The 37 greatest zombie triumphs

16. House of the Dead (game series)

The classic light gun zombie shooter has been an arcade staple since 1996. The story can mostly be boiled down to: there’s a house full of zombies, so shoot them. That’s partially what makes it great. The series is only marred by Uwe Boll’s flaccid film adaptation, but it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid watching that.

15. Michael Jackson in “Thriller” (zombie)

Yeah, we know. Too soon. Still, zombie MJ did for zombies what Dan Akroyd did for ghosts. Well, actually, not really at all. In fact, he may have set the zombie genre back a ways – zombies don’t generally dance around and put disclaimers before their videos, after all. But it’s such a charming performance that it remains one of the most famous zombie portrayals ever. You could say that it was infectious, but don’t - we just did. And now, to avoid making any inappropriate jokes, here’s the video:

14. Dead Rising (game)

Capcom likes zombies. First Resident Evil, then Dead Rising — a superb tribute to George Romero (so much so that they put a disclaimer on it to avoid anyone thinking Romero was involved) — and an overall great game. You’re a photo journalist in a zombie-infested (really, really infested) mall, and you have 48 hours to take photos, rescue survivors, bash zombies with stuff, and uncover the cause of the outbreak. Dead Rising 2 is on the way, but details on it are about as scarce as a rescue helicopter, though we have seen the new multiplayer mode. In general, we expect more epic zombie-ness.

13. Infected (novel)

Scott Sigler knows how to write about horrible, horrible things (while still forcing us to keep turning pages). In Infected, a group of humans are compromised by alien seeds which metamorphose them into raging, homicidal “zombies.” The novel is as compelling as it is grotesque and sickening. If you don’t believe a book can induce a physical fear reaction, read Infected and get back to me.

12. The Beyond (film)

Another classic Italian film from Lucio Fulci, The Beyond is not strictly a zombie film, but part of a series of three films exploring the border between the dead and the living. The film was originally planned to be a more experimental study of a haunted house with little plot, but zombies were written in at the request of the film’s distribution company. Despite the changes to Fulci’s vision, The Beyond is considered one of his best films. It was released in a heavily edited form in the US, but didn’t amount to more than a cult favorite. Thanks to Quentin Tarantino, however, the uncut version has since been made available on DVD.

11. 28 Days Later (film)

28 days after entering a coma, Jim awakens in an abandoned London hospital. The entire city — maybe world — has been infected by a “rage virus” which renders its victims mindless killers. This post apocalyptic sci-fi thiller isn’t necessarily a by-the-book zombie flick, but its homicidal infected are zombie-like enough to deserve inclusion. If I excluded it, I’d be leaving out one of the best recent zombie films.

10. DellAmorte DellAmore (film)

This 1994 Italian zombie film was released in the US as Cemetery Man, but failed to catch on with the mainstream audience. It has nevertheless gained a cult following in the US, and even famed director Martin Scorsese is among its admirers. The film depicts a cemetery caretaker’s search for love amidst a constant battle with the dead who rise from their graves every seven days. It’s a strange, absurd, must-watch gem of ’90s Italian cinema.

9. The Return of the Living Dead (film)

This film is vaguely related to Romero’s Night of the Living Dead in that it is loosely based on a novel by John A. Russo, who co-wrote Night of the Living Dead with Romero. The film’s director and screenwriter, Dan O’Bannon, sought to distance his film from Romero’s with more slapstick comedy, nudity, and a new interpretation of zombies which would heavily influence subsequent pop culture portrayals. Return of the Living Dead’s zombies hunger only for brains, and make that apparent with what are now-universally accepted moans. They also retain their intelligence and the ability to (gasp!) run. Braaaaiiiins!


  • nikrusty - September 15, 2010 9:22 a.m.

    Stubbs the zombie rocks...pls make more for pc like that. I love being the zombie with humour Captcha - Experiment itudeamo
  • TheGodEmperor - November 5, 2009 7:57 a.m.

