Monday, October 4, 2010

Non-Romero Zombie Movies You Need to See - 27 Days till Halloween

Anyone familiar with my T-shirt collection, my DVD library or this website knows that I love me some zombies.

For tonight's installment in the Countdown to Halloween, I wanted to share some of my favorite non-Romero zombie films that may have slipped by your undead radar.  They are, in no particular order:

THE GRAPES OF DEATH (France; 1978) - LES RAISINS DE LA MORT comes from director Jean Rollin, who is basically the French version of Jess Franco. In GRAPES, an traveling woman discovers that an experimental pesticide is turning the residents of a small village into zombies. For fans of classic smut, you may be interested to see French adult film star Brigitte Lahaie featured here in her first mainstream film. Yes, she still gets naked.

LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE (Italy; 1974) - Known equally as THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE Jorge Grau's zombie film is a slow and methodical piece of horror that builds up some incredible tension and suspense. Obviously influenced by George Romero, what makes Grau's zombies so fantastic is that many of them are walking corpses from a local hospital. Much like GRAPES, this one also features pesticides as the culprit for the dead walking again.

BURIAL GROUND (Italy; 1981) - Some may also know this sleazy dirty zombie flick as THE NIGHTS OF TERROR or ZOMBI 3. Director Andrea Bianchi, who also brought the world STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER, plays Lucio Fulci's song of unapologetic gore here as he unleashes a batch of reanimated rotting and hungry zombie on an unsuspected hipster crowd. BURIAL GROUND living dead set themselves apart from the usual shuffling zombies as they have just enough intelligence to make them truly vicious.

JUNK (Japan; 1999) - More Romero-influenced slow-moving zombie action from Japanese director Atsushi Muroga, who essentially remakes his crime-thriller SCORE here with zombies interjected. When a criminal trio meets up with their bosses in a supposedly abandoned warehouse, they find a secret military project aimed at reviving the dead. Revived they are, and immediately begin eating anyone's guts they can get a hold of. The film's tagline, "Everybody Fights" couldn't be more true.

WHITE ZOMBIE (United States; 1932) - This is always the go-to film for me when I need reminding that zombies didn't always rise from grave looking for some tasty brains. Bela Lugosi is absolutely mesmerizing here as the zombie master, who hypnotizes all who are caught in his gaze, to do whatever he wants. It may be blasphemy to say, but Lugosi shines better here than he does in DRACULA. This is classic horror at its finest.

So there you have it, five zombie movies that you really need to treat yourself to before its too late and some sadistic undead ghoul sticks a splinter through your eye, forever ruining your chance to watch them.

27 days till Halloween...


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