Greatest Zombie Films

Greatest Zombie Films


Greatest Zombie Films
(chronological by time period and film title)
Introduction | 1930s-1950s | 1960s-1970s | 1980-1984 | 1985-1989
1990s | 2000-2006 | 2007-2009 | 2010s

Greatest Zombie Films: 2010s
(chronological by time period and film title)
Title Screen
Zombie Films

The Crazies (2010)
d. Breck Eisner, 101 minutes, Overture Films and Participant Media

Tagline: "Fear Thy Neighbor"
Setting: The fictional town of Ogden Marsh, Pierce County, Iowa
Story: The main characters, all residents of a threatened small midwestern Iowa town, included dedicated Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant), his loyal redneck deputy Russell Clank (Joe Anderson), Dutton's pregnant wife Judy (Radha Mitchell) who was employed as the town's doctor, and Judy's assistant (Danielle Panabaker). The story was told in flashback, about how individuals in the town began to show signs of sickness, dementia, craziness and other odd homicidal behaviors (without being drunk), and suspicions were instantly aroused. The spread of the viral plague was determined to be from water poisoned and tainted after the crash of a military plane near town that was carrying a toxic biological weapon - code-named "Trixie." To protect against the spread of infection, the small burg of Ogden Marsh was isolated and quarantined by inept, mostly faceless, genocidal military officers with helicopters, gas masks, black uniforms and biohazard suits, weapons and humvee vehicles, who were only interested in exterminating the entire threat. The main group of uninfected local survivors attempted to break out from Ogden Marsh and reach Cedar Rapids, while fending off both government troops and the zombies themselves. In the film's conclusion, Ogden Marsh was completely exterminated with a violent explosion, and Cedar Rapids appeared to be the next in line to be contained.
Notable: This horror film was an updated remake of the original low-budget film, writer/director George Romero's sci-fi action thriller The Crazies (1973), with a similar pretext about the military's accidental unleashing of a biological weapon ("Trixie") after an Army plane crash, and the subsequent viral epidemic of infected, crazed individuals (caused by the toxic water supply) in the nearby town of Evans City, Pennsylvania. The city was quarantined and surrounded by the military to contain the spread of the virus. A strong anti-government subtext about the Vietnam War and military incompetence was missing in the remake.

The Dead (2010, UK)
d. Howard J. Ford and Jonathan Ford, Indelible Productions/Latitude Films

Tagline: "The feeding begins."
Setting: A zombie-ravaged African desert, during a zombie apocalypse.
Story: A military engineer, American AF Lieut. Brian Murphy (Rob Freeman), was the sole survivor of a military transport plane crash on an African coastal beach. He was a passenger on a plane evacuating Western civilians from the ravaged African nation - filled with an endless number of slow and constantly-moving walking dead. To survive in the hot, zombie-infested landscape and pursue a quest to return home to his wife and daughter, he partnered with African Army Sergeant Daniel Dembele (Prince David Oseia), who saved him from a zombie attack. Dembele himself was a survivor of a zombie-ravaged village, who was searching for his surviving son - rescued by the local militia. They came to an amicable friendship during their search for clothes, gas, ammunition, food, water, and possibly other survivors.
Notable: Unrelated to director John Huston's The Dead (1987). This sleeper, low-budget, stark and stripped-down, serious-minded zombie road film was shot on location in the Dark Continent of Africa (Ghana and Burkina Faso). With the traditional, shambling and sluggish undead zombies. The slow-moving, slightly tedious horror-drama was followed by the sequel The Dead 2 (2013), set in India.

Rammbock (2010, Germany) (aka Rammbock: Berlin Undead, or Siege of the Dead)
d. Marvin Kren, 63 minutes, ZDF/Bloody Disgusting

