Zombie movies are my favourite thing ever. Out of all the genres in horror, zombie movies appeal to me for various reasons. A lot of it, I guess, is to do with seeing how people cope with their life, as they know it, crashing down around them. No power, no technology, no control with the added inclusion of hordes of infected or reanimated corpses infesting the built up areas devouring as they go. Helplessly watching your friends and family either commit suicide or turn….. wondering when you will be next.
I am one of those people that actually hopes that this will happen (I will be there campaigning for equal rights for the undead), humans as a race need something like this to happen as we are so far doing a bloody good job of destroying our world and each other as it is anyway, who’s to say that a zombie apocalypse is really that ridiculous?!! Not that I expect I will survive for long, in the immortal words of Cholo DeMora “I wanna see how the other half live”. The main appeal about zombies is that, okay so deep down I know that  it is unlikely to happen but it seems more real then your average vampire or werewolf movie. Fast or slow,  zombies are not glamorous or sexy. Its kill or be killed whether its your parents, child, partner or total stranger you have to decide to put them down or try and run. Who here could say hand on heart they would know how to react in that situation before it was actually happening? Until that day happens I am happy to immerse myself in any zombie movie I can get my grubby little hands on! A lot of us zombies fans are all about the undead, the way they look, act and interact, so if the shuffling is shit or the groaning lack lustre then we are guaranteed to complain. It is all about the zombies for me and I have an awfully long list of zombies (from various movies over the years) that I absolutely adore. Having to narrow it down to a definitive ten was a lot harder then I first thought, all of the actors that play these zombies are skilled individuals and are worthy of high praise in my opinion. Anyone can act (well, that’s debatable!!)but the actors that can pull off zombieing to this extent have my undying adoration for life. Some of these zombies may only have a small part in these movies but they have left a lasting impression in my mind so without further ado this is my top ten list of my favorite zombies:-

10) W.H.O vault zombie (Michael Jenn) (World War Z) (2013)

Say what you will about WWZ but I like this movie, yes the CGI is OTT and the zombies are the fast type which isn’t to everyone’s liking but I really enjoyed the way the zombies were depicted. Especially this guy in particular, everything about him is spot on. The make up is amazing and his jerky movement and chattering gnashers make him an incredibly foreboding foe for Gerry to get past. I don’t blame him for going to the extremes that he did to avoid confronting this creature face to face. He is seriously creepy and totally awesome!!

9) Summer the little zombie girl (Addy Miller) (“Days Gone Bye” ep.1  S. 1 The Walking Dead) (2010)

Funnily enough she is not the only Walker to appear on this list. This little walking corpse left a lasting impression on a lot of fans of the show and she played an integral part in solidifying The Walking Dead as the greatest running zombie show of all time! Some people will question why this Walker would pick up her teddy bear but I would like to think that it was her last remaining shred of her former self before Rick comes across her and she ends up spread eagled on the ground. This scene was so effective mostly because she was a child but also the choice of costume. Who would shoot a little girl in her pj’s, dressing gown and bunny slippers!?? As it was so early on in the series the walker make up was fairly subtle so from behind she could be confused for a living person but when she turns around and you see the huge wound on her face and her dead eyes there is no wonder Rick reacted the way he did. Addy Miller did a damn fine job in her role and had a fantastic final moment.

8) Clara (Leticia Dolera) ({REC}3: Genesis) (2012)

I’m not really one for romance but I will admit massive love for this movie, it is the ultimate love story as far as I’m concerned. Just imagine a zombie apocalypse breaking out at your wedding, getting separated in the chaos and trying to find each other again not knowing if either party survived. So the zombies here are a kind of supernatural demon/rage type but they are really well done. The last tragic moments see Clara herself get infected and attempt to stop the infection by chopping her own arm off but sadly to no avail. She looks absolutely amazing as a zombie. Wearing her very torn wedding dress with tears and mascara streaming down her face, her eyes bloodshot and bleeding, reaching out frantically with her one good arm whilst waving the stump of her other around aimlessly and screaming like a woman possessed she does it so well and you can’t help but love her. Her final stand with husband Koldo is incredibly emotional. It is a beautiful story, so well done and Clara is an absolute super star!

7) Winslow (Gino Crognale) (“New Best Friends” ep. 10 s. 7 The Walking Dead) (2017)

Winslow is a true masterpiece from the mind of Greg Nicotero. Originally Winslow was one of The Scavengers living in the rubbish dump, his death is unknown but he was kept by Jadis and was transformed into the ultimate gladiatorial fighting walker. With huge spikes protruding from most orifice’s and a reinforced spiked helmet that, luckily, goes over his eyes so he reacts more to sound (and maybe smell??) this makes him look more deadly then your average walker and about ten times cooler! As the seasons have progressed the walkers are now showing serious signs of decomposition so unlike Summer from s.1 Winslow would not be confused for a living person. I love the attention to detail in the make up, prosthetics and practical effects with only the minutest bit of CGI for effect. Massive kudos to actor Gino Crognale who spent hours in make up encased in Winslow’s heavy costume with a water cooling system rigged up inside. Gino has played several other iconic walkers on the show but Winslow has got to be his crowning moment!

