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12. Cemetery Man (1994)
Brit thesp Rupert Everett plays the glib, lovelorn supervisor of a graveyard who secretly kills the cemetery's returning-to-life inhabitants in this eccentric but beguiling cult movie from Dario Argento protégé Michele Soavi. Why doesn't Everett alert the authorities? Too much paper work!
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11. Juan of the Dead (2011)
Alexis Díaz de Villegas's libidinous Cuban slacker treats the zombie apocalypse less as the way the world ends than as a way to make a quick buck (or a quick peso anyway) by offering to solve people's undead problems — for cash.
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10. Fido (2006)
Lassie meets The Living Dead in this satire of '50s-era suburban life which posits a world where zombies are trusted to perform basic tasks thanks to the invention of a ''domestication collar.'' K'Sun Ray stars as a bullied kid whose growing love for his family's new zombie, played by Billy Connolly, is unhampered by the animated corpse's penchant for human flesh. Or, as Ray says to Connolly's ''Fido'' early on, ''You're not so bad are you boy? Too bad you had to go and eat Mrs. Henderson.''
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9. Homecoming (2005)
Gremlins director Joe Dante's anti-Iraq War film finds dead soldiers coming back to life to vote against the president and was originally part of Showtime's Masters of Horror series. See also: the similarly made-for-TV, and similarly scabrous, U.K. miniseries Dead Set.
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8. Dead Snow (2009)
A group of vacationing Norwegian medical students get more than they bargained for — unless, that is, they bargained for Nazi zombies — in this darkly amusing tale from Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters director Tommy Wirkola.
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7. Zombieland (2009)
Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson kill (in both senses) as, respectively, a phobic, irritable bowel syndrome sufferer and a Twinkies-loving cowboy-with-no-name who team up with Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin to travel through a zombie-filled America. But [major spoiler alert!] the real reason to watch this debut from director Ruben Fleisher is Bill Murray's cameo as the funniest man on the planet (a.k.a. Bill Murray).
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6. Re-Animator (1985)
In this H.P. Lovecraft adaptation Jeffrey Combs' medical student Herbert West injects a reanimating fluid into corpses with an enthusiasm matched by director and cowriter Stuart Gordon's glee at injecting jokes into Lovecraft's brilliant but largely punchline-free prose. You'll never look at your lower intestine in the same way again — although, of course, in an ideal world, you'll never look at it at all. See also, if possible: the Gordon-directed stage production Re-Animator the Musical.
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5. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)
The first and best, of the Return... movies began life as a novel penned by Night of the Living Dead cocreator John Russo but the result is a world away from that film's grim nightmares thanks to writer-director Dan O'Bannon's dementedly hilarious helming. Highlights include the comedic pairing of James Karen and Thom Matthews as medical supply warehouse workers who accidentally unleash the zombie apocalypse and Allen Trautman's icky ''Tarman'' zombie, who offers the closest to a catchphrase that walking corpses are ever likely to get (''More brains!''). See also: the excellent, 2011 behind-the-scenes retrospective More Brains! A Return of the Living Dead documentary.
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4. The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
A bunch of college kids — including Chris Hemsworth, Fran Kranz, and Kristen Connolly — face off against a family of undead redneck crazies during a weekend away in the woods. Although, as fans of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's genre-subverting comedy-horror movie will be aware, that's really just the tip of the monster-berg. All together now: ''Let's get this party started!''
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3. Dead Alive (1992)
Would the Lord of the Rings trilogy have been even better if Frodo had sliced and diced a horde of zombies with a lawnmower? The Peter Jackson-directed Dead Alive suggests it just might.
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2. Evil Dead II (1987)
Like a few other films on this list, Sam Raimi's cabin-in-the-woods tale is not a zombie movie in the strict, as framed by George A. Romero, definition of the genre and we could spend a couple of hours arguing as to whether it should be featured here. Or we could spend the time watching Bruce Campbell hilariously battle possessed corpses — and his own hand. Frankly, that seems the ''Groovy!''-er option.
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1. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost decide to ride out the zombie apocalypse in the booze-filled, if hard to defend, environs of a London pub in director Edgar Wright's delightful, and delightfully unpleasant, rom-zom-com. Watch out for cameos from half of Coldplay and all of Martin Freeman.