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The 20 Weirdest Zombie Movies Ever Made

The 20 Weirdest Zombie Movies Ever Made

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 (1980)

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 (1968)

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.

Battlefield Baseball (Jigoku kôshien, 2003)

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.

The Beyond (1981)

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 (2007)

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.

Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town (1989)

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 Horror Workout

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.

Bio-Zombie (1998)

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 (1964)

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.

Flesh Eating Mothers (1988)

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.

Die You Zombie Bastards! (2005)

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.

Hard Rock Zombies (1984)

“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.

Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981)

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.

The Children (1980)

This is a movie about radioactive Zombie children who dissolve their parents through hugs. I refuse to say anything else about it.

The Dead Undead (2009)

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.

The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (1964)

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.

Braindead (1992)

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 (1989)

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.

Night Of The Creeps (1986)

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.

Planet Terror (2007)

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 Zombie (1987)

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?

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  • http://twitter.com/Malte Malte Goesche

    You are missing this Norwegian Nazi zombie movie:
    http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/10/04/norwegia

  • http://twitter.com/Malte Malte Goesche

    You are missing this Norwegian Nazi zombie movie:
    http://www.firstshowing.net/2008/10/04/norwegia

  • Name

    brain dead= dead alive…

  • Name

    brain dead= dead alive…

  • undead
  • Josh

    What, no Zombie Strippers?

  • oct8pus

    I thought the Peter Jackson movie with the rat monkey was entitled “Dead Alive” – perhaps that’s the American title…anyway – that’s a great film. ….

    Anyway – I’d just like to say that $38,000 in 1968 is a lot of money. Just to make the comparison, I’m working on a zombie movie right now (it’s actually a music video, so production time is much shorter), and so far, the budget hasn’t surpassed $2,000. I think modern technology has really helped indie filmmakers lower costs immensely.

  • Trey

    “Fido” should've been included in this list even if for no other reason than Billy Connolly plays a zombie pet that falls in love with Carrie-Anne Moss…brilliant film also :)

  • kenhthefilmscreener

    Cemetary Man!!!!

    Rupert Everett as a dillusional, lonely and amoral cemetary nightwatchman who's job it is to slay the walking undead once the sun goes down.

    Along the way, his borderline retarded fat sidekick character falls in love with the undead head of a recently deceased teenager.

    The surrealist imagery and dream sequences! The subtext of isolation and social disconnection! And ZOMBIES!!!

    It's the horror film for Art House film students, and it's also wicked funny.

  • sbspalding

    Ha! As I mentioned in the first section, I thought Cemetery Man was too legitimately good to be included on the same list with The Horror at Party Beach. Though I definitely agree, it is one weird piece of cinema.

  • Jack

    I love you, Sarah Jane – By far the most innovative Zombie movie I've seen in a while.

    http://www.bowlofserial.com/2009/05/20/i-love-s

  • jimmarch

    How in God’s name did you miss POULTRYGEIST!

    Yes! Zombie CHICKENS! By far the weirdest ever. Troma again. Natch.

  • Steve

    Points off for no Fido and no Special Dead…

  • http://www.gorepress.com/ Arnie

    My current life plans have now been scrapped in favour of drinking my own body-weight in cheap lager whilst watching 'The Dead Undead'…

  • sbspalding

    Poultrygeist -completely- slipped my mind and you know what, I’m a worse
    person for that. Good call!

  • Greg

    Where are the nazi-zombies?

  • http://366weirdmovies.com/ 366weirdmovies

    I agree that it’s a shame that, despite being the weirdest zombie movie ever made, CEMETERY MAN [DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE] didn’t make the list because it was too GOOD…. that’s reverse discrimination!

    No problems with the rest of the list, they are interesting movies. I would have listed EVIL DEAD II, but it might not be considered “zombie” enough.

    The zomcom GRAVEYARD ALIVE: A ZOMBIE NURSE IN LOVE isn’t that great, but it is a weird concept: a Guy Maddin-style nearly silent campy zombie movie with a couple of ERASERHEAD-style dream sequences.

    Don’t forget the great hallucination sequences in THE SERPENT & THE RAINBOW. And the Haitian-style (as opposed to Romero-style) classics WHITE ZOMBIE and I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE are both dreamlike and atmospheric.

  • thoughtninja

    What no Tokyo Zombie?

  • Name

    Really, without Fido, one wonders which others were left off the list.

  • kenhthefilmscreener

    Some other ones you may have missed:

    Fido – The Alt-Reality Zombie Comedy where in the 1950's Zombies are kept in captivity as public workers or pets. Billy Connelly plays a young boys Pet Zombie, and it also stars Tim Blake Nelson, Carrie Anne Moss and Dylan Baker as a dad who's not a pedophile.

    Undead or Alive – Chris Kattan. Zombie Cowboys. The Imdb summary does it justice.

    Versus – Zombies plus Kung Fu, Supercops, Cannibals, The Mafia, Highlander Swordfighting, Corrupt Cops, Gunfights, and Magic.

    Route 666 – Lou Diamond Phillips fights highway-haunting Zombies due to their deaths at the hands of corrupt cops. A Sci-Fi Channel must watch for shitty cinema.