6) Radio Corpse (John Durbin) (The Return Of The Living Dead 1985)

One of two talking zombies to feature on my list. Although he has a very brief appearance it is a marvellous performance. As he slowly rises from the ground next to the paramedic who’s head he has been munching on to answer a call from an ambulance’s radio with “Come in dispatch. Send. More. Paramedics”.  Technically zombies shouldn’t talk but this movie is a particular favourite of mine. The zombies in this could do kart wheels whilst reciting Shakespeare and I would still love it! This movie has a whole host of great zombies but this guy holds particular favour for me as his immortal words became the name of one of my favourite bands of all time. The make up and effects are brilliantly cheesy and so 80’s it is truly awesome!!

5) Big Daddy (Eugene Clark) (Land Of The Dead) (2005)

At this stage in Romero’s world the zombie population are evolving. The ” sky flowers” are loosing their appeal and some of them seem to have retained small memories of their previous lives, Big Daddy himself was a petrol attendant so this encounter towards the end with Kauffman is very apt.  He also seems capable of compassion, mercy and revenge. On seeing a fellow “stinker” get decapitated he puts the chomping head out of its misery by crushing its skull, somehow understanding that he had ended its prolonged suffering. He took the lead of the horde that set out to reclaim the city and end the exploitation of his kind. He was the first to pick up a weapon, the first to take the plunge into the river and the one who knew when to move on,  all without breaking the character and traits of Romero’s undead. A truly great character.

4) The Half Lady (Cherry Davis) (The Return Of The Living Dead) (1985)

I am assuming she was just voiced by Cherry Davis (but do correct me if im wrong) as during the first part of her scene she is ripped in half and ends up as a twitching spine attached to greying skeletal torso tied to a table. The puppetry and make up involved with her is pretty good for the decade, I love her movement and expressions. Another one who manages a few words as she is strapped down and interrogated by Frank and Ernie. When asked why she eats people she replies ” not people…. BRAINS!”. Other lines worth noting are “the pain of being dead” and “I can feel myself rot” which may ring some bells amongst other fans of the band Send More Paramedics as they have songs based around these lines. She makes a great entrance and is an awesome character.

3) Severed Head Zombie (Unknown) (Land Of The Dead) (2005)

Right this could cause some controversy….. as I recall at the time there was a bit of an uproar about this zombie and I still read some comments about this even now. Its about the scene where the team are about to go after Dead Reckoning, they had just been attacked so zombies are everywhere and they get in an open top car, Pillsbury and Manolete get in the back as 2 zombies approach them. One of them appears to not have a head until it strikes, flips its head forward and takes a massive chunk out of Manolete.  This is my favourite bite scene ever!!! I have watched Land Of The Dead god knows how many times and every time I get to this scene I cant just watch it once, I have to keep skipping back and watching it over and over! I remember this scene being slated as something that could never happen as apparently the zombie’s spinal cord had already been severed which apparently makes them unable to infect so technically Manolete should have walked away unscathed?!!??! I have never heard anything so stupid before in all my life! This is  probably a discussion for another time but I was under the impression that a severed zombie head who’s brain had not been destroyed would still be capable of infecting you if it bit you. I’m sure its only a select few arguing this seemingly  ridiculous point but I call bullshit on that so their argument is invalid. I think its a brilliant way to mix up the zombie attacks and it worked so well. I’ve tried to find out who plays this zombie but to no avail, I’m guessing he is one of the uncredited actors but I take my hat off to you sir, your skills and the FX make for a truly entertaining scene, you are a legend!

2) Colin (Alastair Kirton) (Colin) (2008)

The movie Colin is an absolutely brilliant low budget offering by Marc Price and if you haven’t seen it then I urge you to seek it out immediately. Colin himself is a great portrayal of a zombie from start to finish as you follow him on his journey from infection and reanimation to his first kill and experience the world  from a zombies point of view. You can’t help but get attached to him. The thing I love most is that this is not romanticized at all it has a realistic feel to it throughout. Despite its low budget the make up is really good and he has the movement and vocal elements spot on. I always get quite emotional for him especially at the end!

1) Bub (Howard Sherman) (Day of the Dead) (1985)

When starting this list I knew there would never be any question of my number 1. It can only be Bub! He is the ultimate zombie, everyone wants their own Bub don’t they?! From the moment he has the head phones on and the music started I just fell in love with him. So much about him is endearing. His mannerisms and movement are brilliant and even though he is a walking corpse who would like nothing more than munch on your intestines his loyalty to his creator and intelligence shines through which only makes you feel for him even more when he discovers his master dead. He has an innocence about him but as soon as he picks up that gun, fires and salutes you feel so proud of him. To me, Bub seems to be that evolutionary step up to the zombies that feature in Land Of The Dead. Maybe I’m getting far to emotionally attached but he is just such a great character you just can’t help it. Howard Sherman is a true legend for this role and in my opinion is up there with Leatherface, Jason and Freddy but even better because he’s a zombie!!

Article by Sarah Budd

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