The 37 greatest zombie triumphs

7. Day of the Dead (film)

The third of Romero’s series, Day of the Dead was described by the director as a “tragedy about how a lack of human communication causes chaos and collapse even in [a] small little pie slice of society.” The film takes place as the zombie apocalypse reaches its peak. The few remaining survivors, a group of soldiers, scientists, and civilians, have retreated to an underground military bunker where they enter into a nihilistic struggle to determine how best to spend their days in a devastated world. Though it wasn’t as well received as Romero’s other films — partially because it was scaled back after a huge budget cut — few would say that it was an overall failure, and some fans swear by the film’s darker, more cynical direction.

6. Shaun of the Dead (film)

Shaun of the Dead is the best zombie parody ever, no contest. In fact, Romero himself was so stricken by the film that he gave its creators, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, cameos in Land of the Dead (they insisted on being zombies) — an unbelievable honor for zombie aficionados. Besides classic horror, the film references several videogames, including Resident Evil (which has been praised by Simon Pegg as an influence), TimeSplitters 2, and Zombies Ate My Neighbors.

5. Left 4 Dead (game)

Valve made a zombie game — nothing more, nothing less. Four survivors, one path to safety, and horde of writhing infected in the way. They took everything great about zombie flicks and stuffed it into a cooperative experience that wholly lives up to Valve’s record of delivering impeccable packages. It has an armory of classic zombie killin’ guns, a cast of typically gruff, hard-as-nails characters, and B-movie posters with taglines like “No hope. No cure. No problem.” — what more could you possibly ask for? Other than Left 4 Dead 2, maybe:

4. Land of the Dead (film)

In terms of grossed revenue, Romero’s fourth film (released in 2005) is the second most successful film in the series, just behind Dawn of the Dead. Land of the Dead, like Day of the Dead, takes place well after the zombie outbreak began. The film is set in Pittsburg, which has been transformed into a feudal colony of survivors, and chronicles the class struggle between the rich — who live in the center of the city on “Fiddler’s Green” — and the poor. To complicate things, the zombies have begun to act more intelligently, communicating with each other, and returning to some of the activities they did when they were alive.

Oct 27, 2009