Sunday, 26 February 2012

5 Zombie Movies I'd Rather Watch Than The Walking Dead Season 2

Let me just say I love the graphic novels by Robert Kirkman.  I think he's done a tremendous job with the story and I would recommend them to anybody.  Even the first season of The Walking Dead was fantastic, stayed somewhat true to the story and even explored new ideas with twists that brought a subtle change to an existing story.  Then the season ended.

The new season started, and much to my disappointed, not with a solid group of zombie weary survivors, who were conscious of their environment but a group of complainers, who don't have the common sense to keep their children in the line of sight.  Week after week, I would wait for the story to be gripping with some sort of urgency, but much to my chagrin, the group sat in their oasis on the farm, while zombies acted as mere walk ons and characters would make ridiculous decisions because it advanced poorly thought out plot points.  Then it came, the conclusion to the last 7 weeks and to say the least, it was sad.  Not because of what happened but because of how long it took to get to that point.  I shook my head and hoped that after the Christmas break it would get better.

Now, we're two episodes in after the break and they're introducing elements that would have been really interesting at the beginning of 2nd season.  For instance, having other survivors being the enemy, would have been a cool way to start or even a zombie moose would have been cool at this point.  Unfortunately though, the plot slowly plods along, dragging it's characters like a lacerated limb, allowing them to make horrible decisions that are totally unrealistic by people who seem to be totally unaware of the world that surrounds them.  

So if you want to see some good zombie action, with zombies! (imagine that) Check out the following:

5. Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974) - While traveling to his cottage, George's motorbike is damaged by Edna.    Edna is going to visit her sister, which is in the same direction and George insists she give him a ride for damaging his bike.  On the way, they stop to ask for directions and Edna is attacked by zombie.  Edna escapes and the zombie goes on and eventually kills Edna's douchebag brother in-law.  The police suspect George and Edna, so like any super sleuth team in the 70's, they seek out the truth to exonerate their names.  This movie is pretty slow moving and the George character isn't very likeable but the ending is worth the wait.  It's pretty graphic.

4. Zombie (1979) - A mysterious boat containing a zombie floats into New York.  The boat belongs to a famous scientist, so journalist Peter West and Ann Bowles, daughter of said scientist, travel to the Antilles.  They meet with Brian and Susan and convince them to give them a lift to the mysterious Matool Island.  Here they meet with Dr. Menard and discover a shocking disease that is turning the local inhabitants into zombies!  This is my favourite Fulci film, there is tons of gore and it has one of my favourite scenes, which is zombie vs shark.  The soundtrack is also killer.

3. Dawn of the Dead (1978) - With the zombie population every growing, S.W.A.T team officers, Peter and Roger convince their friends Stephen and his girlfriend Francine to escape in a helicopter to find refuge out of the city.  The find themselves in an abandoned mall and decide to make it their home for at least the time being.  George Romero directs this classic film and creates some of the most note worthy scenes in the zombie universe.  Also, Tom Savini is at the top of his game, not only in creating the wonderful gruesome effects but as one of the villains in the motorcycle gang.  It's so good on so many levels and its worth seeing over and over again.  Goblin does the soundtrack for this as well.

2. Return of the Living Dead (1985) - Two employees at a medical supply chain accidentally unleash a chemical vapor into the air that makes the dead come back to life and feed on human flesh.  This was a childhood favourite of mine and it still holds up.  The special effects are fantastic and it's got the right amount of fun and gore.  The soundtrack kicks ass as well with the Cramps, 45 Grave and the Damned.

1. Dead Alive (aka Braindead) (1992) - While on a date at the zoo, Lionel's evil overbearing mother is bit by a Sumatran rat monkey.  She eventually gets sick, dies and comes back to life to feast on there friends and family.  Lionel hides her and her victims chained downstairs in the basement, which only creates more absurd and unbelievable problems for him.  Forget Lord of the Rings,  Peter Jackson's real masterpiece is Dead-Alive, this is such a great take on the zombie genre and is one of the bloodiest films you'll ever see.

After watching theses films, you can see how there are still a number of ways The Walking Dead can redeem itself.  If they can bring back the zombies with that underlying tension of no one being safe and that they are always vulnerable to an attack, I think the series would be better.  Also, I can't wait for them to introduce the Governor and hope that hell rains down upon them, if writers can do it right.

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