    No world war Z? Wtf, you guys are so fail it's unbelievable lol. That's by far the best Zombie book compared to the rest of that crap and better than almost every movie and game on that list. Left 4 Dead is overrated btw, not bad, but not up to the hype they promised.
  • randohsix - November 3, 2009 3:10 p.m.

    good article. its really interesting to think how widely zombies are used in games. i noticed that all the shortcuts for the games on my desktop have some form of zombie influence in it... WoW, D2:LoD, L4D, Guild Wars, Bioshock, Fallout 3, Stalker: Clear Sky, Half-life 2, Plants Vs. Zombies... zombies ftw
  • OddWoN ER - November 3, 2009 4:31 a.m.

    and where is I AM LEGEND? or even its precursors (please forgive me, i forget their names) and i'm sure there are a few other things... but otherwise good article
  • aliEnRIK - November 2, 2009 4:09 p.m.

    Im happy to see 'Return of the living dead' in there Truly an awesome film (Quality soundtrack too)
  • Jedipimp0712 - November 2, 2009 5:48 a.m.

    Night of the Living Dead brought to you with limited commercial interruption by none other than... DISNEY!! LMAO thats too funny. captcha = tiptoes Vetnamization ?? what the fuck?
  • Red_Badger - October 30, 2009 6:46 p.m.

    Morningstar Saga
  • Red_Badger - October 30, 2009 6:44 p.m.

    "Plague of the Dead" was written by Z.A. Recht, NOT R.A. Zecht. And you might as well throw in the fact that it's an ongoing trilogy known as the "MorningStar Strain". The second book is Thunder and Ashes, the third is on it's way. This series is quite possibly the best addition to zombie lore (literature wise) ever. This book has walking AND running zombies and a very clever explanation as to why. Like Zombies? MUST READ!
  • wraith509 - October 30, 2009 1:05 a.m.

    what?!?!? no zombie survival guide FAIL at least it had 28 days later on the list
  • mrandydixon - October 29, 2009 9:18 p.m.

    @Tyler First off, not trying to be a dick, these are just my thoughts... I did read the intro, and I do understand (and respect) having a difference of opinion. What I don't understand is how a chainsaw controller can be part of a "genre’s defining relics" when one of the most well-respected and frequently-referenced zombie authors of our time isn't. I went to a David Sedaris reading a few years back and he liked Brooks' books so much he brought them with him on tour and sold them at the autograph table, just to spread the word. Sounds pretty "genre defining" to me :)
  • RaIdEn - October 29, 2009 8:39 p.m.

    my cousin and her boyfriend went to zombie walk. she had him on a leash and wen they passed a pub he would go "beeeeeeeeeeeeer" haha i miss that guy
  • grappler51 - October 29, 2009 8:08 p.m.

    How can you not like World War Z?!?!? It's literally one of the best books I've ever read. I DEMAND you add it right now! Also, has anyone read Death Troopers, which just came out. It's a star wars zombie novel and is pretty good.
  • diddly - October 29, 2009 6:52 p.m.

    Man, usually these lists are dead on (pun intended) but one of if not the best piece of zombie literature on the market is "World War Z" written by Max Brooks. Truly a defining piece of art, it actually made me check to make sure their weren't zombies walking around on the streets.
  • montyburns - October 29, 2009 1:03 a.m.

    Hey! You forgot the Braindead (Dead Alive) film, from Peter Jackson...!!! Goriest movie of all times!!! Awesome!
  • Russianred90 - October 29, 2009 12:28 a.m.

    wild zero DO WANT
  • Champion - October 28, 2009 11:23 p.m.

    I was Surprised at the lack of Plants vs. Zombies
  • zenbater - October 28, 2009 11:13 p.m.

    Wow, looks like a zombie fans are a pretty harsh crowd. Allow me to add fuel to this flame. Night of the Creep IS available on both DVD and BlueRay: at least in Canada, cheers.
  • Samael - October 28, 2009 10:28 p.m.

    @Ty-Wi I kind of want to. Try as I might I just can't see how someone doesn't enjoy WWZ or ZSG. They're...they're just so good. Oh well...agree to disagree and to each his own and all that shit.
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - October 28, 2009 10:01 p.m.

    LOL @ Brooks comments. I take it you all read the first paragraph. Yes, I'm not that into them. Sue me.
  • chairmanofthebar - October 28, 2009 9:14 p.m.

    "Night of the Creeps" was released on blu ray and DVD yesterday, 10/27/09. Go buy it.

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