Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Decade!

So, 2010 is upon us. Not just the start of a New Year, but a New Decade. And every blogger is posting lists. I'm even guilty of doing it over at Caliban's Revenge (which, by the way, has a whole new look for 2010). I've done the Top 10 Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Movies of the Decade. And I'll be posting my Ten Best Films of the Year and of the Decade, soon enough.

Of course, since The Zombie Zone is All Zombies, All the Time, I'm happy to announce Uncle Prospero's Top Ten Zombie Movies of the Decade.

A daunting task? Not really. There are plenty of really bad Zombie Movies. You and I both know it. But good Zombie Movies are few and far between, and to be quite honest, I had a hard time coming up with 10 to call "Best."

Still, I searched my memory, did my research and came up with a list of the 10 Zombies I most enjoyed over the past 10 years. And while I may have yet to see Dead Snow and Pontypool, I still managed to come up with 10 entertaining, gory and fun Zombie Movies to recommend. So, let's get started, shall we?

10. Dance of the Dead (2008)

When the dead rise on Prom Night, it's up to the geeks and nerds who couldn't get dates to save the day. Hilarious and original, Dance of the Dead is certainly worth adding to your Netflix queue.

9. Deadgirl (2008)

Two high school loners discover a zombie trapped in an abandoned mental asylum and use her as a sex toy for themselves and their friends. Disturbing on so many levels, Deadgirl takes the genre in a direction audiences may not prepared to go.

8. Planet Terror (2007)

I did not see Grindhouse in a theatre. Instead, I waited until the two films were released separately on DVD and only rented Robert Rodriguez's Zombie Actioner. Rose McGowan; Freddy Rodriguez; Josh Brolin; Jeff Fahey; Fergie; Naveen Andrews and Bruce Willis star in this hilarious homage to 70's gorefests. Oh, and there's Rose McGowan's machine gun leg!

7. [Rec] (2007)

This Spanish movie about a reporter, her cameraman and a team of firefighters trapped in an apartment building with teh victims of zombifying rabies strain is simply one of the most terrifying uses First Person camerawork since The Blair Witch Project. The inevitable American remake Quarantine, isn't quite as effective, though it stars Hostel's adorable Jay Hernandez.

6. 28 Weeks Later (2007)

The sequel to Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later (more about that movie, in a bit) doesn't quite live up to the original, though the opening sequence in which Robert Carlyle leaves his wife to a fate worse than death is fascinating, horrifying and adrenaline-inducing. Rose Byrne ("Damages") and The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner co-star as American soldiers sent to assist in the rebuilding of Britain.

5. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Screenwriter James Gunn (Slither - a film that almost made this list) lends some clever updates to director Zach Snyder's (Watchmen) re-imagining of the Romero classic. Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames and "Modern Family" star Ty Burrell have a blast in this "fast zombie" tale about a group of survivors holed up in a shopping mall. What it lacks in the social commentary of Romero's original, it more than makes up for in action, gore and humor.

4. 28 Days Later (2002)

Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) made the first "fast zombie" movie with this tale about a virus unleashed in England by animal rights activists. It introduced American audiences to blue-eyed beauty Cillian Murphy and terrified audiences worldwide.

3. Fido (2006)

Carrie Ann Moss (The Matrix); Billy Connolly and Dylan Baker star in Canadian director Andrew Currie's hilarious spoof of 1950's America with a zombie twist. Corporate greed, deviant sex and Lassie are all skewered in this brilliant parody.

2. Zombieland (2009)

An amazing cast and an hilarious script make Reuben Fleischer's 2009 movie about 4 survivors making their way to a "zombie-free zone" one of the funniest Zombie movies ever. Bill Murray steals the show, but Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisinberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin all hold their own in a movie that made my dear D hide his eyes more than once.

1. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

I snuck away from a dance rehearsal of a terrible production of "Kiss Me, Kate" that I was stage-managing to see a matinee of this movie, returning well before the choreographer was finished working a single number to death. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's brilliant 'Zombie-Rom-Com' may well be the funniest Zombie movie, ever. With amazingly funny performances from Pegg, Nick Frost and Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and, ironically, a British sit-com called "Kiss Me Kate"), Shaun is not only an hilarous parody of the genre, but an homage to Romero and the films that started the Zombie craze.

Sadly, I did not see every Zombie Film of the last 10 years, but the one I wanted to see most seems to have fallen through the cracks. I'm sill hoping to catch it on DVD. If you've seen it, please tell what you thought. Here's the trailer for Zombies of Mass Destruction, what may be the first (and only) mainstream* gay zombie movie:

And just because I feel like a bit of Zombie Music, here's the video for the Cranberries' song "Zombie:"

So, what were your favorite Zombie Films of the past 10 years? I'd love to know. Here's hoping that the next 10 years bring us bigger, better and gorier Zombie Movies than ever before.

*Otto (or any other film by Bruce LaBruce) doesn't count...

More flesh eating, soon.


  1. That Dead Girl poster is creeping me out. It looks like a set of woman's lips but from lower. Euuuuu!