Our obsession with the metaphysical has really taken off in recent years – much to the delight of horror fans. From hit TV series like Stranger Things to this year’s return of Pennywise on the big screen for quite a chilling performance, there seems to be a little taste of horror everywhere. Yet it feels like one of our favorite themes has been underrepresented lately: zombies.
While we really got a kick with The Walking Dead and a side of zombies with the White Walkers in GoT, it feels like ages since a good undead movie came out (does World War Z count?). So to keep ourselves entertained until the next big thing comes along, we have assembled a list of the top 4 weirdest zombie movies out there. Enjoy!
- Maggie (2015)
Hey, did you know that Arnold Schwarzenegger occasionally departs from his action or comedy roles to try out a really dramatic take? After all, the 69-year-old star that won the title of Mr. Universe back in 1967 did build his net worth of $300 million on action blockbusters: he got paid $25 million for starring in the 2002 film Collateral Damage and a further $30 million for his return in Terminator 3 in 2003. So, what better opportunity to enjoy him in a rare dramatic departure than in a film with zombies running in the background. In Maggie, we see Arnie as a typical Midwestern patriarch who finds himself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, as an unknown virus spreads that turns people into zombies with cannibalistic tendencies. In this spooky setting, he will do whatever it takes to protect the ones he loves – and struggle with adapting to the new reality in the process.
- Cemetery Man (1994)
This one is truly a gem in the undead genre – and full of little oddities. For one, it is told from the perspective of the caretaker of a cemetery in a small Italian provincial town. Second, he is played by Rupert Everett of My Best Friend’s Wedding and Stardust – who brings a worldly quality to Francesco Dellamorte. Every night, the dead rise again and every night Dellamorte battles the “Returners” – as he calls them – back into the ground and saves the good people of his city. Almost illiterate, he lives alone with the sole company of his mentally challenged assistant Gnaghi (who can only utter the word “gna!”) and his hobby is reading the telephone directory and crossing out the names of dead men. But perhaps the weirdest thing about this movie is that Dellamorte prefers fighting zombies to red tape: when the mayor is ignoring his pleas for help, Dellamorte confides his plight in a municipal clerk but decides that filling out the paperwork essential to get official assistance is not worth the trouble. “Just shooting them is easier” he states matter-of-factly, and we could not agree more!
- Zombie Honeymoon (2004)
Alright, the idea behind this one is not that unheard of: there are countless crossovers between marriage and zombies in popular culture, from Tim Burton’s iconic “The Corpse Bride” to online casino games set in a zombie apocalypse featuring what look like undead married couples to actual (mostly vintage) zombie wedding dresses if you are looking to put that gory spin on the happiest day of your life. One or two things are extraordinary about this film though: first, contrary to habit, it is the groom that gets infected instead of the damsel in distress. And second and most surprising is how well the film functions as a metaphor for love and married life: his enthusiastic bride must now watch him as he gradually becomes someone else. She struggles with her feelings of disgust at his transformation while also dealing with her ongoing love and desire to protect him – much like falling out of love with your sweetheart. How well could you cope if your beloved vegetarian husband suddenly started craving a steak? Watch the movie and compare notes! Oh, and the film did win the 2006 Chainsaw award for best low-budget entry.
- Wild Zero (1999)
We saved the weirdest for last: what if we told you that there exists a Japanese movie where the coolest garage rock band in the world are the only ones who can save the planet from a zombie outbreak that is orchestrated by aliens who want to invade Earth? It seems to be just another day in the life of rock band Guitar Wolf and their fan Ace who idolizes them – the film is narrated from his perspective. Again, the combination of rock and zombies is not unheard of in other genres like video gaming, and aliens and zombies seem to get on quite well on the big screen, but this is quite unique. You will get everything, from rockstars pulling samurai swords out of their guitars to a villain who enjoys wearing hot pants and starts shooting lasers from his eyes in the middle of the movie to an epic romance as Ace tries to win the heart of his transgender sweetheart Tobio. What are you waiting for?
More than anything, our little – and far from definitive list – goes to show that zombies really do go with everything: from bureaucracy to alien invasion, surely the undead have something to do with your woes!