Ah, the undead. Whether they’re the mindless slaves of Haitian lore or victims of an unseen, unstoppable virus, these brainless hordes have kept audiences entertained for years. Thank you, zombies, for you have given us as much joy as any genre of music or book, with way more sweet scenes of a horde ripping a screaming man to shreds.
I’m not an expert in a lot of things. I can name the entire Wendy’s value menu, and if you hand me a bad Whiskey Sour, I’ll be able to tell you whether it’s bad because there’s not enough whiskey in it. After a re-pour and a second taste, I’ll still tell you there’s not enough whiskey. But I am an expert on zombies, enough of one to be able to name 10 zombies with killer character. So sit back, relax and let me take on a tour of my favorites.
Everyone has seen Dawn Of The Dead. Everyone. Seeing this movie is like having a birthday or being able to count. It happens to all of us, eventually, whether we want it to or not. And in the case of this movie, we should want it oh so badly. Roger doesn’t last that long as a zombie, but the impression he makes is undeniable, that impression being: “Oh man, oh man, oh man. He’s gonna be a zombie. He’s gonna be a zombie. That sheet is rising. Don’t shoot him, he’s your friend. This is really sad… Shoot him he’s a zombie… oh man, oh man, oh man. Shit, he’s a zombie. He’s totally a zombie. Shoot him.”
As soon as Rick Grimes blasted a little girl in the head with a pistol, you knew The Walking Dead show was going to be special. And this happened in the first five minutes of the pilot episode! Though the series has encountered some problems over its initial two seasons (Lori Grimes, pacing issues, questionable decisions, Lori Grimes, un-interesting characters, Lori Grimes), this adorable little zombie has made her mark in the genre’s history, both for her bunny slippers and her hunger for flesh. If you took this scene and set it by itself, I could argue that it is better than Citizen Kane and The Godfather combined, an argument that I would probably win.
The most famous zombie of all time is often overlooked when it comes to actually being a zombie. But killed in Part 4 and then resurrected in Part 6 technically makes Jason Voorhees a zombie. Never one to be part of a crowd or shy away from the spotlight, Jason could easily take the crown as being king of the living-impaired-impaired. He’s certainly the most industrious, as if you handed Jason a bottle opener, he could find 15 different ways to stab your skull with it. And he’s also the most unkillable. He’s been drowned, doused in acid, smashed, blown up, and sent into a shitty version of the future, and he’s still able to ruin a camp orientation before you can say, “What’s that sound coming from the woods?” Jason should be taken more seriously, if only because he could provide a good example to other members of the undead in lessons of how to kick ass and how to not die (again).
No.6 Carl Hill, Re-Animator (1985)
Carl Hill, Re-Animator
Yet another over-looked zombie. Herbert West cuts of Doctor Carl Hill’s head with a shovel. The good doctor is then brought back to life, only to gain the power of mind control. Do we ever find out how he becomes able to command corpses to do his bidding? No, but when you’re dealing with something this awesome, plot holes can be forgiven for the fact that you know, soon, someone is about to get strangled by someone else’s intestines. Re-Animator is my favorite ’80s horror film, and not including it on this list would be like not including “Beer” on my list of “Top 1 Things Named Beer.”
Did you ever think a zombie would give you a boner before she ate your brains?