Tagline(s): "You can run, but you can't hide," and "Germany Is Dead" and "Run Hide Survive"
Setting: Berlin, Germany during a modern-day zombie apocalpyse
Story: In this despairing, remarkably short, low-budget horror film, balding, 30-ish and nebbish Michael (Michael Fuith) hitchhiked from Vienna to Berlin to visit his ex-girlfriend Gabi (Anka Graczyk) (they were a couple for seven years) to return her keys (and possibly restore their relationship). Suddenly, inside her apartment building, he was attacked by a plumber (who had injured himself when loosening a radiator pipe). Michael and a second, teenaged apprentice named Harper (Theo Trebs) heard a radio report and learned that Berlin was suffering from an epidemic. The entire area and in particular, their complex with a courtyard was becoming overrun with bloodthirsty, neck-biting, photosensitive, froth-mouthed, white-eyed zombies infected with the rage virus. The report advised that people who were bitten or wounded needed to take sedatives to calm down and allow their immune systems the chance to fight the disease. They realized that they must find a way to get out of the claustrophobic building and to safety, and perhaps locate Gabi. Michael discovered an access-way to the attic where he found his girlfriend and the neighbor's son - her new boyfriend! Both were suspicious of the cut on Michael's arm. Harper realized that zombies were photosensitive (he kept them back with his digital camera's flash), and was able to barricade the building's courtyard gate to withstand the coming siege of "the dead." Michael learned that Gabi had left him for another man (and had been cheating on him before their break-up). A possible route to escape was by boat on the river next to the apartment. During their escape attempt, Michael was bitten - and he embraced the zombified Gabi - in effect, Michael attained his wish to be with her again. Meanwhile, Harper and another survivor Anita (Emily Cox) successfully escaped in the two-seater boat.
Notable: This mostly gore-free entry was allegedly the first German zombie film. It had some moments that were reminiscent of Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954).

The Walking Dead (2010 - ) AMC-TV series
Developed by Frank Darabont

Tagline(s): "Fight the Dead. Fear the Living," and "Hunt or Be Hunted."
Setting: The weeks and months that followed a zombie epidemic and apocalypse. Set in the South, around Atlanta, Georgia.
Story: (1st season) Police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) awoke from a coma in an abandoned hospital. Undead, reanimated "walkers" were everywhere. He surmised that his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) might have fled to Atlanta, Georgia, where the Center for Disease Control (CDC) had set up a quarantine zone. His family were found living with a few other survivors in a makeshift camp outside the city. After meeting up with them, Rick and the others entered the CDC and found one surviving doctor, who prescribed that there was no cure for the pathological zombie virus. Rick and his group escaped before the CDC headquarters went up in flames.
Notable: It was based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore and first published by Image Comics in 2003. In its first season in 2010, it premiered with six episodes. In 2015, AMC ordered a two-season run of an upcoming, "companion series" Walking Dead spinoff - titled Cobalt. The first season was scheduled to be six hour-long episodes, similar to the original airing of The Walking Dead, debuting in the late summer of 2015. A second full season was set to air in 2016. The new shows promised to engage with other parts of the world dealing with the zombie outbreak, centering around Los Angeles.

Juan of the Dead (2011, Cuba/Sp.) (aka Juan de los Muertos)
d. Alejandro Brugués, 92 minutes, La Zanfoña Producciones/Producciones de la 5ta Avenida

Tagline(s): "He's Havana Killer Day," and "50 years after the Cuban Revolution, a new Revolution is about to begin."
Setting: Havana, Cuba.
Story: Two slackers in Cuba, 40 year-old petty thief and boozer Juan (Alexis Díaz de Villegas) and his lazy friend Lazaro (Jorge Molina), noticed that the locals were becoming violent, flesh-eating crazies. They were returning and reanimating from the dead, and indiscriminately attacking. State media sources (TV, radio) and the Cuban government both denied the problem, claiming that the 'living dead' were anti-Castro American capitalists, imperialists or agitators and other government dissidents. Opportunists Juan and Lazaro decided to capitalize and take advantage of the problem, by starting a zombie extermination service-business. The entrepreneurs would be hired as zombie hunters to rid households of zombified residents ("We kill your beloved ones"). The two were assisted reluctantly by Juan's estranged daughter Camila (Andrea Duro), and Lazaro's pretty-boy son Vladi California (Andros Perugorría). Eventually, the city of Havana was over-run with zombies, and Juan (and remaining survivors) continually sought refuge on the rooftop, in a bunker shelter, and a deserted parking garage. Ultimately, their plan was to escape and float on a makeshift floating raft to Miami, Florida, although Juan decided to remain in his homeland at the last second.
Notable: A rip-off title of Shaun of the Dead (2004, UK) - and a Latino version of the earlier film. A satirical Spanish-Cuban zombie horror-comedy, set in Fidel Castro's Cuba, with an astute political subtext.

