The Best Zombie Movies Ever

If you are newly exploring the world of the undead, this list of The Best Zombie Movies will do a fine job of getting you properly acquainted with this glorious genre. This list is comprised of the movies that are liked by the highest percentage of viewers. So get out the popcorn – many hours of blood-spattered, rotting-corpse-filled entertainment await you. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

Like any art form, the best and most pure works are often NOT the ones that are most appreciated and/or understood by mainstream audiences. If you have been watching these movies for as long as I have, your list of the Best Zombie Movies ever will probably be somewhat different than the ones listed here. If that is the case, please drop us a note and tell us about it. Your input will be used to compile a more “hardcore” best of list.

Either way, I’m sure you will agree that the flicks on this Best Zombie Movies list are ALL required watching for any budding zombie movie aficionado! So, without further adieu, let the feast begin…

10. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Best Zombie Movies, Dawn of the Dead 2004 (Movie Poster)This is a delightful little remake of Romero’s 1978 classic, and just makes the #10 slot of the Best Zombie Movies list. All new and updated for the new millennium, it is a remake in the fullest sense of the word with hardly any of the original storyline intact. Yes, it is still about zombies, and yes there are still some folks holed up in a shopping mall, and yes it is still called Dawn of the Dead. Otherwise, it’s all new and improved.

Personally, I really enjoy this movie. There is some good humor here and there, and at least a small gratuitous tip of the hat to human sexuality (utterly devoid in the previous film). Also the incorporation of extremely fast zombies is a most welcome addition. Nothing against slow zombies, of course, they are great fun at parties and plenty scary when they show up in large numbers. However, I’ve really come to appreciate fast aggressive zombies in movies and (especially) games. Fast zombies are much more entertaining (IMHO)!

9. Cemetery Man (aka Dellamorte Dellamore) (1994)

Best Zombie Movies, Cemetary Man aka Dellamorte DellamoreHere is a quirky little Italian made film about a guy who works as a caretaker in a cemetery where the dead just won’t stay put. Francesco and his somewhat mentally challenged sidekick, Gnaghi, just seem to take for granted that it is part of their job as caretakers to put the dead back in their place when they come crawling back out of their graves – and are in fact worried about losing their jobs if someone finds out what’s going on!

This is not a “serious” movie by any means – and be warned that it does manage to get almost unbearably corny in some places. However, like in Dead Alive (see below), the humor works enough of the time to forgive at least some of the occasions where it doesn’t.

So why is this movie rated high enough make its way onto the best zombie movies list? I would surmise that it remains popular because it has a nice mix of the Holy Trinity of Sex, Violence and Zombies. There is a fair amount of gratuitous sex, some satisfying episodes of senseless violence and a freaky enough story line to keep it all interesting… perfect for family night! ;-) )

8. 28 Days Later (2002)

Best Zombie Movies, 28 Days LaterA considerably different twist from your typical zombie movie, 28 Days Later features super fast zombies resulting from a super fast acting virus. This British made film sports a host of well played characters, and relies heavily on an atmosphere of post-apocalyptic despair. The story is engrossing and the zombies are some of the scariest ever created.

Even though some “purists” claim the virus infected people in this film don’t really qualify as zombies, this movie is one of my all time faves. With a respectable amount of Violence, believable Zombies and a haunting look and feel, this film leaves a lasting impression. Whatever the purists may say, this is definitely one of the best zombie movies on my DVD shelf.

[read full 28 Days Later review here]

7. Army of Darkness (1993)

Best Zombie Movies, Army of DarknessOkay, I know this is going to totally piss off some die hard Bruce Campbell fans – and I can already hear the chainsaw dismemberment death threats – but I have to be perfectly honest. The god-awful truth is I’m not really sure whether there are zombies in this movie or not. Fact is I’ve never made it that far!

Some have argued that this is not even a zombie movie at all. However, my friends who love this movie insist that somewhere along the way, old Bruce does in fact manage to accidentally raise an entire army of the walking dead. Personally, by the time that part of the movie comes along, I’ve either drank myself into a vodka induced coma, or found some extremely important laundry folding that needed to be done, or remembered that my favorite episode of The Mighty Morphin Rump Rangers was playing on another channel.

The evil voices in my head told me to throw this movie off the list in favor of something I liked better (and actually finished watching!). And although I usually follow instructions of the evil voices to the letter, I realized that I can’t ignore the numbers (or my weird friends who think this is the best movie ever). The truth is, Army of Darkness has a large cult following, is well liked, and has earned it’s place on the best zombie movies list (for now… the voices are unrelenting ;-) ).

So, if you are a fan of this movie, please do us all a HUGE favor and send in a more fitting review. Your review will get its own page, and you will get full credit… you may even save me from being dismembered by a chainsaw!

6. Dead Alive (aka Braindead) (1992)

Best Zombie Movies, Dead Alive aka BraindeadSo far, this list of the best zombie movies contains a couple of American films, an Italian film, and a British film. So just in case you were starting to think the Southern Hemisphere might have escaped the zombie plague, let me introduce this New Zealand made B-movie masterpiece. Dead Alive was directed by Peter Jackson – yes, the same Peter Jackson who directed the Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong (2005), and The Lovely Bones (2009) among others.

