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The 5 Best Zombie Movie Scenes

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The 5 Best Zombie Movie Scenes

A quint of classic living dead moments

By Joey Campbell     January 13, 2009


Mania presents The 5 Best Zombie Movie Scenes
© Mania.com/Josh Gordon

 

For some horror fans, including this demented author, choosing the best scenes in zombie movie history is a daunting endeavor—kind of like trying to decide what exactly makes pop rocks so awesome. But here at Mania, we don’t shy away from challenges. We savor them. In fact, we’re mindlessly driven to satisfy our craving–you know, kind of like zombies. Enter the following five movie clips. The glorious filth contained within them is proof positive of the entertainment industry’s ongoing fascination with the undead. Moreover, for legions of sick people (again, your author included), these scenes offer valuable survival tips for the day the real zombie apocalypse begins.
 
5. Undead (2003)
Scene: Intro to Marion
 
While the following scene may seem ill fitted for this list, it serves as the introduction to one of the coolest zombie hunters to grace the big screen. Marion, a redneck from Down Under, goes on from here to kill more zombies than most college grads in America can count. As a bonus, the scene perfectly encapsulates the crafty genius of Aussie brothers Michael and Peter Spierig, who’ve given us one of the freshest takes on the zombie sub-genre since Russell Crowe’s Oscar winning turn in A Beautiful Mind, which contrary to popular belief was not intended to be a zombie film.
 
(Start at about 3:35)
 
 
 
4. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Scene: Celebrity head shots
 
In the half century or so of iconic zombie movie moments, killing zombies has become a veritable art form. Savages that we are, humans enjoy watching zombies die because it’s just like watching people die, except—since zombies are almost always bent on eating all of mankind—without all the guilt. In this worthy update to the 1978 classic of the same name, Zach Snyder takes shooting zombies to a new comedic level, while simultaneously satisfying our bizarre but ever-present compulsion to tear down famous people. Social commentary side note: after watching this movie in the theater I turned to a teenaged couple sitting in my row and said, “You guys know that was based on a true story, right?” Their genuine reply: “Really?”
 
(Start at 6:20)
 
 
 
3. Dead Alive (1992)
Scene: The lawnmower
 
I read somewhere that Peter Jackson used more than 1,000 gallons of dyed chocolate syrup during the filming of this slapstick horror classic. Trust me, it shows. Aside from the obvious—using a lawnmower to kill so many zombies that the floor becomes a bloody KY Jelly wrestling ring—this scene is required on this list as evidence that the more depraved and out of control the zombie mayhem gets, the more hilarious it becomes. To fully understand the depth of that statement, you have to watch the entire film to its gory, oedipal conclusion. .
 
 
 
2. Day of the Dead (1984)
Scene: Captain Rhodes’ demise
 
As the longest sequence on the list, this climactic scene from the third and final act in George Romero’s Dead trilogy has several interesting elements at play. Namely, the fact that the movie’s human antagonist, Captain Rhodes, is chased by a domesticated zombie named Bub who’s a crack shot with a pistol in hand (seriously). But it’s deeper than that. Rhodes killed Bub’s “mentor” Dr. Logan, and the vengeance-minded zombie is looking for something more fulfilling than lunch. For the rest of Bub’s undead compatriots, however, Rhodes’ death quickly becomes the onscreen equivalent of the all-you-can-eat buffet at the Hotel Rio. The fact that the victim spent the first 70 minutes of the film being an insufferable dickwad is an extra helping of turkey gravy.
 
(Start at about 1:45)
 
 
 
1. Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1980)
Scene: Zombie vs. Shark
 
There are actually several scenes in this masterpiece of gore that could have qualified for a zombie best-of list. (Two words: eyeball scene.) However, most viewers walk away from this exploitative wonderland of butchery impressed by director Lucio Fulci’s audacity to go where no man had gone before on celluloid—an underwater fight scene pitting zombie vs. shark. Presumably attempting to outdo Spielberg and Romero in one fell swoop, Fulci at least triumphed in stretching stupidity to the brink of awesomeness. A true zombie gem.
 
 
 
 
Lifetime Achievement Award: Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Scene: The cemetery zombie
 
Yes, I cheated. Adding this scene makes six. But how can one compile a zombie list without including something from the mother of all zombie flicks? Let’s put it this way: when you’re 10 years old and you sit down all by yourself to watch a black and white movie with this title, the opening scene leaves an indelible mark on your soul…and one to match it in your underwear.
 
