Since George Romero brought us Night of the Living Dead in 1968, film makers have been fascinated by Zombies (and so have we). Hundreds of movies since have taken the idea of decomposing, undead parasites intent on taking a bite out of the public and run with it. Some of them are really good, like Michele Soavi’s Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man). Some of them are really bad, Zombi 4 and Mulva fall into that camp. Some Zombie movies, however, are just weird. Really weird.
We’ve compiled a list of 20 of the weirdest Zombie movies we could find. These movies take the Zombie phenomenon and bend it to create something entirely different.
Let’s start with a control.
Hell of the Living Dead is a Italian Zombie flick directed by Bruno Mattei. We included it on this list not because it’s particularly weird, but because it’s really normal for a Zombie movie. Four Commandos are sent into Papua New Guinea to investigate something or another. As it turns out, what they find out is that the dead are walking again. Much of the rest of the film involves them running around, shooting things as slow-moving, gray-faced Zombies try to eat everyone. There is the requisite car escape, kitschy 80s soundtrack and super-science gone wrong. Honestly, there were dozens of movies just like this that might seem odd if you didn’t know that this is how it was supposed to work. Take a look at the trailer above because things just get weirder from here.
Also known as: Virus, Night of the Zombies, Zombie Creeping Flesh.
The Astro Zombies was directed by Ted Mikels. It starts off innocently enough, a super scientist wants to create a race of super-human monsters (who doesn’t?) How does he do this? Well, he gets a bunch of people who have been murdered, stitches Lucha Libre masks on their faces and sends them out to kill every woman in town to create more fuel for his evil experiments. This attracts attention from the CIA and Varla from Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, who apparently has a thing for Mexican wrestlers.
There are machete’s and torture, toy robots and a lot of screaming to round things out.
Yudai Yamaguchi’s Battlefield Baseball is an insane mish-mash martial arts film, sports flick and horror movie. Mostly though, it’s completely incoherent.
The story revolves around a baseball rivalry between Seido High School and Gedo High School, who happen to be a team of Zombies famous for their unique style of play, “fighting baseball.” They win by maiming, torturing and otherwise killing the opposing team. Lots of the early scenes of the movie involve watching increasingly ludicrous and often hilarious baseball related deaths. The rest of the story involves trips to the afterlife, super-powered pitchers, caged baseball players and just about every cliche you might expect out of a bizarre, Japanese multi-genre epic.
If there is a lesson you can draw from all of this, it goes something like this: Never play Baseball against a team of Zombies.
Lucio Fulci’s, The Beyond wasn’t even originally a Zombie movie. He wanted to make a haunted house film, but as it turns out Zombies put butts in seats so his distribution company had him rewrite the script to include the shamblers. That’s not why this movie made the list though. The Beyond is fantastically difficult to understand movie, by design. Fulci is on record as saying, “My idea was to make an absolute film, with all the horrors of the world. It’s a plotless film, there’s no logic to it, just a succession of images.”
He’s right. Whether you are killing Warlocks with lime, opening the gates of hell or talking to creepy blind women, The Beyond feels a lot more like a highly polished art film than a testosterone-fueled Zombie epic. It’s a must watch for Fulci fans.
American Zombie is really not all that weird. It made it onto the list because it tells the story of Zombies from a wildly different angle. You see, in the world of American Zombie, a good percentage of those who are turned into the undead come back as “high-functioning zombies.” Which is to say, they look and sounds like regular people except for a bit of rotting.
It’s a story of two film makers who are are trying to learn more about Zombie society, and the dark secrets they uncover. It’s fun, interesting and a definite must see for the Zombie completest.
Alright, enough with the art house flicks, time for some shlock. Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town wins our award for title that best explains the premise of the movie. It’s the story of a all-female motorcycle gang named the “Cycle-Sluts” who come to a town (Zariah) that is being overrun by Zombies. Zombies that have been created by, what else, a mad scientist.
There is dynamite, leather, a dwarf and a young Billy Bob Thorton to round out the explosions and decapitations that fill this Troma epic.
Linnea Quigley is best known as the “scream queen” from movies like Return of the Living Dead and Nightmare on Elm Street 4. She has starred in dozens of B-grade horror flicks and is on of the seminal actresses of the genre. She is a film producer and the author of two books, Chainsaw and I’m Screaming as Fast as I Can.
She also made a workout video.
A workout video with Zombies.
This is Hong Kong director Wilson Yip’s loving reimagining of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. Along with being ridiculously campy, it made the list because the Zombies in this movie are created by, wait for it . . .
Sodas tainted with Iraqi bio-weapons.
The dialogue is great, the dubbing is better and everything is shot like they forgot to remove the blue-filter from the lens.