Cockneys vs Zombies (2012, UK)
d. Matthias Hoene, 87 minutes, Limelight/Molinare/Tea Shop & Film Company

Tagline(s): "The Undead Are Brown Bread" and "This City Ain't Big Enough For the Both of 'Em"
Setting: The East End of London during a zombie apocalypse
Story: This bloody zom-com (the new name for a zombie comedy) was told with two intersecting storylines. As a preface, a construction/excavation crew in the East End of London was preparing a building site for developers, when they accidentally unearthed a 17th-century graveyard crypt (sealed by King Charles II). Upon entering, they unleashed a "plague pit" of zombies. In the first plot line, a pair of bungling, bank-robbing brothers, Terry (Rasmus Hardiker) and Andy MacGuire (Harry Treadaway) planned a heist in order to save their grandfather's crumbling retirement home, the Bow Bells Care Home. It would soon be sold, demolished and the residents would be evicted and moved to the North. They were assisted by their lock-picking cousin Katy (Michelle Ryan), dopey and inept Davey Tuppence (Jack Doolan), and unstable, gun-toting, psychopathic war veteran "Mental" Mickey (Ashley Thomas). To their surprise, the bank vault held 2.5 million in cash (due to a corrupt embezzlement scheme), and their escape was fortuitously aided by an onslaught of zombies who killed the police. Two bank employees were taken hostage, zombie-savvy Emma (Georgia King) and Clive (Tony Gardner). One by one, various individuals succumbed to the zombies, were infected, and joined the bloodthirsty masses. At the same time in the second storyline, the retirees-pensioners, including the MacGuire's spunky curmudgeon grandfather Ray (Alan Ford), barricaded themselves against the ravening hordes in their broken-down retreat. The bank-robbing group rescued Ray and others at the care home, and they all fled from East London.
Notable: The film balanced gags and gore, with many quotable lines, amusing zombie movie in-jokes, and some hilarious visuals. It was the lesser of the two zom-coms when compared to Shaun of the Dead (2004, UK).

Revelation Trail (2013)
d. John P. Gibson, Living End Productions/Extra Life Media/Entertainment One

Tagline(s): "The Legend of the Living Dead" and "The American Frontier Never Died" and "The Dead Rise. The West Falls"
Setting: The late 19th century in America, the late 1880s.
Story: In this zombie western horror film told in flashback, a frontier Preacher (Daniel Van Thomas) allowed two men to spend the night in his barn - not knowing that they were two zombie criminals who had just committed rape. Shortly later, the undead zombies consumed his wife Isabelle (Jordan Elizabeth) and son, and he was forced to flee with the local Sheriff, Marshal Edwards (Daniel Britt) for survival. They finally sought refuge in a small, walled-in fort commanded by the maniacal, racist Samuel Beard (Robert Valentine).
Notable: A low-budget film funded by Kickstarter. One of the few zombie westerns, along with Exit Humanity (2011) and Gallowwalkers (2012).

Warm Bodies (2013)
d. Jonathan Levine, 98 minutes, Make Movies/Mandeville Pictures/Summit Entertainment

