6. The Cured
The Cured might be the most unique zombie movie on this list. There’s a lot of competition, so it would be unfair to give it this honor so easily. Still, the setup is positively brilliant in a “why didn’t I think of that” sort of way. Basically, this is a movie about ex-zombies who are cured from the virus. Unfortunately, there’s a catch associated with that cure – they all remember the horrible things they had done as zombies.
Once again, we’re getting a zombie movie that relies a lot on human nature and the drama that comes with exploring this type of thing. There are some spooky moments here and there, but there’s also a decent amount of thought-provoking material that goes beyond the basic zombie setup. At times, the more clever take on the genre doesn’t live up to its promise, but it’s still a rewarding movie watching experience worth of everyone’s time.
There has been a lot of talk about movies that stand out because they’re different. Doghouse isn’t necessarily a standard zombie movie due to the setup and overwhelming amount of comedy, but it features all the tropes one would come to expect.
It remains watchable though because it’s funny, action-packed, and brimming with zombie fan service. Sure, it essentially picks cliches out of a hat, but in doing so, it provides viewers with an entertaining experience that’s more fun than intelligent.
In other words, this is a good movie for those who are getting sick of the artsier recommendations. Let’s be real, most of the artsy zombie movies are included because they don’t fit in with the mainstream. The less daring zombie movies usually get bigger theatrical releases because people want to watch zombies get blown to bits.
Doghouse didn’t get the same kind of giant release because it’s a lower budget movie with no real star power associated with it. Regardless, it’s an entertaining experience because it provides mindless violence and much needed comedy.
8. The Night Eats the World
To say that The Night Eats the World is a slow-burn may be an understatement. If Doghouse is for people who want some trashy fun, The Night Eats the World is for people who want the exact opposite. It revolves around a man who tries not to lose his sanity in a world where he believes himself to be the only living human.
Almost all of the movie takes place in one location, and that location is mostly free of zombies. There’s the occasional zombie break-in, but the movie mostly focuses on how lonely life would be as a survivor during this kind of apocalypse. Some zombie movies want to provide viewers with thrilling action. This one wants to leave people ruminating.
Luckily, it mostly succeeds. Despite the lack of dialogue or action, there’s a lot of thought-provoking stuff here. The biggest issue is that the snail-like pacing can be offputting for even the most patient viewers. Just be aware that it’s worth it to be patient. There are scenes that seem to go on for an eternity, but they almost always lead somewhere. It’s a good idea to suck it up and enjoy what the movie has to offer.
9. Life After Beth
While “zombie rom-com” isn’t exactly a common movie genre, it certainly wasn’t invented by the folks who brought us Life After Beth. We saw it before with Warm Bodies and we saw it after with Santa Clarita Diet.
Basically, unlike a lot of movies on this list, Life After Beth isn’t winning points for originality. It’s more original than something like Dawn of the Dead, but the comedic zombie movie has been done before, and it’s been done better. That being said, this is a movie that has a leg up on the competition just because it’s really funny.
It’s not as smart or romantic as Warm Bodies, but it might offer up more consistent laughs. Aubrey Plaza, like always, brings something special to the table. Even if the movie isn’t particularly special, Plaza’s charismatic presence feels absolutely necessary.
The jokes don’t even have to be funny for them to work because there’s an actress at the top of her game in front of the camera. A lot of the jokes are funny, but some of them just seem to land because of the actress saying the lines. Obviously, there’s more to the movie than just her, but she’s perhaps the main draw here.
10. The Plague of the Zombies
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies tries to pretend it’s the quintessential period zombie movie like this little gem doesn’t exist. Meet The Plague of the Zombies, a 1966 zombie movie about a literal plague that takes place in the 1800s.
Beyond just having a gorgeous art direction and surprisingly strong performances, this movie is genuinely effective as a zombie movie because it’s tame in the best possible way. As if readers haven’t gotten the hint already, the movies on this list are, for the most part, quieter than bid budget counterparts. That’s why they’re underseen, but that’s also why they’re special.
Like several previously mentioned movies, this movie is a slow-burn chiller. It can get away with this kind of pacing because of the strong characters and impressive scenery.Sure, the dialogue often feels stale, but that’s a small price to pay for a movie that really is better than it has any right to be.
Compared to several other movies from this time period, The Plague of the Zombies has aged like fine wine. Ignore the flaws and have fun with one of the ‘60s most underappreciated horror movies.