The Horror of Party Beach holds the distinction of being the second Zombie musical ever created. It tells the story of a couple who go to the beach, only to be attacked by something that looks like Aquaman’s creepy Uncle.
It also has radioactive waste, The Del-Aires, a biker gang love story and did I mention that it was a musical?
Made in 1964 by Del Tenney this movie has just about everything you’d want of you’re a big shot scientist just looking for some kicks.
This is a movie about a town full of two-timing mothers who all catch a venereal disease that turns them into cannibals. Yes, that is the plot.
Most of the movie is about the mother’s trying to eat their children, and the children trying to cure their them by injecting the antidote into their rear ends.
I really can’t explain the sheer majesty of the movie better than that.
We reward movies that revel in their unmitigated cheapness. This is one of those movies. My brain would hurt too much trying to explain the plot, so I’ll rattle off what it has in it:
Serial Killer Superhero, Radioactive Green Zombie Vixens, ninjas, super villains, a zombietron and…You know, just watch the trailer.
A word of warning, it might be a wee bit NSFW.
“I want to hold your hand…”
Hard Rock Zombies is about a group of rockers who end up dying at the hands of Adolf Hilter. They are brought back from the grave as Zombies to take their revenge on the group that kills them.
The supporting cast includes Eva Braun, who is a werewolf, a pair of midgets (one of whom eats himself by the end of the movie), and a really strange girl named Cassie who helps to bring them back from the dead.
It’s shot a little like a music video, except with more Nazi monsters.
At first you might be wondering what’s so strange about Andrea Bianchi’s Burial Ground. The trailer opens like any good Zombie film, with a decomposing corpse eating a bearded guy who seems to have forgotten how to run away. If you don’t pay attention, you’ll miss the family in the movie that drives the story.
Take a look at their ten year old son.
Take a close look.
As it turns out, that “ten year old” boy was actually Peter Bark, a dwarf who happened to be in his early 30s at the time of filming. If this isn’t enough, a good part of the story revolves around the incestuous relationship between the son and the mother.
To be honest, the Zombies in this movie are the least weird part about it.
This is a movie about radioactive Zombie children who dissolve their parents through hugs. I refuse to say anything else about it.
On first blush you might think you’re watching a Vampire movie, but let me assure you that you are not. This is the story of a group of relatively peaceful Vampires, who have been infected (through super science I’m sure) and turned into zombie-vampires who mindlessly feed on… You get the picture.
It’s campy but not overtly so, what really sells the flick is the group of Vampire commandos sent in to clean up the zombie-vampire menace. That and the confusion of trying to figure out what in the world a zombie-vampire is.
Remember when I said that Horror of Party Beach was the second Zombie musical ever made. Well, meet the first. TISCWSLBMZ also held the distinction of having the longest title in movie history up until that point.
We’ve entered art film territory again. This is a movie about gypsies and carnivals and zombies that occasionally look like mimes. There is also a ten minute long dream sequence thrown in that is likely give the easily confused aneurysms.
This is one of Ray Steckler’s finest works and it was finished for the low, low price of $38,000. It’s a must see for fans of zero budget film making.
Before Peter Jackson brought us the Lord of the Rings, he made really interesting, low(er)-budget flicks like Braindead. It’s about the Sumatran Rat-Monkey and the love between a man, a shopkeepers daughter and his mother.
If you have ever seen Bad Taste or any of Peter Jackson’s other early work, you’ll have a feeling for where things go from here. Over the top gore, slapstick humor and all around craziness.
The Dead Next Door is a Sam Raimi film which he made it under the pseudonym, “The Master Cylinder.” We included it for two reasons. The first is that we love Sam Raimi (of Evil Dead fame). He has a way of combining horror with comedy that improves both genres immensely.
The second is that this is the first and only film we reviewed that has a Zombie loving cult bent on helping the undead kill us all.
Alien leeches are released and attack college students. Picked for the list because not enough people understand the importance of combining alien super science with Zombies. Until they do, Night of the Creeps will have a special place in my heart.
A little more mainstream than everything else we’ve shown this go, but when you have a Grindhouse inspired movie with Rose McGowen killing zombies with a machine gun strapped to her stump — it’s pretty hard not to.
Redneck Zombies holds the distinction of being one of the first movies to be shot entirely on VHS. That’s right, it’s more or less a home movie picked up by the people at Troma and released to the public. Since then, there have been plenty of other similar films made but none that were quite like Redneck Zombies.
As for the plot, it’s about a drum that held radioactive waste finding its way to a group of rednecks. They then use it as a tub to make moonshine. The rest, as they say, is about 90 minutes.
Your turn. What are your favorite, weirdest Zombie flicks?