

Slyde said...

reallive: i cant say 28 weeks later was a horrible movie, but after the first one (and then those first compltely chilling 10 minutes) i had my hopes set SO high.

if your a fan, it was still worth watching, but my goodness if they could have kept up that opening quality and pace...

p.s. welcome!

i am the diva said...

i have recently just discovered that i love the IDEA of horror movies. but in real life i can;t handle the fear... put it in a book and i eat that shit up - put it on screen and i can't sleep for days.

shaun of the dead rocked my world

Bina said...

Okay, sorry, but I don't like any of the Dead movies. I just don't.

Me? I'm more of a "Shutter", "The Descent", things like that. If a movie makes me scream because of some unexpected pop up crap, it has me.

Bina said...

Hmmm, that last sentence is very intersting, isn't i? Pop up? Has me? LOL

Paige Stanton said...

Aw man between you and Earl I'm starting to feel real guilty about Halloween this year. Usually I go all out, I hang spiders in the office, I decorate my yard I dream up a kick ass costume... But this year I haven't done any of that. I have a few things out in the yard, but I'm not happy with the way it looks, I'm not doing costumes this year, it's just too much work and I'm tired of fighting with JRK to participate. But I did buy candy and I've been known to give handfull upon handful away to the little kiddies and I have 2 pumpkins I'm determined to carve.

(I'm sure you care about all of that - sorry for the long rambling comment.)

Chris said...

The scariest scene in the Dawn of the Dead remake, was when that little girl comes into the house and attacks that guy just after he wakes up.
I still wake up half expecting to see a little girl with half of a lip staring at me when I wake up at night.
Zombie movies are the best movies ever made. I was actually just talking about the new "Day of The Dead" remake with Ving Rhames. I gotta see that one too.

Faiqa said...

You do. You do look good. And besides, I was actually born before 1986, several years, perhaps even a full decade (I'm not telling) before 1986. So...you know, I'm not exactly, "young." Thank God.

Holly Hall said...

Slyde:

1. I enjoyed Shawn of the dead. It is so well written, so fun!

2. I liked it MUCH MUCH MUCH better when the tageline above the followers said, 'i have hot sweaty sex with each of these people". Please consider changing it back.

3. Maybe you can do a post on Saw and those types of horror movies.
Mr. Hall is a fan of this film and hostel. I don't understand this. He finds the films funny.

@ Bruce: I had no idea the real meaning behind Dawn of the Dead.
Then again, I was two when it came out.

Ok, enough, I doubt anyone will read this it is posted so late after the intial post.

:)

Mrs. Hall

Sunshine said...

Hon, it is all in your vivid imagination... I LOVE IT!!!!! oxoxox

Slyde said...

diva: that, my dear, is a shame. You were THIS close to being perfect...

bina: i LOVED descent... loved it. if you like descent, check out the directors other awesome movies Dog Soldiers, and the relic.

paige: see, i went the other way this year. All out. Robotic spiders that fall from my doorway, skeletons that crawl on my lawn.. the whole 9 yards..

Slyde said...

chris: i agree... i LOVE that opening.

faiqa: ok, so your in my "ballpark".... lol

mrs hall:
1) me too
2) for you, im changing it back.. i liked it too
3) he actually told you the meaning behind "night". I said the meaning behind "dawn"

sunshine: :)

2abes said...

great list....like the old versions myself, they were the ones that scared the crap out of me when i was young. the new movies are good, but fast moving zombies don't seem right.

Sunshine said...

See hon, I have nothing but time today since I am off from school, and I was a good teacher and finished my grades and report cards early... now I can harass you and make you smile... oxoxox

Slyde said...

abes: i didnt mind the fast zombies so much, but i agree i like the slow ones better

sunshine: you ALWAYS make me smile. One day i want to see the top half of that picture!

James said...

Yeah I love Zombie movies too. My list would have looked somewhat similar.

Slyde said...

james: see? we think alike :)

Sunshine said...

hon... maybe I will change the pic on my blog.... or maybe just blog about tit, oh I mean it... so sorry babe...

Slyde said...

sunshine: See? there you go again! Seriously, if you ever were brave enough to send me a pic, my email is at the bottom of my blog. Maybe i'd even send you one.... you would swoon :)

Sunshine said...

your spoken for, I can be do balls, I mean be ballsy but married men are off limits to me... do not cross the line... sorry sweets....