While zombie movies have been popular worldwide among horror movie fanatics for decades, America finds itself deep in the midst of zombie mania, with the United States releases of movies like “28 Days Later,” “Shaun of the Dead,” and “Zombieland.” Events like zombie walks are popping up in larger cities, and books like “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and “The Zombie Survival Guide” line bookshelves. Brain-eating zombies have infiltrated many other areas of pop culture from artwork to greeting cards to stuffed animals. There is an entire zombie movie sub-genre that is often overlooked by zombie lovers, but those who ignore the influence of Italian zombie movies are truly missing out. Here is a list of five great Italian zombie movies recommended for horror movie fans.
“Zombie (Zombi 2)” (1979)
Legendary horror director Lucio Fulci doesn’t disappoint on the gore factor in this zombie classic. The movie begins in New York with a patrol officer being attacked by a zombie on an abandoned pleasure boat. The daughter of the boat’s owner and a reporter begin to investigate and find themselves on an island where the undead walk freely due to voodoo practices. If nothing else, this movie is worth watching for the underwater zombie versus shark scene.
“Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror” (1980)
Directed by Andrea Bianchi, this movie features some of the most crudely fashioned “old world looking” and maggot filled zombies seen on screen. When an archaeologist accidentally unleashes an army of zombies on a mansion filled with vacationing socialites, the humans have to fight to stay alive long enough to escape from the grounds. There is also a bizarre performance by adult Peter Bark as a child with an intense attachment to his mother.
“Cemetery Man” (1994)
This film is more of a dark comedy than a full-on zombie horror movie, but it’s still chock full of undead goodness. Rupert Everett and his not-so-bright assistant Gnaghi are the caretakers at a cemetery where the dead just won’t stay buried. They spend their nights disposing of zombies and along the way Francesco Dellamorte (Everett) falls in love with a young widow. Then things get complicated and Dellamorte has to ponder a few important life issues.
“Nightmare City” (1980)
From director Umberto Lenzi is this campy gore-fest centers around an airplane forced to make an emergency landing near an area that’s been contaminated by radioactive chemicals that turns them into zombies. As they leave the plane, their violent hunger is unleashed on the city. While many consider this movie to be campy, it still ranks among the top Italian zombie movies for plot creativity and violence.
“The House by the Cemetery“(1984)
This is another gory Lucio Fulci film centered around a family who moves into a house that’s keeping some secrets. Locked in the cellar is the doctor who has been killing people in order to reanimate his body’s cells and stay alive. This movie has a chilling atmosphere that leaves the viewer in suspense as to whether the family is going to make it or if the horrendous zombie in the basement is going to kill them too.
*Note: This was written by an Associated Content contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own movie articles.