You don’t have to see or play absolutely everything on this list to be a proper zombie connoisseur, but you should at least know them. These are the genre’s defining relics. Some are responsible for the very creation of the zombie mythos, others adapted and advanced it, while the rest simply encapsulate it so exquisitely that they must be experienced. This may not be everyone’s definitive list of zombie lore (it’s an amalgamation of my opinions and the opinions of my fellow editors, friends, and various random forum users), but it’s at least close. If your favorite game or film is missing, just assume that I totally meant to include it. Or that I just have a different opinion than you. Or write an angry comment berating me… whatever floats your corpse.
37. Zombie Liu Kang (zombie)
The protagonist of the Mortal Kombat series debuted in zombie form in MK: Deception and reappeared in MK: Armageddon. In general, if your series is starting to get a bit stale, make one of the characters a zombie (or do a mashup with DC, whatever). This could work for so many things — Zombie Master Chief, Zombie Gordon Freeman, Zombie Mario. Perhaps we could even see a return of Stubbs the Zombie if they rezombi¬ed him and made him Stubbs the Zombie the Zombie.
36. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (film)
Also known as Do Not Speak Ill of the Dead, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, and Don’t Open the Window, this classic Italian/Spanish film predates (and helped inspire)the European zombie phenomenon that brought Lucio Fulci to the forefront of the genre. Though it draws much of its inspiration from Night of the Living Dead, it’s no knockoff. A subtle, carefully paced film with plenty of gore and anti-establishment subtext, The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (among other names) shouldn’t be overlooked by any student of the genre.
35. Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller (product)
This is no piece of old Mad Catz junk — the RE4 Chainsaw Controller is the pinnacle of novelty controllers. Even its packaging is stunning.
It’s available for the GameCube and PS2, and while we don’t necessarily recommend using it to, you know, play games, it’s a brilliant collector’s item.
34. The Dead Shall Inherit the Earth (novel)
Space, ultra-violent zombies, a team of mercenaries… take a bunch of good things and combine them and you always get something better. Vince Churchill’s debut is scattered with brilliantly horrifying moments, and his zombies are some of the nastiest —an extrasolar colony infected by a disease that highlights their most violent instincts. The novel is imbued with an unsettling atmosphere of alienation and fear that should hook any zombie horror fan. Also check out Churchill’s equally brutal The Blackest Heart.
33. Zombie Walks (event)
A zombie walk or mob is an organized event during which, if you hadn’t guessed from the name, a horde of zombified civilians shuffle through city streets attracting confused stares and quickly drawn camera phones. Sometimes political, sometimes just for kicks, zombie walks are a growing worldwide phenomenon. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Rivett)
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