    Grace – Jordan Ladd gives birth to a dead baby… and it comes back alive. I've heard this film is as great as it is brutal.

    Outpost – Ray Stevenson and a gang of multicultural mercenaries vs. Zombie Nazi's. A great blockbuster night rental.

    Lastly, I know Master's of Horror doesn't count…

    but Homecoming is a great twisted piece of Zombie Entertainment. Joe Dante directing a political horror comedy about Dead Iraq War Soldiers coming back to destroy the republican party. As ridiculous as it is, it's decently written and well acted.

  • CINodras

    “Black Sheep” is fairly unique.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0779982/

  • sbspalding

    Another great set of additions to the list. I've never even heard of Grace, I need to check that one out.

    Yea, MoH doesn't count but Homecoming was one of the better ones. Right up there with Deer Woman (which I found vastly entertaining).

  • kenhthefilmscreener

    Deer Woman was Great, but I prefer Landis's second season outing, Family, with George Wendt playing a delusional and sexually perverse serial killer who argues with dead bodies.

    MOH wasn't that great but did have some good entries, like Valerie on the Stairs, Fair Haired Child, Dreams in the Witch House, Sounds Like, We All Scream for Ice Cream, and of course, John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns.

  • kenhthefilmscreener

    Deer Woman was Great, but I prefer Landis's second season outing, Family, with George Wendt playing a delusional and sexually perverse serial killer who argues with dead bodies.

    MOH wasn't that great but did have some good entries, like Valerie on the Stairs, Fair Haired Child, Dreams in the Witch House, Sounds Like, We All Scream for Ice Cream, and of course, John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns.

  • eric

    Not including WILD ZERO on this list is an automatic failure.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0267116/

    See it, and play the drinking game

  • paulhilts

    However did you miss Death Curse of Tartu (1966) ??? Miami archaeology students have a beach party [in the Everglades] that is gatecrashed by the mummy/zombie of Tartu, a one-time Seminole chief, who sometimes comes back as a [freshwater?] shark so he can eat people.

  • darkmodem

    You managed to find Battlefield Baseball but skipped on Japan's greatest zombie movie ever? Wild Zero is a movie with everything – zombies, UFOs, motorcycles, and Rock and Roll.
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-401746

    You can find a DVD copy of it for around $10 online, and it's definitely a good addition to the movie collection.

  • billyhaynes

    Wow nice list, only one I remember seeing is Planet Terror. I'll have to look into the others.

  • neuronphaser

    I'm shocked that Vampires vs. Zombies wasn't mentioned. It's completely nonsensical, and happens to be the worst movie I have ever seen, hands down. And I've seen LOTS of bad movies. Check it out, because it'll be the bar by which you judge all other movies.

  • Dan

    Dead & Breakfast was kind of strange, especially the musical interludes (one of which is quite catchy). Just flat out weird was Dead Clowns.. that movie had a nice intro but nothing else really made sense.

  • Dale

    I guess we all can come up with alternatives. Here are some of my favorite oddities! In no particular order.

    Zombie Honeymoon;
    My Boy Friend's Back;
    Song of the Dead;
    Choking Hazard;
    Living a Zombie Dream;
    Last of the Living;
    Fido;
    Black Sheep;
    Bubba Ho-Tep;
    Junk;
    Rec;
    Return of the Evil Dead;
    Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things;
    Mutant.

  • Dale

    Vampires vs. Zombies is indeed bad, but 'Zombies Gone Wild' and 'Dorm of the Dead' are the worst I have ever seen.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dorm-Dead-DVD-Region-NT

  • neuronphaser

    Sounds like a challenge to me! I'll check 'em out.

  • Dale

    Don't waste your money dude! :) They really are bad :{ – Buy Song of the Dead. It's bad, but excellent at the same time. You can get it direct from the Director

    http://www.songofthedead.com/

    cheers

  • Les

    These are all great movies. One I thought would be on here for sure was the Spierig brothers film Undead. Its Australian (wicked accents) and included zombie plague causing meteors and aliens that come out of nowhere and heal everyone with rain…..and yes it gets way better.

  • Brain Dead

    No 'Wild Zero'?! Shame on you.

  • Brain Dead

    No 'Wild Zero'?! Shame on you.

  • WookieDuck

    Wait a minute. A list of the weirdest zombies movie ever WITHOUT “Attack Girls' Swim Team Vs. Undead”!? Its a genuine movie, it makes no sense, and has LOTS of Japanese schoolgirls getting naked. Possibly the best 'so-bad-its-good' film that I have ever seen.

  • Lynda Seifert

    My favorite zombie movie was Night of the Living Dead…..that was the best

  • Lynda Seifert

    My favorite zombie movie was Night of the Living Dead…..that was the best

  • ZedWrecker

    Is Bubba Ho-Tep really a zombie film? Certainly, I concur it’s got an undead antagonist, but he’s not a zombie. He’s a mummy. If we start classifying mummies as zombies, all hell will break loose. But good list, aside from a really minor technical issue.

  • ZedWrecker

    Not zombies. They’re almost more were-sheep if anything.

  • ZedWrecker

    Oasis of the Dead and Dead Snow need their shout-outs.

  • ZedWrecker

    Yes and no. There is also a movie called Brain Dead that ISN’T Dead Alive.

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