The season finale of ‘The Walking Dead‘, despite the noticeable decline that dragged the series for a long time, not only to endorse the appeal that the zombies still have for the great public, decades after their appearance, and after having suffered abundant follow-ups. Its versatility and ability to adapt to the Times is the secret of its incredible resistance to fashions, crises, and styles.
First, as children of Haitian voodoo, then as unfathomable pieces of flesh that slowly wandered through cemeteries feeding on human tissue, later reinventing themselves as ferocious cannibal beasts that lead the world to the brink of chaos with viral speed, the zombies have been finding new ways to disturb us. The reason for this relentless survival is twofold.
First, its condition as a blank canvas in which to reflect the conjuncture fears of a society. From “the monster is evil” to “no, wait, that we are the monster,” going through” the fault of all these monsters in society,” the zombies have managed to reflect as few horror movie creatures the fears that are throbbing among viewers, sometimes unconsciously. They have been the protagonists and the backdrop, and have been featured in action films, comedies, and indie metaphysical horror. No genre, style or theme, resists the fickle Living Dead.
The second reason for their eternal actuality is that they appeal to our most ancient fear: the impossibility of Rest In Peace. The dead that do not remain dead is the definitive existential aberration, and it has taken many forms, from the difficulty of reaching God to see us condemned to a life of eternal despair and hunger, going through the classic panic to be buried alive. There is nothing more essential and primary than a living dead, and although vampires or Frankenstein’s creature also play with the concept, the zombie is their necessary incarnation.
So to celebrate the universal reach of this monster unable to die (literally and metaphorically), we have selected a few appropriate films for a good zombie movie marathon. We have tried to make it as varied as possible over any other consideration, so you will undoubtedly miss more than one key title. What we do guarantee is that all these pieces are highly essential.
- ‘The night of the living dead’ (1968)
The film that started it all is still amazingly current today. On the one hand, it’s dark, and expressionist aesthetic remains as disturbing as it was in the 1960s. On the other hand, his abstract and essential argument, which robs equal parts of Richard Matheson’s ‘I Am Legend’ and the myth of the devious and cannibal Ghoul, appeals to our most primordial fears and has not aged a bit. An absolute masterpiece and, along with’ the Texas massacre,’ one of the great definers of modern horror cinema.
- ‘Shock Waves’ (1972)
Before becoming the subject of chufa pop, the idea of Nazi Zombies was certainly terrifying and original and enthralled with that magnetic idea of Hitler’s minions as mad scholars of the occult arts. In this atmospheric and baratísima film before the explosion of Romero’s ‘Zombie,’ Peter Cushing acts like a Nazi officer who is resurrecting a group of National Socialist soldiers killed in a submarine. The best, the nightmarish atmosphere, and the impressive look of zombies.
- ‘Do not profane the sleep of the dead’ (1974)
The top of the Spanish productions of the genre is this extraordinary film by Jordi Grau, of British ambiance and that outside our borders is considered a top of the kind. Very attentive to Romero’s dead, he narrates an outbreak of zombie infection in Manchester (hence his international title, ‘The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue’) with a classic atmosphere and a bare gore explosion.
- ‘Dead and buried’ (1981)
An absolute wonder, unclassifiable and unique, and with a spectacularly sinister atmosphere, in a dark update of the American Gothic. Here a law enforcement officer from a small coastal town must face a series of corpses that arise after having been the victims of hordes of peaceful residents. The story has a final twist that also gives rise to a very interesting reformulation of the Living Dead, just at a time when they had become the new official villains of the genre cinema after the success of Romero’s ‘Zombie.’
- ‘The beyond’ (1981)
Lucio Fulci’s metaphysical horror films are becoming more and more modern, and have not lost any of the aggressiveness that characterized them in their day over the years. Although they are all very remarkable, some because of their atmosphere, others because of their reinvention of Gothic codes, the most unclassifiable and cumbersome is still ‘the afterlife.’ A veritable delirium (in the literal sense) where zombies, the slowest and most static in history, are a kind of demonic entity. The zombie girl or the shocking conclusion is authentic gold in the mythology of the genus.
- ‘Zombie’ (1982)
The total masterpiece of zombie cinema in the 1970s had an impact on the genre that has not been matched. There is nothing more to see than the European horror cinema of the time, which is becoming increasingly violent, to calibrate it. Romero’s genius was in the intuitive mix of classic terror-inheriting the formula of the enclosed and besieged people that so well resulted in ‘the night…’-, high-voltage action – with the support of Tom Savini’s revolutionary effects-and a high burden of social criticism, sometimes metaphorical and sometimes directly verbalized in fascinating high-density dialogues.
- ‘The night of the comet’ (1984)
Delicious and bizarre zombie comedy, which, no doubt, overtook popular movies in which the monster is the motive of teenage chufa. The plague is triggered by a comet passing over the earth that turns to dust those who see it and turns the rest into a zombie. Following action B, aesthetic more orchestra than ‘Flashdance’ and memorable starring couple Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney.