Weekend Watchlist | Zombies

By The Pitt News Staff

Zombies have a big role in Pittsburgh’s history thanks to George A. Romero’s work, so we can’t have a month of monster recommendations without some zombie movies. The specific mechanics for how these walking corpses work may change from film to film, but you can bet that what the Pitt News Staff has in store for you will get your blood pumping.

Warm Bodies (Hulu) // Dalia Maeroff, Contributing Editor

“Warm Bodies” is not your typical zombie movie. It has that apocalyptic feel we all love, but with romance and comedy thrown in! It’s the perfect break from our usual scary horror delights to make you kind of wish you had a loveable zombie in your life too.

The story is told from the wonderful mind of R (Nicholas Hoult), the movie’s main character who is coincidentally also a zombie. His inner monologue narrates the movie and bleeds with sarcasm as he takes us on his journey of falling in love. We hear his inner thoughts when he first sees Julie (Teresa Palmer), the love interest, while killing her friends and boyfriend. The problem is that Julie is a human and her father (John Malkovich) happens to be leading the charge to rid the world of zombies. The result is an endlessly entertaining story of love, resilience and perseverance as R tries to follow his heart and also his desire for brains.

 

The Walking Dead (Netflix) // Diana Velasquez, Contributing Editor 

For the longest time, “The Walking Dead” was the “it” show of genre-fiction television and for good reason! You do not need to watch all of the seasons — there are too many. But for the first seven seasons or so, it had me entranced. The gore, the plot twists, the absolute gut-wrenching angst that the writers put these characters through. It’s masochistic, in the best way.

The show centers on one Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), a former sheriff from Georgia who finds himself thrown into a classic zombie apocalypse where he becomes the leader of a group of survivors navigating the hostile American South. There are plenty of zombies to choose from in this show, in many grotesque and fascinating iterations — the makeup department deserves all the awards. But the most interesting thing about the show is the people. Having been removed so violently from the privileged world into their current one makes them more “dead” than any of the zombies might be. While I do think the show has run on for too long, its first few seasons are stellar. With compelling villains, morally gray characters and a true blue deep dive into the human psyche once its tragedy has picked it apart.

Little Monsters (Hulu) // Sinéad McDevitt, Digital Manager

During quarantine, my family stayed sane by having a weekly movie night — and the recurring themes in the films we watched were films set in the United Kingdom, musicals and zombies. Of those zombie movies, if I can only recommend one, I have to give the slot to “Little Monsters.”

“Little Monsters” came out on Hulu in 2019 and follows a failed musician (Alexander England) who volunteers to chaperone his nephew’s preschool class trip to a petting zoo in the hopes of wooing the teacher (Lupita Nyong’o). Unfortunately, zombies break out and overrun the military base right next door to the petting zoo, and now it’s a fight to survive along with a dozen or so children who aren’t even old enough to do multiplication tables.

This film walks a tightrope between being hilarious, genuinely suspenseful and heartwarming, with good performances put in by the entire cast, including the kids. Plus you get to see Lupita Nyong’o in a yellow sundress murdering zombies with a shovel. What’s not to love?

Night of the Living Dead (Starz) // Charlie Taylor, Contributing Editor

We’d be doing George A. Romero and the entire City of Pittsburgh a disservice if we made a zombie movie list and neglected to include “Night of the Living Dead.” The 1968 film launched the entire zombie genre, and Romero shot it in western Pennsylvania. Ever wonder why, in every piece of post-apocalyptic media, the only way to kill an undead monster is with a shot to the head? That trope started with Romero and ”Living Dead” when the director’s friend Richard Ricci agreed to play the first zombie to take a bullet to the head.

The film is also groundbreaking as one of the first horror movies to feature a Black actor, Duane Jones, as the hero, Ben. Ben and his companions witness the very beginnings of a zombie disaster, as the dead begin to rise from their graves. Unlike later zombie flicks, which pick up somewhere in the middle of the action, “Living Dead” is all the more eerie for the fact that no one knows quite what’s happening. Ben must barricade himself in an abandoned house and accept the fact that the outside world wants to kill him. And while our protagonist is resourceful, the people around him repeatedly make ill-advised decisions. What’s scarier than spending the apocalypse with the incompetent?

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