I have a few guilty pleasures.
Soy Caramel Maquillados from Starbucks.
Lindt Dark Chocolate
outrageous inappropriate shock humor
hitting the snooze button three or more times
and... four kinds of movie:
1. James Bond
2. Superhero/Comic Book Action
3. Hong Kong Kung-fu action - I'd even argue that this one isn't purely a guilty pleasure: see, it's amazing, what these dudes can do with their bodies: the athleticism and skill of choreographing and performing those things is a thing of wonder.
4. Zombie movies!!!!
Soundtrack: the Zombeatles: It's Been a Hard Day's Night Of The Living Dead. Hit play and read.
Yeah. I found this list of The best Zombie Movies ever made: a few lists. Askmen.com, some random guy, and so forth.
I downloaded a bunch, and I've been devouring them with glee: working on other stuff while doing this.
See, Zombie movies are awful. Dramatically, the premise of zombies is incredibly limited: they all follow the same line --
1. zombies break out,
2. spread inexorably, and then the last half of the movie always, ALWAYS ends with
3. humans hiding in various buildings with boarded up doors and windows, keeping zombies out, hoping zombies don't come in:
4. at best, the good guys escape from one shelter to another shelter...but wouldn't they just be followed there by zombies as well?
5. At worst, zombies breach the shelter and everybody, or almost everybody dies (though the sympathetic ones might yet make it to some other refuge...where they STILL have to just keep zombies out).
But within those awful constraints, there's so much fun to be had: the jump scenes when Zombies burst through doors or out of shadows, the "will they get in" suspense of that endless pounding on doors, the creativity of filmmakers trying to find new, even sillier ways to kill zombies, the go-to-town delightfulness of absolute mayhem in the costume and make-up department. The creepy deaky music... every zombie movie checks the same boxes, not unlike James Bond movies.
Meanwhile, many '80s Zombie movies (Return of the Living Dead Trilogy in particular) are just goofy.
So, here are the best/most enjoyable zombie movies I've seen so far.
Creepiest: Lucio Fulci's "Zombie 2/Zombi" (1979) - the zombies in this one were the creepiest, and the atmosphere was the most ominous - which is the best you can hope for in a good zombie movie. They were so slow, yet that made their catching the good guys seem even more inexorable. The last-stand in a makeshift hospital building was thrilling, the zombies had this cool way of taking a while to die and fall over, even after you shot them in the ahead, as if they were trying to decide whether to die or to just keep coming after you. There's even some alright dialogue and !gasp! character development... Plus, before they get to the really scary stuff, there's an AWESOME Zombie/Shark fight. The undead vs. nature's purest killer. Sweetness!
This video gives the soundtrack: one of the best creepy ones, and shows how scary a slow zombie can be. So deliberate: so inevitable! Warning; a lot of gross footage in this tribute.
Day of the Dead - George Romero made this one: after first popularizing the zombie genre with "Night of the Living Dead" (1968, one of the creepiest zombie movies so far), making "Dawn of the Dead" in 1978 (maybe the best classic zombie movie; remade louder and grosser and more cynical in 2004) this one was both best and worst of the zombie genre: the scientist experimenting on zombies was interesting, and a gross way of bringing in more variations on the zombie legend. The characters were either cool or really really awful: the soldiers were some of the worst ass-munching stereotypes out there, but some of the other characters were likeable. The right people got theirs at the end. Bub is the coolest zombie out there: he's actually domesticated by the end of the movie, and demonstrates something close to feeling. Interesting take on the genre: like no other zombie movie I've seen. In fact, the central dramatic point of the film is the conflict between the people trapped in the military compound, rather than just being "run away from zombies. hide. hiding place compromised. run to new hiding place. lose a few people. repeat" the way most zombie movies go. Just for that, it's worth seeing.
28 Days Later: a modern zombie film:
it seems modern audiences don't have the attention span to allow menace to develop: the slow pacing of a movie like the 1968 Night of the Living Dead allows a lot of anxiety to build up before the climactic scene, but I guess somebody decided that modern audiences want the release without the build-up, so they just jump straight into the fast-paced stuff...and then have trouble building up any sense of dread later. The zombies can run. Fast zombies are more immediately terrifying, and seriously, they ARE frightening: the scariest zombies I've seen, but they don't make an impact as lastingly creepy as Lucio Fulci's ghoulishly slow zombies (second scariest, stay with you longer). Sorry. The scary thing about zombies isn't that the first one you see might run you down and get you. It's that if you see one, there are probably more nearby, and more, and more, and yeah, you could avoid them, but they're persistent, patient, and they don't stop, and if one of them gets its hands on you, you're probably done, so you can't let your guard down for a minute, and you better be sure there aren't any waiting behind the door on your escape route, and next time you look out the boarded-up window, there will be more waiting outside than last time you looked. On the other hand, 28 Days Later does have legitimate thrills.
before I go on too long, here's a history of the zombie genre: I still have a lot to see, but I've had myself a good start. Cheesy, but fun as heck!
Zombies. Go see one yourself. I recommend Fulci, or the original Night of the Living Dead.
'cause if you're gonna watch a crappy movie, watch a crappy zombie movies: crappy action, suspense, comedy, and drama films are just abominable: no fun to be had whatsoever, but with a crappy horror or zombie movie, you at least get the fun of some shameless attempts to frighten you, some fun make-up, and the joy of mocking the filmmakers if they fail to actually frighten you...and the fun of a good scare if they DO!
Oh by the way, one last thing:
Don't you love it when, at the end of the credits of a movie titled something like "Rock Zombie Elvis Impersonating Detective Agency From the Fifth Dimension and Their Loyal Zombie Space-Dog Poofnark... The Musical!", there's a little disclaimer: "Any resemblance to actual events is purely coincidental"