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6 Zombie Movies 'The Walking Dead' Fans Must See

Rex J. Lindeman |
October 25, 2014 | 2:02 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

"Zombieland" is just one of many staples in the zombie genre. (Columbia Pictures)
"Zombieland" is just one of many staples in the zombie genre. (Columbia Pictures)
It’s no surprise that AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead” has revived the zombie genre. But newcomers to this phenomenon may not be so familiar with the zombie movies that helped make this show possible. So if you love the TV show, do yourself a favor and expand your zombie knowledge and fandom with these six timeless zombie classics.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

George A. Romero. Know him well, because he is the godfather of zombie movies. His first masterpiece, "Night of the Living Dead," has been the mold for every zombie story since then, including "The Walking Dead'." Grotesque and haunting at its core, the movie features strictly the struggle to survive against zombies - and no romantic subplots to distract. "Night of the Living Dead" is undoubtedly the zombie move gold standard.

Dawn of the Dead (1974)

Romero's brutal and bloody sequel to his original hit focuses on a reporter, a helicopter pilot, and two SWAT officers in the midst of the zombie outbreak in Pittsburgh. To escape the danger, they hole up in a local mall, where they forever changed your friends' opinion about the safest, yet most fun, place to be when the zombies finally come. While that’s debatable, but the fact doesn’t change that "Dawn of the Dead" is just as gory and entertaining as its predecessor.

This movie even received a remake in 2004, helmed by director Zack Snyder, which is also a great watch. But you can’t beat the original.

I Love Sarah Jane (2008)

But zombie movies don’t need to be shoot-em-up bloodbaths; they can be as romantic and touchy as any other drama. Even better, they don’t need to be feature-length. “I Love Sarah Jane” is an Australian short film that circles around several teenagers trying to survive in a wasteland where all of the adults have turned into the undead. But that doesn’t stop 13 year-old Jimbo (Brad Ashby) from being infatuated with Sarah Jane (Mia Wasikowsa), the beautiful girl next door. It’s a charming short film featuring everything from violence to romance, and it’s only 12 minutes long. Do yourself a favor and give it a watch; it will make your day.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

Zombie movies can be funny, too! And there’s no better example than “Shaun of the Dead,” a British zombie-comedy by writer-actor Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright. Shaun (Pegg) and his friend Ed (Nick Frost) survive in a zombified London by pretending that they too are undead. It’s a laugh-out-loud comedy that is also a love letter to Romero and many other zombie movie greats. Definitely don’t skip this one.

Zombieland (2008)

And of course there’s a zombie movie that’ll teach you exactly how to survive when the zombies finally arrive. “Zombieland” features a star-studded cast in Jesse Einsenberg, Emma Stone, and even Woody Harrelson. This zombie survival story is narrated by Columbus (Eisenberg) who periodically tells us the best tips for zombie survival, the most important of which being the double-tap: always kill a zombie twice to make absolutely sure it’s gone kaput. “Zombieland” is the perfect blend of gore, drama, and slapstick humor.

“28 Days Later” (2002)

But for those seeking a crash course in truly horrifying zombie movies, look no further than “28 Days Later,” one of the genre's most harrowing stories. The movie follows two survivors (Naomie Harris and Cillian Murphy) and some tagalongs as they try to escape from London, which has been completely destroyed by a virus that mutates the infected into berserk, bloodthirsty monsters. But these aren’t your usual slow-walking zombies: they will sprint relentlessly, and it’s incredibly easy to get infected. "28 Days Later" is pure, unadulterated nightmare fuel.

Reach Staff Reporter Rex J. Lindeman here, and follow him on Twitter



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