October 21, 2013

Loved World War Z? Here are 5 more zombie gems for your collection
by Tom
Tom

by Tom Goodwyn

hmv London; 21/10/2013

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hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

Loved World War Z? Here are 5 more zombie gems for your collection

Earlier this year, Vanity Fair published an expose on World War Z that named the zombie behemoth as perhaps the most troubled production in the history of Hollywood. As well as being way over budget, the producers and star Brad Pitt made the decision to draft in script doctor Damon Lindelof (Lost, Star Trek, Prometheus), do extensive re-shoots and craft a whole new ending.

When the film finally hit cinemas in June, critics and commentators were predicting that the film was going to be a monster flop and were confident that another Hollywood franchise would be stopped dead in its tracks.

Thing is, once moviegoers and critics actually saw World War Z, they all realised that despite its production difficulties, it had actually turned out rather well and it wound up taking well over $500 million at the box office.

The film came out on DVD earlier this week and is already flying off the shelves. So, if this has whetted your appetite for zombie action and you’re wondering where to go next, here are five lesser-known gems for your collection.

28 Days Later...

28 Days Later....

(2002, dir Danny Boyle)

There’s some debate over whether Danny Boyle’s much-loved 2002 thriller is a zombie film at all, with Boyle and writer Alex Garland simply saying that the assailants are ‘infected’ rather than new members of the walking dead. Either way, the film remains a classic flick and has been credited with reinvigorating the zombie sub-genre of horror. Starring Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris, the film follows the fortunes of four survivors as they struggle to stay alive.

The Serpent and the Rainbow

The Serpent and the Rainbow

(1988, dir Wes Craven)

A more traditional zombie romp, this Wes Craven (Scream, A Nightmare On Elm Street) crafted chiller tells the story of Clairvius Narcisse, who was allegedly poisoned, buried alive, and revived with a herbal brew and became a zombie. As with all of Craven’s creations, this is a fun, spiky horror delight.

Pontypool

Pontypool

(2008, dir Bruce McDonald)

Set in a small town in Ontario, Canada (rather than the mining town in South Wales), a deadly infection takes hold of the town, with the condition being bizarrely passed on through words. Shot on a tiny budget and relying on intrigue rather than spectacle, this is a challenging and gripping take on the zombie genre.

Make-Out with Violence

Make-Out With Violence

(2008, dir Deagol Brothers)

Cody DeVos and Eric Lehning star as Patrick and Carol Darling, twin brothers who are searching for their high school sweetheart Wendy Hearst, who has mysteriously disappeared. Amazingly, they find Wendy, who has been turned into a zombie and secretly transport her to an empty house in hopes of somehow bringing her back to life. Featuring an original score by Brian Eno, this is a tender, thoughtful take on the zombie mythology, rather than a ripping rollercoaster. Well worth seeking out.

The Returned

The Returned

(2013, dir Manuel Carballo)

This French drama (which was brought back to screens in a series of the same name earlier this year) is about as far away from the blood splatter of typical Zombie fare as possible. Virtuoso director Robin Campilo instead presents a character study of undead creatures simply try to re-integrate themselves into society. This, inevitably, proves to be quite the challenge…