Tagline(s): "He's Still Dead But He's Getting Warmer," and "Cold Body Warm Heart."
Setting: A post-apocalyptic United States about 8 years after a zombie plague, brought on by continual wars and disasters.
Story: Survivors of a nightmarish zombie apocalypse lived in a walled environment to protect them from the living dead on the outside. [There were two kinds of zombies - Fleshies or Corpses (not fully decayed) and the stronger, evil, more intelligent Bonies (CGI zombie skeletons) who had lost most of their humanity.] A trio of teenagers conducted a raid to the outside, to gather food, drugs and supplies. The three included Julie Grigio (Teresa Palmer), the daughter of Colonel Grigio (John Malkovich), a military leader intent on eliminating zombies, her boyfriend Perry Kelvin (Dave Franco), and her friend Nora (Analeigh Tipton) were unexpectedly beset by zombies. A slightly-introspective, soulful young Fleshie zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult), tormented and without much memory of his past, lived in a deserted airport. He was one of the attacking zombies who consumed the brain of Julie's boyfriend - and thus became aware of her by assimilating Perry's memories, feelings, and thoughts about her. R developed a crush on Julie and felt protective ("keep you safe") - and experienced one single heartbeat. He hid her in his modified 747 airplane home, to keep her safe from other zombies, and was continually rescuing her from harm. With his limited abilities, he understood the importance of communication (although he could only grunt, but spoke in full sentences in voice-over), and he was starting to retain elements of his former life (an LP record collection, souvenirs, his red hoodie, etc.). Over time, they entered into an unusual relationship - even to the degree that Perry's soul was fully interconnected with R, and R was beginning to feel temperature and bleed like humans. In the film's conclusion, the Living and the Fleshies attacked and eliminated the Bonies. Due to the love between Julie and R, the Living survivors offered to give the Fleshies, who had regained traces of their humanity, a chance to assimilate back into society, and the walled environment was taken down. R was transformed back into a fully-alive human.
Notable: A post-apocalyptic, upbeat zombie teen romance-comedy, an original love story based on Isaac Marion's 2010 novel, similar in part to Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.

World War Z (2013)
d. Marc Forster, 116/123 minutes, GK Films/Plan B Films/Apparatus Productions/Skydance Productions/Paramount Pictures

Tagline: "Remember Philly!"
Setting: In a time of many global zombie uprisings and outbreaks over a period of years, caused by a highly-contagious, infectious disease-virus. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then Newark, NJ., South Korea, Jerusalem (Israel), and Cardiff (Wales).
Story: The story opened in a Philadelphia traffic jam, experienced by ex-UN investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) - with his wife Karin (Mireille Enos) and their two daughters. Suddenly, chaos, explosions, and an attack of zombies signaled a growing zombie pandemic-plague. Bitten individuals were suddenly reanimated in just a few seconds to join the hordes of fast-moving, infected, rampaging undead maniacs. Gerry was sent on a worldwide mission, in a race against time, to discover the source of the rapidly-spreading, threatening disease. While his family were evacuated and protected on a UN-sponsored US Navy fleet stationed offshore in the Atlantic Ocean, Gerry studied the problem to try to determine the root cause or origin - and realized he must locate its patient zero. His travels took him to South Korea, and then to Jerusalem (where a safe zone wall protected the uninfected until the zombies scaled the wall and overtook the city). He witnessed that zombies avoided attacking the sick, injured, terminally-ill, and elderly people (unsuitable hosts for viral reproduction). His next stop was a World Health Organization (WHO) outpost in Cardiff - during the plane ride, zombies infected almost all the passengers and Gerry was forced to use a hand-grenade and crash the plane. After suffering a blackout and coma, Gerry was feared dead and his family were returned to the mainland at Nova Scotia. As an antidote to the virus, he suggested inoculating the uninfected with pathogens which would be curable, to disguise them from the ravaging zombies. In the WHO lab, swarming with zombies, Gerry took a desperate chance and injected himself with one of the vials of unidentified pathogens - and realized that the zombies ignored him. His theory was a success. He collected more samples of the effective pathogen, retreated, and was soon cured of the disease - hopefully saving the world from annihilation with the masking 'vaccine' agent that was delivered to troops battling the zombies.
Notable: This was an apocalyptic action thriller and zombie creature-film based on Max Brooks' 2006 pseudo-oral history novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. As of the present time, the massive summer blockbuster was the highest-grossing zombie film of all time, at $202.4 million (domestic).

Zombeavers (2014)
d. Jordan Rubin, 85 minutes, Epic Pictures/Armory Films/BenderSpink/FreeStyle Releasing

