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Let’s Talk Horror Movies Part 4: Zombies/ Reanimation

Zombies/ Reanimation- I walked with a Zombie

So we have lumped these two sub-genres in together as they are so heavily interchangeable with one another. You could argue that all Zombie movies are reanimation movies and all reanimation movies are zombie movies, HOWEVER the tone and direction of the movie is often different from the two. For example, 28 days later everyone is reanimated as Zombies, and it’s a tense experience where we are fearing infection but Pet Semetary is a tale of reanimation where we are in no danger from bumbling hordes but from very sentient reanimated nasty!

Popular culture has gone Zombie mad these past few years, the market is saturated with the likes The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Z-Nation, I-Zombie, and the criminally underrated Santa Clarita Diet and those are just the TV options! 

Zombie Reanimation films

Frankenstein– 1931 James Whale- The original Reanimated dude 

Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) is a doctor who is trying to discover a way to make the dead walk. He succeeds and creates a monster that has to deal with living again. Based on the incredible novel by Mary Shelley, Frankenstein’s monster is often done the dirty on, making him almost a brainless oaf, when in the original text he is pretty well spoken. 

“I formed in my imagination a thousand pictures of presenting myself to them, and their reception of me. I imagined that they would be disgusted, until, by my gentle demeanour and conciliating words, I should first win their favour and afterwards their love”

Bride of Frankenstein– 1935 James Whale

Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) and his monster (Boris Karloff) both turn out to be alive. not killed as previously believed. Dr Frankenstein under pressure from the evil Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) agrees to help him create a new creature, a woman, to be the companion of the monster.

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Night of the Living Dead- 1968 George A. Romero- The Zombie master

Barbra (Judith O’Dea) is visiting her father’s grave when she is suddenly set upon by zombies, managing  to get away, she takes refuge in an abandoned farm house. She is soon joined by Ben (Duane Jones) who stopped at the house in need of gas. Beset by the walking dead all around them Ben does his best to secure the doors and windows. The news reports are grim however with creatures returning to life everywhere. 

Dawn of the Dead– 1978 George A. Romero

Following the events of Night of the Living Dead, we follow four survivors of the expanding zombie apocalypse as they take refuge in an abandoned shopping mall. Taking stock of their surroundings, they arm themselves, lock down the mall, and destroy the zombies inside so they can eke out a living–at least for a while. Soon a large gang of bikers discovers the mall and invades it, ruining the survivors’ best-laid plans and forcing them to fight off both lethal bandits and flesh-eating zombies.

Day of the Dead– 1985 George A. Romero

Zombies rule the world, except for a small group of scientists and military personnel who reside in an underground bunker in Florida. Tensions are running high between the scientists and the military and tempers start to snap. However, soon it is not just between themselves that they are fighting. 

Re-Animator– 1985 Stuart Gordon

A medical student returns from Austria after working in regenerative experiments with a well known scientist who died under mysterious circumstances. He enrolls at Miskatonic University where he begs to differ with his professor on issues of the time of death, and eventually enlists his roommate to help him continue experiments on re-animating the dead.

Pet Semetary– 1989 Mary Lambert

Doctor Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) moves his family to Ludlow, Maine in hopes of starting a better and quieter life. Their new home seems perfect it stands in a large plot with lots of space for the kids to grow, however tragedy soon befalls the family when their beloved Cat is killed on the highway. Louis takes the advice from his friendly, if not creepy, neighbour to bury the cat in a mystical burial ground. Sure enough, the cat comes back.. though not quite right. 

Pet Semetary also loosely features one of my absolutely FAVOURITE cryptids EVER, the Wendigo! 

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The Crow– 1994 Alex Proyas- Cult level reanimation

Are you even a proper goth if you haven’t watched this film excessively?

One year after he and his fiancee are brutally murdered, Eric Draven (Brandon Lee RIP) is brought back to like, a crow guide him through the land of the living and leads him to those who wronged him. It is SO dark and so moody it is a gift from the goth gods, also the soundtrack is slamming! *find that here*

28 Days Later- 2002 Danny Boyle- Bleak London zombies

Twenty-eight days after a virus that causes rage rips through London, our hero, Jim (Cillian Murphy), awakens from a coma alone in an abandoned hospital. Upon venturing out into the City hoping to find an answer for what has occurred, instead he comes across the zombies!

Resident Evil– 2002 Paul W. S Anderson- Video game zombies in movie form

These are total cheesy nonsense zombie movies based off the very popular video game series of the same name, however they are very loosely based… A virus has escaped in “The Hive” and is infecting the staff, turning them into zombies. In an attempt to contain the outbreak an elite military force is sent in, where they encounter Alice (Milla Jovovich),  our heroine for the rest of the series. 

 

 

Rec– 2007 Paco Plaza and Jaume Balageuro- Spanish zombies

A young TV reporter and her cameraman cover the night shift at the local fire station. Receiving a call from an old lady trapped in her house, they reach her building to hear horrifying screams — which begin a long nightmare and a uniquely dramatic TV report.

Rec is one of my absolute all time favourite Zombie movies EVER it was similarly remade as the American version, Quarantine in 2008, which is essentially the same movie.

Dead Snow- 2009- Tommy Wirkola- Nazi zombies

Several friends take to the mountains for a holiday, however soon their peace is soon interrupted by a mysterious old man. He informs them that during WWII, Nazi invaders of the area were brutal and harsh in their methods of control until, according to a legend, a villager’s revolt drove the invaders up into the cold, dark mountains, where they perished. But now there’s the rumour that they returned in the form of zombies –evil Nazi zombies

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World War Z- 2013 Marc Foster- More action zombies than horror 

When the world is plagued by a mysterious infection, turning whole human populations into rampaging mindless zombies, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is persuaded to go on a mission to investigate this disease. What follows is a perilous trek around the world where Lane must brave horrific dangers and long odds to find answers before human civilization falls. The book this is based on is meant to be WAY better, so maybe go check that out instead! 

Train to Busan– 2016 Sang-ho Yeon- zombies on a train! 

Seok-Woo (Yoo Gong) and his daughter Soo-an (Su an Kim) are travelling by train to Busan… I know its in the title. BUT! During their journey, the apocalypse begins, and most of the earth’s population become flesh craving zombies. While the train is shooting towards Busan, the passenger’s fight for their families and lives against the zombies. 

Overlord– 2018 Julius Avery- More Nazi zombies antics

On the eve of D-Day, a paratrooper squad is sent to destroy a German radio tower in an old church; however, their plane is shot down before they can reach their target, leaving only five apparent survivors. A French woman named Chloe (Mathilde Ollivier) who agrees to take them into the village where the radio tower is located. The soldiers learn that people are being disfigured by Nazi experiments taking place in the church. They not only have to fight against soldiers to destroy the radio tower, but also against the results of the experiments to turn the entire place to ruins. All this before dawn and Hitler gets his Third Reich of a thousand years that he promised.

But there is always a time and a place for these creepers, so switch off your brain and enjoy.

 

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