Last week, I did the first half of my favorite twenty zombies, and then, having originally started out with over fifty I wanted to include, I spent several hours worrying over whether I had included the zombies I REALLY wanted to include, and that was knowing I still had ten more to work with, so you can imagine how much I stressed when I was done with this one. Here’s the last ten of my favorite twenty zombies:
George (George: A Zombie Intervention)
Not every zombified character needs a voice, but it can be fun to hear them speak from time to time, and the obviously named George shows why. In a world where zombies are an accepted part of society, George finds himself developing a taste for human flesh, and while that might not sound out of character for a member of the living dead, it is still very much illegal to eat another human being. George’s friends stage an intervention for their flesh addicted friend, but it quickly spirals out of control and leads to a basement full of very angry zombies. Part of the humor from George: A Zombie Intervention (also known under the alternate title George’s Intervention) comes from the situations the titular zombie finds himself involved in and part of it comes from the jittery performance of Carlos Larkin who treats the subject like an actual addiction, only hilarious instead of, you know, homewrecking.
Edward “Stubbs” Stubblefield (Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel without a Pulse)
At this point in my life I’m certain that the XBOX classic Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel without a Pulse will remain the most enjoyable zombie video game I’ll ever play. You control the undead Stubbs as he makes his way through the futuristic, 1950’s city of Punchbowl, Pennsylvania which is basically what fifties’ America thought the future would look like, so imagine Happy Days but with robots and zombies. Stubbs is after the woman whose love caused his unfortunate demise, and to win her back he’s risen from the grave and will tear through anyone who gets in his way. The graphics and controls are a bit dated on this 2005 game, but the gameplay more than makes up for it. You can use your own organs as explosives, your hand can detach to move of its own accord, and every person you attack becomes a member of your team. It doesn’t hurt that Stubs looks so spiffy in the 1930’s business suit he was buried in either.
Bub (Day of the Dead)
You had to know he was going to show up here eventually. If you haven’t seen the original Day of the Dead, then shame on you. I’m honestly not mad, just disappointed. Two movies after Romero’s Night of the Living Dead started off the whole shebang, the world has been overrun by the living dead, and a group of scientists, soldiers, and civilians do their best to keep humanity going in a massive facility underground. One of the scientists, Dr. Logan, lost a few marbles and believed he could train zombies, Bub is the result. Actor Sherman Howard gives Bub a childlike nature as the chained zombie attempts to understand common household objects. He doesn’t have a huge part, but every minute of his screen time is effective, especially (SPOILER I guess…for shame) his confused grief over the death of Dr. Logan. Bub was one of the first individual zombies I was introduced to as a child, so of course he’s going to have a privileged place in my memory. The 2008 remake gave a poor knockoff of Bub and should be avoided at all cost.
Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th Parts 6, 7, and 8)
So there’s these movies called Friday the 13th, you probably haven’t heard of them, and all but one star this psychopathic killer named Jason Voorhees. Sarcasm aside, the Friday the 13th films are among some of my favorite movies, a few more so than others, and my favorite versions of Jason are in these three, Part 6 being the point where he officially becomes something supernatural because the axe he took in his brain hadn’t already done that. I’ll concede his electrical resurrections are more like Frankenstein’s Monster (in case anyone wants to get pedantic), but he doesn’t come back to life as much as he simply reanimates, so he’s still undead. Unstoppable Zombie Jason allowed the series to go in a fun direction pitting Crystal Lakes’ VIP against increasing challenges that by Jason Takes Manhattan were completely ridiculous, and I loved it. Like you never wanted to see someone get into a boxing match with the big guy. In Jason Goes to Hell he was a vagina troll, and in Jason X he was X-Men’s Wolverine (and then a cyborg) so I didn’t include the last two sequels.
