Zombies, they’re here to stay. Yes, once they were our friends, neighbors, and family. But for one reason or another they shuffled of this mortal coil, passed from this world into the next. Or so we thought. The dead came back and started to wander the earth, eating whatever had brains and a heart beat that got in their way.
There was a lull for many years of good zombie movies or zombie movies in general. However, that changed with Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later (2002). 28 Days Later, without having a single zombie in it, reinvigorate a dying genre.
Days lead indirectly to The Walking Dead (Creator Robert Kirkman practically lifted the opening pages of his comic from the opening scenes of 28). The Walking Dead was a hit from the first episode and the zombie craze went BOOM!
It seemed like every studio, big and small, started cashing in on the popularity of the undead. Most zombie movies that have followed focus mainly on the apocalypse part of the zombie outbreak. However, some movies focus on smaller events.
Deadgirl has all the trappings of a teen-angst drama movie:
Rickie, the loner misfit who loves the high school princess-check.
Joann, the high school princess who doesn’t know Rickie exists- check.
Johnny, the popular jock dating Joann and bullies Rickie- check.
JT, the close friend who’s also a loner- check.
Zombie girl tied to a table being used as a sex doll-check…..what?
Deadgirl isn’t a teen movie. Deadgirl is one of the most disturbing zombie movies you may have never seen. You may be slightly disgusted at the fact JT’s having sex with a zombie. You may be even more disgusted at the fact he wants to make another zombie sex doll. However, you won’t turn the movie off.
Yes, Deadgirl is a disturbing movie. There’s no way to get around the fact. However, the movie doesn’t concentrate on these disturbing moments. Instead it focuses on the characters and the ramifications of their actions. By the mid-point of the movie you’ll find yourself feeling sorry for the dead girl. The characters are enough to drag you along to the end of the movie.
If you haven’t seen Deadgirl, go watch Deadgirl. You may find the ending more shocking than anything that occured during the movie. You may find yourself saying “The loner/geek always gets the girl in teen drama.”
CONTRACTED and CONTRACTED: PHASE II
Contracted is a slow burn of a movie. There’s no zombies running through the streets chomping on brains. There are no explosions and cities aren’t being bombed. Contracted charts the zombification of Samantha who, as the title implies, is infected with a nasty virus.
The acting, at times, can be bad. In many scenes, Najarra Townsend (Samantha) is guilty of some grade-A overacting. Katie Stegeman, who plays Townsend’s girlfriend, steals every scene she’s in because of her horrible acting. Don’t let the bad acting scare you away. There’s a movie here that deserves to be seen.
The movie excels at showing how a virus works in the real world. Samantha is infected during a one night stand and from there the virus attacks her body. Every other scene we see the affects of the virus on Samantha’s body and mind. By the end of the movie, Samantha is no longer Samantha.
Contracted is the start of the zombie apocalypse seen in dozens of other movies. It’s what Fear the Walking Dead wanted to be but could never manage. It’s the beginning of the end.
CONTRACTED: PHASE II
Contracted: Phase II starts were Contracted left off. Phase II follows Riley, who was so horny for Samantha in Contracted he managed to over look her milky eye, bleeding gums, and generally nasty appearance. Of course, Riley is infected with the disease.
The spread of the virus is one of the more horrific things about Phase II. If a virus like the one in Contracted existed in the real world the spread would probably play out like it does in Phase II. Riley, not knowing he has been infected, spreads the virus to almost everyone he comes in contact with. That’s how nastier viruses work. The host doesn’t know he or she is infected. They go about their day passing on the virus during the course of their normal routine.
Phase II manages to separate itself from Contracted by adding in a murder investigation. The investigation into Riley as a potential murder doesn’t hinder the movie, but highlights how the virus has spread past Riley’s circle of friends and family and into the general population.
The final confrontation between the man who originally concocted the zombie virus (Samantha’s one night stand) and Riley wraps up a must see low budget movie. Or does it?
Not all zombie movies are gloom and doom. Some, like Shaun of the Dead, are just fun.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
A lot of people are going to compare Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse to Zombieland. To be fair, those people compare any zombie movie with some comedy in it to Zombieland. Scouts has more in common with the Monster Squad or The Goonies.
The zombie outbreak in Scouts is really the backdrop in the movie. The real story in the movie is how life long friends Ben, Carter, and Augie re-bond during a time in people’s lives when they usually grow apart. During all the mayhem, Ben even manages to win the girl he’s had a crush on for years.
No, you’re not going to scream or cover your eyes at any point in Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. But you’re going to laugh a lot and maybe cheer. Plus, where else are going to see David Koechner (Anchorman) and Cloris Leachman (Raising Hope) as zombies?
Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead
So, you want gore, blood, and some laughs? Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead is the zombie movie for you. Wait, you want Mad Max like carnage in the Australian Outback? Wyrmwood has got you covered.
Wyrmwood is also an homage to the grindhouse movies of yore. But it also sprinkles in comic-book super powers too. Wyrmwood is easily the craziest zombie movie to come out in a long time.
Wyrmwood may not be for the die hard zombie fan. For the rest us, Wyrmwood is a fun, turn off your brain, wild ride. Watch it and then tell your zombie purist friends to do the same.
Those pesky zombies. They were once our friends and family. Once they asked to borrow your truck to move a vanity bought at a flea market or gave you guilt trips for not going to medical school. Now they’re dead and want to eat your heart instead of winning it. We, for one, are glad they’re still with us.
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