I know everyone loves zombies. Well, maybe not everyone, but a lot of people seem to love zombies nowadays. Must be the cool thing to do. With Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, and Quarantine, zombie movies are the "in" thing right now. But there have been some zombie movies under the radar in the last 20 years or so, and I am going to name off the ones that I think are criminally underrated. So here there are, in no particular order:
Cemetery Man (1994): Aka Dellamorte Dellamore, this Italian zombie movie came out relatively under the radar and continues to be one I don't hear that much about. It is a rare horror movie that can go from ludicrous to terrifying in the same scene and even manages to throw in some genuinely touching moments as well. It's also one of the few movies I will watch that features talking zombies. Most of the time, talking does not enhance any sort of zombie, but these zombies have some interesting dialogues they spew, from a mayor who's not setting a good example for the other zombies to a zombie girl who just wants her father's approval to be married. And in what other movie can you see zombie nuns and boy scouts attacking Rupert Everett?
Best Line: "No, please, don't! He's only eating me!"
The Serpent and The Rainbow (1988): I've said it before and I'll say it again - I think this is Wes Craven's best movie. This happens to deal with Voodoo Zombies instead of the undead type, but it's still pretty damn amazing. Bill Pullman gives a wonderful performance and the imagery in this movie is stellar. The dream sequences are dizzying and mesmerizing, with corpses coming to life and snakes coming out of people's mouths. It's slow and atmospheric, but very well shot. This is the movie that makes you remember just how much talent Craven really has. In short, it's brilliant.
Best Line: "Don't let them bury me!"
Undead (2003): The first time I watched this movie, I wasn't really impressed with it. It's strange, goofy, and kind of dull in parts. However, a couple of subsequent viewings have allowed me to appreciate this Aussie horror/comedy. It's got a man with three shotguns combined into one and probably the most ridiculously over the top scene to ever take place in a hardware store. It's outrageous fun in parts and it eventually just seems to go haywire, throwing in some aliens for good measure. It's fun to watch (especially when a zombie tries to put itself back together) and I would recommend it.
Best Line: Alien 1: "Put your clothes on." Alien 2: "I'm comfortable with my body."
Fido (2006): With quite the great cast (including Carrie-Anne Moss in her best non-Matrix role since Memento), this comedy hums right along excellently. It's not horror, but it's a zombie movie. Set in the sort of 50's wonderland world, it's a world where zombies have been quelled in a great war and repurposed as butlers and helpers. Every affluent family has a helper zombie and what could possibly go wrong with that? It's a great flick and very funny. It's too bad that it isn't a little more on the horror side, but it's still very well done and deserving of a spot on this list.
Best Line: "Mommy, help! Grandpa's fallen and he's getting back up!"
Planet Terror (2007): Yeah, I know, it's gotten some good reviews, but overall this movie was undeservedly overlooked. It's really well done, overwrought fun that has a great cast. Planet Terror was definitely the more enjoyable half of Grindhouse for me (mostly because you can't make a grindhouse movie 75% dialogue, Tarantino!) and Robert Rodriguez showed his talent in spades while making this movie. I can't tell you how awesome it is to watch a girl with a machine gun leg blow zombies away. Unfortunately, the idea of sitting through three hours of film turned a lot of people off. It's their loss, I guess.
Best Line: "Don't shoot yourself. Don't shoot each other. And especially... don't shoot me."
There you have it folks. Any comments?