Julie Walker (Return of the Living Dead 3)
Return of the Living Dead 3 was the last Return of the Living Dead film they made. My friends keep screaming about two others after that and some gobbledygook about repressed memories, but I can’t make sense of what they’re saying. It had a few problems, the least of which was how two bumbling kids broke into a high tech military base, but was an overall enjoyable flick. The story wasn’t bad, the gore is amazing, and many of the zombies were imaginatively designed, but what it really had going for it was Melinda Clarke, especially for teenage Undead Review. Clarke plays Julie Walker, a woman exposed to ROTLD’s Trioxin gas that must continually cause herself great pain to keep her hunger for flesh at bay, she’s also insanely hot. Don’t take my crude observations to mean she’s only a pretty face because her performance in this is great, but she is what the scientific community likes to call “A Looker,” and that’s partially the success of the film. It’s a bit shocking watching someone so attractive mutilate themselves in ever worsening ways.
The Living Corpse (The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse)
This computer animated addition to my list makes up for its lackluster visuals with an interesting story, an intriguing central character, and a great comic book from which the film draws its inspiration. When a zombified John Romero attacks his still living family, the screams of his young son awaken the man trapped within. At that moment, he stops being a zombie or even John Romero and becomes The Living Corpse, the undead guardian of the underworld. It’s a shame the animation is so poor on this because The Living Corpse gets into some fun fights if you enjoy over the tops brawls between undead super creatures, and his story of redemption makes for an endearing zombie, but the computer graphics look like something from early nineties’ television. Thankfully, the comic artwork is lot better, but without the film, I might not have become aware of it.
Bud Oliver (C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the Chud)
One of the recently watched movies I mentioned in Part One of this list, C.H.U.D. 2: Bud the Chud is a completely different film from its predecessor, which is not at all a zombie movie. A C.H.U.D., or a Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller, is what happens when a shady agency dumps toxic waste next to where homeless people sleep and Bud is a mostly cognizant zombie, somehow they’re connected but that’s not important. What is important is that actor Gerrit Graham does a wonderful job with Bud, making a murderous, brain munching savage seem somehow innocent and naïve. The stiff but slapstick movements of Graham work well for comedy, and Bud’s adjustment to his new existence is a hilarious watch.
Tarman (Return of the Living Dead)
I have a feeling you saw this one coming too. Tarman isn’t in the film for long, maybe a few minutes at most, but he’s definitely the most iconic thing to come out of the first ROTLD film next to Linnea Quigley’s naked coffin dance. If you somehow missed this one (SHHHHHAME), all you need to know is Tarman comes from a canister of zombifying gas, looks like a dripping wet mess, and when he moans “Brains” I get that butterflies in the stomach feeling, so this one is all nostalgia for me. Like Bub, Tarman was one of the first individual zombies I came across with the key difference being that Tarman was the first. If it weren’t for how much I enjoyed the next two, there’s a good chance he’d be at the top spot.
Steve (A Little Bit Zombie)
Another example of the vocal dead, Steve doesn’t lose much of his personality in the change; he just develops a taste for brains. After being bitten by a mosquito zombie, the undead protagonist of A Little Bit Zombie becomes one himself. What separates Steve from any other zombie is that because his infection came from the mosquito, his change isn’t total, meaning he can retain who he is. What makes him so enjoyable is the cheesy, sitcom dad attitude actor Kristopher Turner gives the character. There’s nothing quite like watching a man politely explain why he needs your brains.
If there exists a god of “making sure actors get the right roles” then said deity must have been smiling on the day Billy Connolly was cast as Fido. After mankind won the Zombie War, they began fitting the undead with control collars and using them as servants and slaves, but Timmy Robinson considers his zombie Fido a friend and Fido eventually begins to return the feelings. What’s amazing about Connolly’s performance is that he has no dialogue yet manages to convey so much with just facial expressions and body language. It’s an amazing film in its own right, but it’s the titular Fido that sets this movie apart, and I don’t think anyone but Connolly could have created such a sympathetic zombie.
I guess that about wraps it up. Thank you very much for the indulgence in doing this. I know these lists are kind of all over the internet, but they are just so much fun to come up with, despite my overthinking it. I promise not to do these too much though, don’t want to lose any goodwill or anything.
The Undead Review