(Start at 5:00)
 
 

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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xenomorph 1/13/2009 2:27:59 AM

I know its not a gory scene, but the scene from Shaun of the Dead were shaun and his friend leave the pub and start rapping with a zombie on the streets is hilarious!

redhairs99 1/13/2009 3:11:56 AM

Xeno, that scene is pretty damn good, but it's hard for me to pick a best scene out of that movie.  The whole thing is just solid!

Good to see Day of the Dead on the list.  Everyone knows that Night of the Living Dead changed the horror genre and Dawn of the Dead raised the bar even higher, but for some reason "Day of" always gets over looked.  Personally, I like "Day of" the best out of all the Dead movies that Romero has done.  Maybe it's the "root for the underdog" in me, but I think it's probably Romero's best film.

xenomorph 1/13/2009 5:20:49 AM

I agree redhair, Day of the Dead is an unappriciated zombie movie. I recall an interview I saw with George Romero on Stars a few years ago where he said that Day of the Dead was his personal favorite of the Dead trilogy.

bjjdenver 1/13/2009 11:57:16 AM

Umm...Shock Waves?? Any scene with underwater Nazi zombies, especially when they rise out of the ocean.

fft5305 1/13/2009 2:44:55 PM

Agreed, xenomorph.  Shaun & Ed singing White Lines with a moaning zombie (Oh, sorry - forgot we're not using "the zed word.").  Classic!

Speaking of zombies, a friend just wrote a zombie book that hits the shelves in March.  Check it out. Looks great!  http://fft5305.blogspot.com/2009/01/rom-zom-com.html

fft5305 1/13/2009 2:48:06 PM

Can we not edit posts again on the new site? Argh.  I didn't realize it wouldn't create a link automatically.  Let me try inserting a link... Click Here for info about the book...

darkheart00 1/13/2009 3:05:48 PM

 "Shaun of the Dead" definitely needs some love on this list. Classic film. 

xenomorph 1/13/2009 8:28:06 PM

Seems intersting fft5305. I will definitly check it out when it's availible.

Wallace85 1/13/2009 9:43:04 PM

 

I think this should've been the 10 best zombie movie scenes,cause what about the Return of the Livind Dead movies.Like in Return of the  Living Dead you have the zombie who has no skin Saying More Brains or the midget zombie eating a paramedic and then trying to chase one of the victims lmao.Or in Return of the Living Dead part 2 you have the zombies driving a military jeep fucking around and wearing the soldier's fatigues or the scene where they're all being electrocuted on the bridge and Michael Jackson Thriller look a like zombie jumps in there lmao.Also of course Shaun  of the Dead and there's so many great scenes with that one especially the throwing the records scene and when the prick David gets ripped apart by the zombies.Wow Shock Waves that was great and different movie Nazi Zombies you gotta love that.

6.)Night of the  Living Dead-Zombie Masterpiece

5.) Undead-I love that lower torso scene I thought it was great and it wasn't a bad movie.

4.)Dawn of the Dead-I love the original and the remake.I thought this movie was intense when those zombies just keep coming just a really great movie.I like how yes it's a remake but it's different.I like how Snyder kept some elements from the original.You have a pregnant woman,the mention and showing of the island,the mall,a black male and white female surviving,a law enforcement figure,and then just did his own style.Great movie never get tired watching it.

3.)Dead Alive-"I KICK ASS FOR THE LORD!!!"-Truly one of the best lines ever lmao Who doesn't love a kung fu ass  kicking priest? lol and that zombie baby was fucking hilarious especially the park scene GREATNESS.I would love to see Jackson do another odd funny film like this....(FUN FACT:That's Peter Jackson in Hot Fuzz playing Santa Claus stabbing Pegg in the hand lol)

2.)Day of the Dead-This is a great movie and how eerie is that beginning what with the hands coming out of the wall & when the guy is calling for any surviors and you just see the dead rise.The Bub character was great Sherman Howard did an excellent job.Also the movie had a really great score and ending when the zombies are now below and the soldiers getting eaten.

1.)Zombie-Best Scene nuff said

vlomski 1/13/2009 10:35:50 PM

I was looking at the list, not totaly agreeing with the choices,and thinking Zombie VS Shark in the back of my mind the entire time.

I also would have Return of the Living Dead on mylist also. I love that movie alot of great ironic scenes...................................

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