Guest Post: Author Gary Scott Beatty Picks His Top 8 Most Clever Zombie Movies

Earlier this month we told you about Gary Scott Beatty’s new graphic novel Wounds. Released by Caliber Comics, Wounds asks the question, “Is madness a way to survive the zombie apocalypse?”

Beatty’s now on a blog tour in support of the novel, and we’re pleased to be a part of it… read on for his picks of the Top 8 Most Clever Zombie Movies.

Wounds is now available on Amazon and Comixology; be sure to grab a copy after checking out Gary’s list below.

Zombie movies were a big inspiration for my graphic novel Wounds, especially those that deliver the unexpected. We’re used to settling in to watch zombie flicks that horrify and gross us out. Here are a few zombie movies that offer skillful execution, witty writing, and original ideas along with the creepy mood we all expect from zombie fare.

Although Night of the Living Dead was groundbreaking, I’ve left the George Romero movies off of this list since the director basically invented the modern zombie film. The movies on my Top 8 go at least one step beyond typical. If you seek out these films, beware of inferior sequels.

First we have a pair Honorable Mentions. They are just this side of brilliant. but still worth watching.

Exit Humanity (2011) is a moody and moving movie that, unfortunately, loses that mood by turning into an adventure flick. I loved the creepy feel in the first half of this film.

Pontypool (2008) is the apocalypse from the view of a radio jock. I have to say I’m a bit disappointed with where all the build-up went, but nevertheless, Pontypool is an intense and interesting movie.

Now… on to the Top 8:

[REC] (2007, English subtitles): The crowd panic in this movie is some of the most realistic I’ve seen. A reporter follows emergency workers to an apartment building, where they are locked in with something dangerous and unknown. Excellent buildup, mysteries to solve, and logical hand-held camerawork make [REC] one of the most truly scary zombie movies ever made.

The Last Man on Earth (1964): Possibly Vincent Price’s best role, quite a statement considering he had over 200 roles in movies, TV, and radio. There have been three attempts to film Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend that I know of, and I think The Last Man on Earth is the most effective. The transition from everyday life to doomed world is terrifying and bleak.

Cemetery Man (Dellamorte Dellamore) (1994): This clever and visually elegant movie will keep you guessing. Director Michele Soavi (The Church) brings us to a little village in northern Italy where part of the cemetery keeper’s job is to put down those who rise out of their graves. If that isn’t strange enough for you, just wait… Cemetery Man becomes even stranger as it goes along.

Re-Animator (1985): Not much to do with the H.P. Lovecraft source material, but director Stuart Gordon’s movie becomes increasingly more demented as it goes along. You’ll laugh, if you’re not too grossed out.

Deadgirl (2008): In this fascinating film high school boys find a woman who cannot die. What do you think they decide to do? This goes way beyond the kind of gross-out you’d expect from a zombie film, or any movie for that matter. I give it an A for its “What the hell?” factor.

Carnival of Souls (1962): After a woman is involved in a deadly car accident, the world around her becomes odd. This low budget B-movie’s “fishbowl” quality and the terrifying, gradual isolation of the main character make Carnival of Souls a must-see. Director Herk Harvey turns the commonplace eerie, years before directors like David Lynch (“Twin Peaks”).

Shaun of the Dead (2004): A perfect mix of horror and satire, a comedy with wit. Co-writer Simon Pegg portrays a man who decides to turn his loser life around but picks the day of the zombie apocalypse.

The Beyond (7 Doors of Death) (1981): Lucio Fulci’s stylish, gory, and mesmerizing haunted house/hellmouth movie makes more sense than some of his other works. Is it style over substance? Maybe, but the style is clever and creepy, and you won’t know where this one is going. For a more straightforward walk-and-shoot zombie offering, check out Fulci’s Zombie (1979) (also called Zombi 2).

For more from Gary Scott Beatty, visit him on Twitter and Facebook.

Wounds Synopsis:
Wounds throws us into a world where nothing is beyond doubt, except a father’s concern for his wife and daughter. If you enjoy that “What th-?” factor in graphic novels, you’ll enjoy Wounds.

 

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