9:51 AM – Last night at our college’s commencement celebration, I wrote the word “Scholarships” at the top of a Moleskin page, propped on my leg sheathed in a cheap regalia gown, and I began jotting down words found within that larger bannered word, looking up occasionally at names I recognized or when a family in the commencement crowd blew a boat horn, crashed a symbol, or pronounced the joviality of their disbelief that this joker right here actually made it through junior college because, Lord knows, we didn’t think he would, especially after that time we all had to load up in the truck and go get his ass at . . . . Pride, though a cardinal sin when spent on ourselves, is a virtue beyond value when lavished upon our children and our loved ones. By the end, I found 129 words in the word “Scholarships.” That final pluralized /s/ on the end doubled my list.
“Thanks for the ride, lady!” – Hitchhiker in Creepshow 2
I’m in danger of losing interest in my own interweb series! So I’m speeding this thing up, combining Parts 5 & 6 into a single post. The intentions with these posts, initially, was to comb through the vast library of zombie / zombie-related films and make an annotated filmography of sorts. Scrap that. I’m simply offering here my top thirteen zombie films because thirteen is such an unlucky number. Here goes the gratuity:
KIKI’S TOP 13 ZOMBIE RELATED FILMS:
- 13) Pontypool (2008) – This is a strange zombie film in that you rarely see the creatures. Filmed like theater, Pontypool is shot almost entirely in a the basement of a church where a local radio station broadcasts the plague happening in the streets. With long camera shots, tension based more on sound and imagination than visual gore, Pontypool is an artistic look at a nasty situation.
- 12) Dance of the Dead (2008 / Not the one starring Robert Englund!) I haven’t seen this one in quite sometime, but I remember loving it. Also, I gave it four stars out of five on Netflix. As a sucker for prom movies (blame John Hughes and Carrie) you can’t beat zombies at prom.
- 11) Quarantine 2 : Terminal (2011) A total hoot! This film should not have worked, but it did. We begin with zombies on a plane and then zombies in an abandoned hanger. Look for strong anti-government sentiment in this one.
- 10) Dawn of the Dead (2004) – I love Zack Snyder’s remake because of the first ten minutes alone. I’ve watched the beginning of this film a hundred times. It’s ridiculously intense and the camera work is great. That little girl showing up in the post-coital bedroom is creepy on multiple levels.
- 9) Boy Eats Girl (2005) – Super fun old-school zombie film from Australia. Grief leads a distraught mother to resurrect her son with unintended consequences. Funny and wonderfully satirical regarding teenage sexuality, BEG makes great use of landscaping tools as zombie murder weapons in a scene that pays chunky-soup homage to Jackson’s Dead Alive.
- 8) Night of the Creeps (1986) – Classic. Throbbing college co-eds turn zombies by ear-wigging alien slugs, and right before the Spring Formal! Tom Atkins plays the heroic cop. And you gotta love ’80s Tom Atkins.
- 7)Creepshow 2 (1987) – Would that we could return to the bright and glorious days of horror anthology films! Anthologies were the way to go. And the “Thanks for the ride, lady!” segment of Creepshow 2 is totally unforgettable, especially at night on dark roads.
- 6) Dead Alive (1992) – Before he created the Christian Booksellers’ fantasy of a fantasy epic, The Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson made “the goriest fright film of all-time”. Good luck finding the international version of Dead Alive that exceeds 97 minutes. Thanks to our American MPAA, our shortened version leaves out a prolonged meditation on the uses of hand-wielded lawn-mowers. This film is beyond bizarre. I’m praying for the day Jackson rediscovers his Bad Taste in cinema.
- 5) The Crazies (2010) – I saw this film twice in the theater and bought it the day it released on DVD. Great performances, good tension, and one of my all-time favorite film posters.
- 4) Return of the Living Dead (1985) – This is the first horror film I remember seeing as a child, and it messed me up. At the age of eight, I had no idea that ROTLD was a comedy. Since then, I’ve seen this film half a dozen times, and I enjoy more each time. Classic punk rock “BRAAAAIIIIINNNNSSS!” eating fun.
- 3) Night of the Living Dead (1968) – More than likely, it’s sacrilege to put this film as low on the list as #3, but it’s also probably pretentious and cheesy to put it here at all. I love this movie. And I love how often this film shows up on TV screens in modern horror movies. Although dated and poorly acted, NOTLD is actually a creepy sonuvabitch. I’ve seen this film countless times and I still get the willies when the the zombies enjoy their buffet on the lawn.
- 2) Zombieland (2009) – Too mainstream for any true film-aficionados list, it’s moments like this I’m grateful to be no aficionado. This film is damn-near perfect. And, praise God, for the upcoming sequel.
- 1) Shaun of the Dead (2004) – All I can say about my all-time favorite zombie related film is “Kill the Queen”.