Top 10 Zombie Movies You’ve Never Seen
Top 10 Zombie Movies You’ve Never Seen

“Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and kills! The people it kills get up and kill!”

– Dr. Foster, “Dawn of the Dead” (1978)

 
 

Zombies have been the “in” thing of late when it comes to movies. Comedies, dramas, horror films – everything has zombies thrown in for good measure, and oftentimes they’re surprisingly successful. Even zombie master George A. Romero is still making movies about the walking dead – and he’s 70 years old. Zombie movies have been around for probably longer than you think, and over the years, plenty of obscurities in the sub-genre have long been forgotten. And it’s time to bring them back to life (bad pun intended). From zombie chickens to zombie lakes to zombie strippers, The Massie Twins examine the 10 best zombie films you’ve never seen, and likely never even heard of (if you have seen them all, you should probably get off your couch – and not just to get your latest Netflix sleeves).

 

10. I Was a Teenage Zombie (1987)

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Why You Should See It: A low budget gem with some great ideas – a group of teens are terrorized by a drug dealer-turned-zombie and resort to sacrificing one of their own in the hopes that he will return as a “good” zombie to fight the evil one. It also manages a few doses of creative gore and a surprisingly good soundtrack.

Why You Haven’t Seen It: Goofy box art screams equal parts “pick me up for a good time” and “stay away if you know what’s good for you.” Obscure independent films rarely last long on DVD, resulting in few copies and high prices. This one might even cost you a cool C-Note.

 

9. Chopper Chicks in Zombietown (1989)

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Why You Should See It: Alternately titled “Cycle Sluts” and “Chrome Hearts,” “Chopper Chicks in Zombietown” boasts a funny name, some decent one-liners, midgets, Billy Bob Thornton, and zombie massacres. A gang of biker gals chainsawing and decapitating zombies should not be missed by fans. It is a Troma film however. You’ve been warned.

Why You Haven’t Seen It: One of Troma’s last films to get a theatrical release, this isn’t exactly high art. You’ve probably passed it up if you didn’t see the title or did see the Troma logo on the box art.

 

8. The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964)

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Why You Should See It: Just so you know how bad it can really get. Barely a cohesive movie, the film is almost utterly nonsensical and offers up the worst in acting, plot, design, and … well, moviemaking. It’s arguably the worst film “Mystery Science Theater 3000” has ever “hosted, yet its entertainment value is much debated over and the flick often draws comparisons to the films of Ed Wood.

Why You Haven’t Seen It: You’re still capable of making coherent, rational decisions.

 

7. The Zombies of Sugar Hill (1974)

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Why You Should See It: Perhaps the only Blaxploitation zombie film ever made, “The Zombies of Sugar Hill” hosts plenty of foxy ladies, soulful vengeance, and a big bad voodoo mama. The plot finds Diana “Sugar Hill” calling upon the dead to exact revenge on the gangsters that killed her man. Also features Robert Quarry and unique brassy-eyed, blue-skinned zombies.

Why You Haven’t Seen It: “Sugar Hill” is very, very ‘70s. It caters to those who can appreciate the sub-genre of the, uh … sub-genre.

 

6. Stacy: Attack of the Schoolgirl Zombies (2001)/Tokyo Zombie (2005)/Junk (2000)

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Why You Should See Them: If you don’t mind your zombie films with ample doses of weird humor, the Japanese contributions to the zombie/horror/comedy genre expertly blend black comedy with red guts for a decidedly unique experience. Schoolgirls, jewel thieves, and factory workers all have their hands full fending off raving undead in these three classic examples of East meets West meets Zombies.

Why You Haven’t Seen Them: These strange hybrids aren’t for everyone, though almost all of them pay tribute to Romero’s original films. It’s clear – as well as amusing – to see how this major influence plays into their stylized depictions of the undead.

 

5. Revenge from Planet Ape (a.k.a. Tombs of the Blind Dead) (1972)

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Why You Should See It: Although the real premise involves corpses being resurrected to attack vacationing college kids, an attempt to cash in on the “Planet of the Apes” films found a prologue tacked on mentioning a 3000-year-old simian war against man that ended in the intelligent monkey-people civilization being destroyed. The few survivors were tortured and had their eyes pierced with red hot pokers, leading to the ape leader vowing to return from the dead to seek revenge. Then the Templar Knight zombies are introduced.

Why You Haven’t Seen It: The “Blind Dead” series of zombie films aren’t the most obscure around, but the ridiculous number of alternate titles of this particular entry makes the various edits a noteworthy occasion. Not only is it known as “Mark of the Devil Part 4,” “Mark of the Devil Part 5,” “Crypt of the Blind Dead,” “Night of the Blind Dead,” “Tombs of the Blind Dead,” and “The Blind Dead,” it was also cut to be a take on the “Planet of the Apes” craze: “Revenge from Planet Ape.”

 

4. Dead Snow (2009)

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Why You Should See It: Nazi zombies have been around for years, and everyone from Jess Franco to Joel M. Reed has tackled the militarized undead. “Dead Snow” updates the formula for a much more modernized take, showcasing gallons of creatively visceral bloodshed. The film pays homage to its predecessors (including the requisite chainsaw standoff against a horde of zombies) and never takes itself too seriously.

Why You Haven’t Seen It: The film slipped under the radar for the most part with a fairly limited theatrical release. Word of mouth has brought it a rather sizable following, and fans who like their zombie flicks with extra gore, juvenile crudeness, and plenty of movie references should check it out.

 

3. Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981)

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Why You Should See It: Of the Italian grindhouse zombie flicks, “Burial Ground” stands out with over-the-top gore and a few special oddities – including zombie monks and the casting of an adult dwarf as an incestuous child who turns zombie and feasts upon his mother’s breast (and not for milk).

Why You Haven’t Seen It: It’s technically a “foreign film” and, like many Italian zombie movies, goes by several titles, making it appear as if it’s one of many sequels. The pointless plot needs little explanation for the bloodletting (though few slashers do) and audiences will likely not care if any of the protagonists actually make it out alive.

 

2. Teenage Mutant Horror Comet Zombies (1984)

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Why You Should See It: Few films have the ambition to combine science-fiction, horror, comedy, romance, and zombies into an end-of-the-world, teen thriller. More commonly known as “Night of the Comet,” the film utilizes a sassy, parody outlook to take its valley girl heroines through a nightmarish adventure to evade killer zombies and evil scientists.

Why You Haven’t Seen It: With perhaps the biggest following of any film on this list, chances are you’ve at least heard of this ‘80s cult classic. As the film pokes fun and pays tribute to the low budget sci-fi and horror movies of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the more “B” pictures you’ve seen, the more you’ll appreciate the offbeat humor “Night of the Comet” has to offer. Totally!

 

1. The Midnight Hour (1985)

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Why You Should See It: It’s good, clean, zombie fun! As a television movie, the proceedings are a mix of comedy and horror without the loads of violent bloodshed and excessive nudity that many zombie films incorporate into the action. A group of teenagers (including a pre-“Star Trek” LeVar Burton) accidentally unleash the living dead upon their high school Halloween party and must set things right or face destruction at the hands of a 300-year-old witch.

Why You Haven’t Seen It: A 1985 made-for-TV flick, “The Midnight Hour” has garnered a strong cult following for its blend of thrills and lighthearted comedy. A DVD was released briefly in 2000, but has now become an extremely rare collector’s item that trades hands on eBay for several hundred dollars a copy! Better start saving for Halloween.