Zombie Movies the Ultimate Guide

Zombie Movies the Ultimate Guide

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Includes: A chronological guide with reviews and synopses of every major zombie film Interviews with famous actors, filmmakers, and technicians Hundreds of rare stills, lobby cards, and posters and much more




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If you have any questions or comments, you may contact the author at [email protected] Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Kay, Glenn. Zombie movies : the ultimate guide / Glenn Kay.—1st ed. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-55652-770-8 1. Zombie films—History and criticism. I. Title. PN1995.9.Z63K39 2008 791.43′675—dc22


Cover design: Jonathan Hahn Interior design: Scott Rattray Movie rating illustrations: Greg Hyland Cover image: © A.M.A. Film/Radiotelevisione Italiana © 2008 by Glenn Kay All rights reserved First edition Published by Chicago Review Press, Incorporated 814 North Franklin Street Chicago, Illinois 60610 ISBN 978-1-55652-770-8 Printed in the United States of America 5 4 3 2 1

Contents Foreword by Stuart Gordon

1 2 3

v | Acknowledgments


Origins 1 The 1930s: The Zombie Film’s Beginnings 5 The 1940s: Laughing at the Zombies . . . and an Early End? 13


The 1950s: The Drive-In, the Atom Bomb, and the Radioactive Zombie 23


The 1960s: The Weird, Wild Psychedelic Era and the Reinvention of the Zombie 35 Know Your Monsters!




| Introduction


The 1990s: The End of the Zombie—and a Resurrection in Video Games and on DVD 183 Interview: Tom Savini 189 Interview: Stuart Conran 197


The New Millennium: Japan Takes Center Stage, and the Big-Budget Zombie Arises 217 Interview: Colin Geddes 220 Interview: John Migliore 239 Interview: Jennifer Baxter 252 Adventures Undercover as a Zombie on Land of the Dead ! 256 Interview: Andrew Currie 269 Interview: Gaslight Studio 284 The Highest-Grossing Zombie Films of All Time 296


The 1970s: Spanish Zombies, Satire, and Blaxploitation 59 Some of the Weirdest/Funniest/Most Disturbing Things I’ve Seen in Zombie Films 81

10 Hope for the Future, or the Beginning of the End

The 1980s: Italy Reigns and the Horror Boom Explodes . . . and Fizzles 101


. . . Again? 299

The Greatest Zombie Films Ever Made 301

Interview: Antonella Fulci 115 Interview: Greg Nicotero 134 Appendix: Zombieless Zombie Movies 323 | Bibliography 333 Index of Film Titles 335 | Index of Directors 341


Some of my best friends are zombies.

chowing down on her father’s intestines. Now the film is shown uncut on television at three in the afternoon. Romero also conceived the idea that the zombie condition could spread like a virus, and that the only way to kill one would be to shoot it in the head. And in the hilarious The Return of the Living Dead (1985), Dan O’Bannon refined the zombie diet, specifying a preference for fresh brains. When I made Re-Animator (1985), I decided to move away from the slow-moving zombies of the past. Since Herbert West’s reanimating reagent was comparable to the adrenaline cardiologists use to restart hearts, I reasoned that it would stimulate his subjects’ brains like a super meth speedball, and so my zombies jumped around with wild abandon (usually naked). Danny Boyle recently went even further with this idea in his brilliant 28 Days Later (2002) by having his “infected” race after their prey like track stars. Mr. Boyle is partially responsible for the recent resurgence in zombie popularity, which focuses on the idea of zombies as a viral outbreak but often reframes the infection as a bioweaponry experiment gone horribly wrong. This trend ties in

I met my first one at an earl