10. Pet Sematary (1989)
The first on our list is the adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary novel, directed by Mary Lambertl. With a title difficult to spell and starring Dale Midkiff, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby and Blaze Berdahl, Pet Sematary is the story of the Creed family – Louis, Rachel, Gage and Ellie. After they move from Chicago to Maine, the Creed family thinks their lives will be quiet and peaceful.
But living a step away from a highway is a small detail which they should had considered when choosing their home. Starting with the death of their cat, Church, which is later resurrected after being buried in the Pet Cemetery, though behaving strangely and violently, and later following the dead of their son, Gage, also ran over on the highway, the father tries the magical soil of the cemetery on their son. The result is almost as the one expected. Gage is brought back to life, but he is not alive.
Small body, big hunger
Hidden behind their new house, there is the pet cemetery, which is far from being normal. Of course, for some of us, having a burial place where the local children bury their pets, is already not normal. Yet this one has an ancient burial ground which was used in the past by the Micmac Indians. With the right instructions, you bury a corpse and you get back a living creature. In the case of Church the cat, it became more violent, less lively and more willing to rip apart mice and birds. In the case of Gage the child, he became a demonic zombie like creature, who develops an attraction for scalpels and uses them merciless. Not to mention his tiny deadly neck bites.
Pet Sematary Two
While Stephen King’s novel has no sequel, Mary Lambert did make one in 1992, with the help of Richard Outten as the screenplay writer. Starring Edward Furlong, Anthony Edwards and Clancy Brown, Pet Sematary two shifts to another family – the Matthews. Teen Jeff and his father Chase move to the same town from Maine as the Creeds after the death of the mother. Finding more about the Creeds’ deaths, Jeff resurrects his friend’s dog and develops an obsession for the process of bringing back the dead. Despite noticing on both animals and humans that the cemetery’s magic does not exactly bring back people as they once were, but as cruel zombies, Jeff does not hesitate digging up his mother.
9. World War Z (2013)
Using any title related to the infamous wars is dangerous, but the writer Max Brooks knew what he was doing when he created his novel and Marc Forster knew that it was worth it directing the cinematographic adaptation. The last war the Earth’s nations are participating to is not against each other, but against zombies.
In an apocalyptic world, Brad Pitt’s character, the former investigator Gerry Lane is the last of hope of human kind. Travelling across the world to put an end to the zombie outbreak, Gerry must protect his family from the infectious zombie bites. Arriving in Jerusalem, Gerry discovers certain aspects about the zombies, and while it might not stop them for the moment, it gives him more hope.
It all started in South Korea and then it spread in all metropolitan areas of the world. The zombie virus, spreading like and behaving similarly to the rabies infection, did not only create corpse like creatures, which mumble and walk slowly like snails crawling; it created complex creatures. Although vicious, violent and disgusting, these zombies are attracted to noise and the bigger and louder, the better for them – it makes them go from slow motion movements to fast forward attack modes.
They are also pretentious. In case the living humans are old, sick or injured, they do not attack them and infect them further. Therefore, the only way to escape them is to keep silent, get sick, be old or, in case of already being bitten, to amputate the infected limb, or to refuge far away, until someone comes with a better plan. What is interesting is that these creatures are also inspired by the Rakashasa, the demonic man eating Hindu creature.
It spread like the disease
While not exactly acclaimed and rather quite criticized due to its deviation from the novel and the critics finding the action too conventional, World War Z did actually better than expected. Praised for Brad Pitt’s performance in a zombie movie, but mostly for the continuous action and lack of fillers, being entertaining 100%, some critics even got over some filming mistakes and holes.
With a trilogy announced from the start, the negative overview made the producers put the plans for the other two parts on the shelves. Yet, the successful opening convinced them to continue the story and the sequel for World War Z is to be released in the summer of 2017. While it is indeed a long wait – zombies are generally slow, you know it – at least you can enjoy the survival horror spin-off game which is set in Denver, Kyoto and Paris.
