As you may have noticed, there are a lot of zombie movies out there. A lot. Most of them are, to be kind, less than classic in their plot, acting, or execution.
But here are five great films (among many
others) about the Dead Who Walk – relatively recent movies that didn’t get the
attention they deserved, but make for some worthwhile watching: Cockneys
vs. Zombies, Harold’s Going Stiff, Fido, Doghouse, and the new and
largely ignored Life After Beth.
Cockneys vs. Zombies. Mix some aging tough-as-nails British action heroes with some young hotshots, like the lady who played The Bionic Woman for a couple of weeks a few seasons back, and you’ve got a funny and surprisingly smart zombie-flick that works on either continent. Not to mention the former Pussy Galore, who can still get it done even at 70+, and what may be the best zombie-baby-kicking scene ever captured on film.
Harold’s Going Stiff. It’s a horrible title; it sounds like a zombie version of Weekend at Bernie’s, but in fact it’s a quiet little British film about a world dealing with the growing problem of viral zombies, and how we all (don’t) cope (very well), especially in rural England. Some unusually fine acting with some pseudo-documentary filigree, and an ending that isn’t as bleak as your usual zombie apocalypse, but even more heartbreaking.
Fido. Okay, let’s all just admit that Billy Connolly is a friggin’ genius, and when he’s backed up by a great, goofy script and some smart directing/design choices, we all win. This appears to be a speculative sequel to Romero’s original movie; the zombies are pure risen-dead slow-mo’s, and the brittle, enforcedly ‘normal’ world that just might exist five or ten years later is funny and freakish. And come on: why wouldn’t a zombie-control industry crop up, and why wouldn’t people start taking them on as pets, personal staff and… other, ickier things? Probably the best of the overlooked zombie-lot.
Doghouse. Consider: zombie hookers. Wait, better: a whole town full of zombie hookers, each one dressed up for the customers. Sexy Nurse. Sexy Hairdresser. Sexy Barmaid. Problem is, they’re zombies now. Fast zombies. Enter a small group of rowdy yet clueless guys who’ve all lied to their wives to be there, and want nothing more than a fun weekend – you know, fun? Instead, they find themselves running, Shaun of the Dead-like, from the aforementioned hookers comma zombies. It’s fast and it’s fun, starring one of those guys from EastEnders and Mickey from the Rose era of Doctor Who. You won’t find anything subtle or particularly ground-breaking here, but you’ll have a good time. Like any good roller-coaster ride.
Life After Beth. Aubrey Plaza uses her expertise at deadpan delivery and her wild eyes to good effect here, as a fairly normal young if immature young woman who dies unexpectedly, and becomes an increasingly large and dangerous problem to family and friends when she returns from the grave. It’s definitely skewed, neither laugh-out-loud comedy or dark drama, but damn, it’s interesting – the product of the same guy who made I Heart Huckabeees, and starring an crazy-good collection of great character actors, including John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, and Paul Reiser – yes, Paul Reiser – as well as Alia Shawkat, Dane DeHaan from Chronicle and Amazing Spider-Man (who looks more like a zombie than Aubrey does for most of the movie), Matthew Gray Gubler of Criminal Minds, and even Anna Kendrick, in a surprisingly small role. So why didn’t this do better when it was released earlier this year? We don’t know; maybe there isn’t quite as big a demand to see an undead Aubrey Plaza hauling around a stove on her back as we assume. Go figure.
can find most of these on Netflix or Amazon Watching Instantly, or pick them up
for low-low prices by going here and
buying them through the AmityvilleNow Amazon Store. Wouldn’t that be