If, like me, you’re NOT a huge fan of corny slapstick humor, please be warned that the corn factor gets pretty high in a number of places and slapstick humor prevails throughout this film. However, I must admit the humor works at least some of the time and the quirky main characters somehow manage to draw you into the story and their completely messed up situation.

Where this movie really shines, and what earns it a place on the best zombie movies list, is the level of gore depicted. It is phenomenal for it’s time. Perhaps this film wouldn’t have been so well liked if all the blood and guts had not been juxtaposed with all the corny humor. Either way, this film is sure to leave an impression on you – and perhaps on your carpet if you have any squeamish friends!

5. Planet Terror (2007)

Best Zombie Movies, Planet TerrorThis movie is a prime example of the true Power and Grandeur of the Holy Trinity of Sex, Violence and Zombies. Here we have one of the hottest women on the planet (Rose McGowan as Cherry Darling) battling legions biochemically induced zombies with her machine-gun peg-leg. If that doesn’t make you cream your jeans, then you had better check your pulse – you might be a zombie yourself! Add some killer cameo appearances by the likes of Bruce Willis, Quentin Tarantino, and Fergie and you have one of the most entertaining movies ever made – and certainly one of the best zombie movies ever created.

[read full Planet Terror review here]

4. Zombieland (2009)

Best Zombie Movies, Planet TerrorI usually approach Zom-Coms with a certain amount of terror coursing through my veins. The horrific possibility of being subjected to two hours of unbearably corny humor while a herd of fake-looking zombie extras pesters a group of unenthusiastic actors is often too much to take. What a happy pleasant surprise this movie was!

Not only was Zombieland packed with real belly laughs from end to end, the entire production was first rate as well, with some nice zombie violence and great performances from the cast. Woody Harrelson was absolutely born for the role of Talahassee. His performance here certainly puts him back on my list of favorite actors. And what a great cameo from Bill Murray!

One of the most enjoyable movies to come out in recent memory, Zombieland is definitely one of the best zombie movies ever made. Was worth seeing twice at the theaters and an enthusiastic purchase when the DVD came out. Nut up or shut up, baby!

3. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Best Zombie Movies, Shaun of the DeadAnd speaking of Zom-Coms… Set in the same city as that other British zombie movie, 28 Days Later, this 2004 British film has been one of the most successful movies of the genre – all while poking respectful fun at more serious zombie flicks (including 28 Days Later) – it is arguably the most successful Zom-Com to date.

Due to its popularity and general watchability (heck, even George Romero – the Godfather of serious zombie movies – says he likes this film) Shaun of the Dead has earned a position of #3 on the Best Zombie Movies list.

Billed as “A Romantic Comedy with Zombies” this is yet another example of how everything goes better with Zombies – or in this case, Zombies, raunchy language, and a great sense of humor. What makes this one of the best zombie movies is that it does so well at drawing the parallel between the everyday lives of most people and the everyday lives of braindead flesh-eating zombies.

So, when you are all done laughing (and, if you can get past the thick British accents, you will laugh when you watch this movie), it will probably hit you that we are already living in the zombie apocalypse… after all these years the zombie movie as a vehicle for social commentary is alive and well!

2. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Best Zombie Movies, Dawn of the DeadWritten and directed by The Godfather, George A. Romero – a true god in the pantheon of deities we worship here at PBZV – Dawn of the Dead is a masterpiece and by all means one of the best zombie movies of all time.

Dawn of the Dead picks up where Night of the Living Dead (NOTLD) leaves off. In NOTLD, it seemed that the zombie epidemic was going to be well under control with people being directed to safe havens and well-organized posses methodically hunting and putting down down the shambling flesh hungry corpses with great success. In Dawn of the dead, we learn that the safe havens were not so safe after all that the posses were unable to effectively control the outbreak.

Although filmed on a relatively low budget, Dawn was a significant box office success for its time. And really, what more could folks have asked for back then – or even now, for that matter? I mean we have 4 people holed up in a shopping mall surrounded by hordes of bloodthirsty zombies and with access all the guns they can shoot. The happy and inevitable result is plenty of blood and guts, some surprisingly dead-on social commentary (whether intended or not) and scenes that are so 70′s you can almost smell the shag carpet. Such a classic!

1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Best Zombie Movies, Night of the Living DeadRadio announcer: These are the facts as we know them: There is an epidemic of mass murder, being committed by a virtual army of unidentified assassins.

Television newscaster: It has been established, that persons who have recently died, have been returning to life and committing acts of murder.

I still get chills when I hear those reports – personally I think the newscasts describing the epidemic of zombie destruction are even creepier than actual images of reanimated corpses congregating outside the farmhouse where the majority of this film takes place.

Night of the Living Dead was not the first zombie film by any means, however it is THE movie that defined zombies as we know them today – as shambling, braindead eaters of human flesh – and remains at the very top of the best zombie movies list.

An independent, low-budget, black and white film directed by George A. Romero, Night of the Living Dead contains some of the most striking zombie imagery you will ever see and projects a level of horror that is seldom achieved on any budget. The end result is a film that is even more classic than the ’67 Pontiac that occupies the first few scenes of the film

And if all that weren’t enough, to top it all off, this film has one of the best horror movie endings ever!!. Simply a masterpiece. For a more thorough discussion of the movie, including a great trailer, I’d recommend checking out’s review for Night of the Living Dead.

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