Tagline(s): "You'll All Be Damned!" and "They'll Dam You to Hell"
Setting: The fictional town of Ashwood (unknown state).
Story: In the film's opening, beavers atop a beaver dam soon became flesh-eating and zombified after a barrel of toxic medical waste, from the Mamaroneck Medical Research Facility, fell off a truck (after a deer accident), dropped into the beavers' lake and contaminated it with a green-colored substance. Three attractive female sorority sisters, Mary (Rachel Melvin), Zoe (Cortney Palm), and blonde Jenn (Lexi Atkins) (soon reluctantly joined by their three horny boyfriends) were planning to be alone in the remote lakeside cabin (in the town of Ashwood) of Mary's cousin. Soon, they were menaced by a swarm of deadly and smart zombie beavers. The three boyfriends included: Jenn's cheating Sam (Hutch Dano), Mary's Tommy (Jake Weary), and Zoe's Buck (Peter Gilroy). A grizzly redneck hunter named Smyth (Rex Linn) warned the bikinied girls about wildlife dangers. During a shower, Jenn was the first to be attacked by an infected beaver, and Buck's foot was chewed off while swimming, and he began to turn into a humanoid-zombeaver hybrid. Both Tommy and Jenn were scratched - and soon she became a beaver-like zombie with elongated beaver-teeth (and Tommy was killed by a falling tree and later turned into a zombie). Buck died of his serious beaver-wound, and the rest of the group began to suffer bloody demises one-by-one - Zoe was the final-girl survivor, who ironically was run-over by the medical waste truck from the film's opening. As a postscript, a bee which had been on one of the zombified beaver carcasses flew back to its hive.
Notable: A campy horror-sex comedy, a recent T&A cult classic and "cabin-in-the-woods" film sub-genre with numerous beaver puns. It used animatronics puppets, rather than CGI for the menacing beavers.

Maggie (2015)
d. Henry Hobson, 95 minutes, Grindstone Entertainment Group/Lionsgate

Tagline(s): "Don't Get Bitten," and "How Do You Survive a Post-Apocalyptic and Zombie Infested World of the Dead"
Setting: The present day Midwestern US in the midst of a virulent Zombie pandemic (known as Necroambulism) that turned infected individuals into cannibals in eight weeks' time.
Story: The premise of this depressing horror story (and character study) was that zombie-bitten daughter Maggie Vogel (Abigail Breslin) had left home to avoid infecting her family, led by her caring and protective father Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and stepmother Caroline (Joely Richardson). He located Maggie being treated in a hospital's quarantine wing, and brought her home, although her condition was rapidly deteriorating and she was showing gruesome signs of the viral affliction. Maggie faced either quarantine under horrible conditions, an extremely painful, poisonous euthanasia cocktail, or a quick death administered by her father ("Make it quick"). She also began to show signs of transforming into a full-fledged zombie - smelling human flesh as food. But Wade could not bring himself to kill his own daughter with a shotgun blast. In the conclusion, Maggie suicidally sacrificed herself by jumping from their roof to her death, to save her father from any more grief or despair.
Notable: Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his rare cast-against-type roles as a mild, subdued and restrained father, not an action figure.

The Walking Deceased (2015)
d. Scott Dow, Aristar Entertainment Group/Translucent Entertainment

Tagline(s): "Imagine a World Where the Dead Are Smarter Than the Living."
Setting: A zombie apocalypse (in the South of Texas?).
Story: Survivors of a zombie apocalypse (with Zombieland spoofed-names), Chicago (Joey Oglesby), nerdy Green Bay (scriptwriter Tim Ogletree) (the film's narrator), their inept, crossbow-wielding pal Darnell (Andrew Pozza), and mute Harlem (Danielle Garcia) from NYC met up with coma-damaged Sheriff Lincoln (Dave Sheridan) (a takeoff on Rick Grimes' sheriff in The Walking Dead), and his hard-ass son Chris (Mason Dakota Galyon) (always referred to as "Carl"), a stripper bar manager. They have to make it to "Safe Haven Ranch" owned by an elderly couple, a zombie free area, while threatened by a "Mysterious Wanderer" (Trenton Rostedt), a warrior. Romeo (Troy Ogletree, Tim's brother), a walker (often referred to inaccurately as Romero) was trying to pass as a human - he began a relationship with Harlem's sister Brooklyn (Sophia Taylor Ali) as the gang left their hideout at the mall (a reference to Romero's Dawn of the Dead) and found shelter at the Greene family farm. There, they met Isaac (Jacqui Holland) and her sheltered parents.
Notable: A low-budget, unsubtle comedy - and un-PC parody of the horror-zombie sub-genre, with a lot of inane, unfunny, and recycled jokes. A spoof of the Romero films, 28 Days Later...(2002), Shaun of the Dead (2004), Zombieland (2009), and Warm Bodies (2013). Also a take-off on AMC's The Walking Dead title.

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