8. Dead Snow (2009)
This Norwegian horror film brings us the story of a group of friends. During their Easter spring break, seven med students go to a cabin in Oksfjord to do what all students do to celebrate youth – party, drink and have fun. Their entertainment is interrupted by a hiker who tells them the terrible story of those lands.
Decades before all of them were born, a Nazi army invaded the town and for three years they abused and tortured the local townsfolk. The people of Oksfjord do manage at some point to get their revenge by killing many of the Nazi soldiers, while the others are left to freeze to death. Soon after hearing about this story, the students are killed one by one by a rising zombie army of Nazi soldiers.
Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead
Due to the success of his first movie, Tommy Wirkola brought in 2014 the sequel to his zombie flick. Following the events of the previous film, Martin, the sole survivor of the zombie massacre, manages to rescue himself, though without his infected arm, yet he is accused of his friends’ murders. For everything to become worse, a doctor attaches a zombie arm, mistaken for Martin’s, to his body, turning Martin into an unwilling killer. The only ones who stay by his side are the members of a Zombie Squad, an American group of zombie slayers. Together they fight the Nazi zombie army which is growing bigger and bigger. Meanwhile, Martin also discovers that his new arm can bring back the dead and does not hesitate using it.
They have a mission
While most zombies are depicted as mindless, ruthless and hungry for flesh, here we have an army with a mission and whose agility and intelligence have not left. While alive, the German soldiers and their Standartenfuhrer (i.e. commander), Herzog, were sent by Hitler to wipe out of the map Oksfjord and its people. Failing their mission, it is assumed that they were cursed, so that they rose from the grave to finally complete their task.
While merciless, these double monsters are more interested in killing as they were commanded, than killing to eat and “survive”. Also, their looks are more cadaverous, being close to skeletons, and combined to the SS uniforms, they surely know how to terrify people.
7. The Evil Dead (1981)
It is always a group of friends going to an isolated cabin in the woods and Sam Raimi’s filmis no exception. The Evil Dead encounters a group of five college students who want to spend their spring break away from the noisy city, but right from the start, it is made clear to them that it was a bad idea. Beginning with a bridge suddenly collapsing and a strange possession of an arm, making one of the characters draw an evil face, it eventually leads to the finding of a mysterious book in the basement.
The book is not an ordinary novel someone forgot, but Naturom Demonto or The Book of the Dead, along which is a tape recording of all the things that should have not been recorded. When played, it unleashes evil spirits and demons. The first victim, Cheryl, is raped by possessed trees and eventually becomes possessed herself, becoming a zombie like demon vessel. And one by one, the youngsters butcher each other.
Evil Dead II
When the master of horror, Stephen King himself, prays a movie, then it is a divine sign that one should make more sequels, even though they are obviously not as good as the first ones. Therefore, in 1987, Sam Raimi brings Evil Dead II. Starting where the previous film ended, we have Ash fighting against the evil powers and failing, becoming a zombie demon himself.
But once the sun rises, he is turned back to normal. Yet, soon more possessions happen, more people are dismembered and in the end other incantations are needed. A portal is opened and we go all Back to the Future with Ash being sucked along the evil forces, some trees and his car somewhere into the past, where he saves a group of knights and becomes their hero.
The Evil Dead was such a hit that not only it became a cult classic, but it also became a cow to milk. Starting only as a horror movie with the strangest zombies, it ended with the video games “Evil Dead: Hail to the King”, “Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick” and “Evil Dead: Regeneration”, then with a comic book franchise, a stage musical and a remake. In 2013, Fede Alvarez brought Evil Dead back on screen. While it always happens for the remakes to be overly criticized due to the fan base being too nostalgic over the original movies and the story not being too relatable to the new generations, Evil Dead 2013 had its pros and cons. When it comes to its version of the zombies, we have some grotesque creatures – once possessed or infected, the body slowly decomposes and the demon attacks its vessel, butchering it and making it look as a creature brought right from the pits of hell.