Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Greatest zombies and zombie stories in fiction

Zombies are often nameless and sometimes faceless or even limbless. But there are a few who either have personalities or are famous for their impact upon our understanding of just what makes up a zombie. 

What constitutes a zombie has evolved over time to the point where many of the zombies about today no longer follow exactly the same guidelines of zombiedom. What began centuries ago as mindless ghouls, revenants or rotting vampire-like creatures are now often quick, agile, vicious and sometimes personable.

So here are some of the most famous zombies and zombie stories in fiction, listed in hopes of providing inspiration. Bend those rules!

Frankenstein's monster from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (early partial zombie representation)

Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall Of The House Of Usher. Revenge of the dead.

H. P. Lovecraft's Herbert West - Reanimator

Things To Come 1936 film based on H G Wells' book Things To Come. Not quite modern zombies but getting there.

1950s EC Comics such as Tales from the Crypt

George A Romero's Night of the Living Dead. The zombie revolution begins with shuffling, mindless hordes.

George A Romero - Living Dead series. Introducing the mindless hordes. At one point a zombie named Bub learns to 'talk'.

Dan O'Bannon's Return of the Living Dead. First time zombies have hungered specifically for brains. Also amusingly crossed with teen slasher.

Michael Jackson in Thriller. Brought popularity to further zombiedom.

Peter Jackson's Braindead. About as gory as they come.

Reanimator the movie. Pure bloody and hilarious chaos.

Michele Soavi's Dellamorte Dellamore. The unenthusiastic zombie hunter's life. A tale of love and zombies and zombie love. It comes dubbed as well as subbed, as Cemetery Man as well as Dellamorte Dellamore. No matter the version, this is a fun film.

Resident Evil movies. Zombies are mutants too. Also, they're quick and lethal.

Shaun of the Dead. Despite being of the mindless horde variety many resemble what they were when alive. Phil still hates heavy music even after becoming a zombie.

28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later. Of the vicious set.

Fido and Tammy in Fido, better people than people.

Tim Waggoner's Matt Richter, Zombie P.I. A zombie's perspective.

Undead. A fantastic zombie movie that just so happens to be most loved for this triple barrelled shotgun.

The Walking Dead. They might be somewhat slower and less intelligent than humans but they seem to have hunting techniques down pat. Capable of complex tasks and have residual memories of loved ones.

Dead Set. Gruesome.

The sheep from Black Sheep (it is uncertain whether they're zombie sheep or killer sheep but either way, the medicine given to them makes them crazed cannibalistic killer sheep: close enough).

The mostly unbroken rules are that head shots generally kill, zombies are dead and not just infected and they hunt without coordinating with others (even when part of a horde). Otherwise, zombies have become intelligent, quick, capable, personable, lovable and heroes. Can anything else be changed?

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