1) Shaun of the dead 2004
The Original ROM-ZOM-COM. This British film has become a staple of every Zombie fan and film fan in generals shelf. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost out did themselves with this film. With comedy in the bones of this film its is impossible to watch this film without laughing out loud at at least one moment of this hilariously written perfectly timed film. It doesn't abandon the Zombie genre either, with classic Zombie film homages everywhere and a classic but also surprisingly fresh Zombie film plan of action, it does the genre credit.
If you haven't seen this film I am shocked. Shocked and appalled.
2) Zombieland 2009
Zombieland is a great zombie film. In many ways It is to American zombie films what Shaun of the Dead is to British. Its funny and witty but at the same time action packed with characters that, whilst larger than life, are incredibly relatable . Like Shaun of the dead it portrays, in ways far exceeding it's serious predecessors, how the modern person feels like they would react to a Zombie Apocalypse and for the most part after a while it would be humorous and strangely life affirming. This film also captures the joy that many gamers feel when dispatching virtual Zombies and translate it into a film which can be done so much easier with a light hearted take on the genre.
3) Dawn of the dead 2004
The remake of Dawn of the dead is in my opinion a classic Zombie plot which has been backed up with modern day special effects. It also saw the running Zombie concept interact with one of George A Romero's Zombie classics. Featuring a group of survivors in a mall it deals with the reality of being locked inside a mall that is being besieged by a horde of flesh hungry Zombies. Although the film ends in the classic style of Zombie survivor stupidity, it is incredibly gory and jumpy in places. The suspense, cinematography, setting and special effects are by all means enough to earn this film a place in the top ten.
4) Warm Bodies 2013
This newly released film essentially works on the foundations of what both Zombieland and Shaun of the dead began, a transition of the Zombie concept beyond the Horror Genre. However unlike its revolutionary predecessors it rarely attempts the classic horror of a zombie film which can be seen with its very low certificate rating, why this is the case is abundantly clear. The dreaded “Twilight Crowd”. This film attempts to do to Zombies what Twighlight did for Vampires, make them sleek, sexy and lovable. Well maybe not sexy. But before die hard Zombie fans scoff and relegate this film into the never ever ever watch cupboard along with the Twilight saga, thank god that’s over, and Australia its is worth noting it is an amazing film. R, the lead Zombie is hilarious bringing many of the Zombie like performance techniques from twilight to the screen in a manner that is worthy of our attention. With humour ladled throughout and a main character who does not take himself even a 100th a seriously as that shiny vampire, it is very easy to find yourself on the zombies side in this film. Not to mention his relationship with his Zombie friend M, which shows that bros look out for each other even after death.
This film is a definite must watch for any Zombie fan, even if it isn't a horror.
5) 28 Days Later
28 days later is British horror at its greatest and an exceptional Zombie film by anyone’s standards. The landmarks of central London and its Erie quietness are incredibly effective in grounding the film in reality and giving the impression of isolation. The film thankfully skips the age old outbreak story and cuts straight into the heart of the apocalypse with Jim the films protagonist waking up 28 days after the initial outbreak. With an amazing cast whose acting sells the whole films realism this film keeps you engaged from the beginning to end with lots of gore throughout.
The sequel though entertaining does not match up to its predecessor, arguably because the whole thing received the Hollywood treatment which left it lacking the emotion and realism from the original film.
6) Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Romero's original undead master piece. This film no doubt helped to launch the worlds obsession with the undead making people ask for the first but by no means the last time “what would you do, when zombies attack?” And yes I said when. His masterful use of suspense and tension keeps you at the edge of your seat throughout the film. The mounting tension and friction in the farm house amongst the living also gives the viewer a sense of emergency. This film is arguably the true origin of the modern zombie flick in all its gory glory, and who can forget perhaps one of the most iconic lines from any horror film “they’re Coming to get you Barbara”.
On a side note the 1990s remake is also worth a watch,not only for the updated graphics but also because of the new casts portrayal of classic characters.
7) Dead Snow 2009
Decent Zombie films have for a long time been the domain of Hollywood horror enthusiasts with budgets to match their enthusiasm. This has often left other attempts at Zombie films lacking in budget and often plot as film makers tried not to draw direct comparisons between their films and Hollywood’s big budget flicks. However as with almost every other genre the rise of CGI and “Foreign Cinema” has created some epic films that arguably Hollywood could not have done. One such example is the Norwegian Zombie comedy Dead Snow. It ticks all the right boxes for a zombie comedy, a mismatched group of people separated from the world and lots and lots of gore. Add to that the Nazi Zombies and you have an award winning combination. This film received four nominations in the 2009 Scream awards and quite rightly so.
Don't let the subtitles put you off!
8) Slither 2006
Slither is one of my favourite zombie flicks for a number of reasons. First and perhaps foremost is Nathan Fillion. I have loved him as an actor since firefly and his portrayal in this film as the Sheriff Bill Pardy is the right amount of both action hero and comedian for the tone of the film. The film is a good blend of humour, action and horror in a way that many films try to achieve. It has moments that will literally have you cringing with disgust, the infamous bathroom scene immediately comes to mind.
All in all this is a solid light hearted Zombie film with appropriate levels of gore for a modern zombie film.
9) [Rec] 2007
[Rec] is another masterpiece of zombie horror born out of Europe. This Spanish film is arguably one of the most terrifying zombie films of all time. It is perhaps the most effective representation of the Blair witch hand held camera style of filming within the Undead genre of film. Following a Spanish TV crew and a Spanish fire brigade into an apartment block this film is quite frankly something you view from the edge of your seat. This film was so good that within a year Hollywood had created an English adaption, which honestly does not match the original in any way shape or form.
10) Fido 2006
I have avoided watching Fido for the longest time. Honestly I have no idea why I have been avoiding it. It is one of the funniest films I have seen in a long time. Whilst not at all the classic Zombie film it takes the concept of your average family feel good comedy and transfers it to an alternative 1950s universe where zombies run rampant and the corporation ZOMCOM controls all. If there's one film on this list that everyone needs to see it is this one. Billy Connolly's zombie Fido does defiantly dominate the film even though he does not utter a single word throughout the film. Fun, friendly and light hearted Fido is an interesting take on a classic genre definitely worth an afternoon of your time.
Any films you feel have been hard done by, please leave the title and the reason why it should be in the Top Ten in a comment.