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25. PLANET TERROR (2007)
Robert Rodriguez's half of Grindhouse concerns a biochemical gas which, per the film's shlock-tastic trailer, has the side effect of ''terror!'' Well, that and turning people into bloodthirsty blobs of oozing jello.
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24. DIARY OF THE DEAD (2007)
Movie-zombie pioneer George A. Romero's rumination on our camera-obsessed culture is a long way from being his best film, but does feature a number of memorable images, including the sight of a zombie's head being dissolved by acid.
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23. LAND OF THE DEAD (2005)
After two decades away from the genre, George Romero returned to the zombie flick with Land in which Dennis Hopper has established a rich-get-richer, the-poor-can-go-to-hell society in a zombie-free enclave. Look out for ghoulish cameos from Shaun of the Dead director and star team Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg.
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22. ZOMBIELAND (2009)
Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg search for safety — and Twinkies! — in this big budget zombie comedy.
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21. COLIN (2009)
Welsh director Marc Price?s skilled examination of one zombie?s adventures deserves to be well known for reasons other than the fact it was made for, literally, the price of a crowbar.
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20. RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION (2007)
Veteran undead butt-kicker Milla Jovovich continues to battle both zombies and the sinister Umbrella company in the third, and best, big-screen version of the videogame franchise.
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19. PONTYPOOL (2009)
In this Canadian revamping of the zombie genre, the infection is spread not by blood but by words. Eh?
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18. DEAD ALIVE (1992)
There aren't many films in which a lawnmower is the preferred choice of weapon when battling zombies. But other directors' inexplicable aversion to garden equipment-related mayhem is more than made up for by future LOTR auteur Peter Jackson in the finale of his early splatterfest.
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17. ''HOMECOMING'' (2005)
Dead army vets return to life and protest an eerily familiar-sounding war in this fun-for-liberals, Joe Dante-directed episode of Showtime's Masters of Horror series.
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16. DEAD SNOW (2009)
Vacationing medical students are terrorized by German ghouls in the best of the Nazi zombie subgenre (see also 1977's Shock Waves and 2008's Outpost).
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15. I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943)
Well over half a century before Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, legendary director Jacques Tourneur married Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre to his own atmospheric brand of horror for a tale of romance and voodoo.
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14. UNDEAD (2003)
Entertainingly bonkers Australian-made tale of zombies, aliens...and cricket!
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13. THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1988)
''Don't let them bury me, I'm not dead!'' implores Bill Pullman in Wes Craven's underrated voodoo-oriented shocker. But they do anyway, (possibly in the belief that it will sort out the perennial Bill Pullman/Bill Paxton confusion).
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12. DEAD SET (2008)
This amazingly gory, made-for-TV effort finds zombie apocalypse survivors holed up in the British version of the Big Brother house. Real-life BB host Davina McCall stars as herself and then herself-as-a-ravenous-zombie. A Chenbot-starring U.S. remake would be as appreciated as it is unlikely.
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11. ZOMBIE 2 (1979)
Where else can you see a zombie fighting a shark? Other than in your dreams, of course.
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10. RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985)
Return of the Living Dead strayed from the Romero zombie ''rules'' in a number of ways and, just as importantly, replaced his social commentary with jokes and clothes-avoiding scream queen Linnea Quigley. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Return made considerably more than Romero's Day of the Dead when it was released shortly afterwards.
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9. RE-ANIMATOR (1985)
Jeffrey Combs shines as corpse-reviving scientist Herbert West in this berserk H.P. Lovecraft update. Though equal entertainment is provided by David Gale's Dr. Carl Hill, whose surgery skills seem largely unimpaired by the fact that he is decapitated halfway through. Meanwhile, those who don't like seeing homicidal intestines should watch any other film ever made.
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8. DAY OF THE DEAD (1985)
Romero tweaked the nose of the military-industrial complex with Day in which underground bunker-dwelling scientists and soldiers uneasily coexist. The director's third zombie film boasts a host of memorable performances, none more so that of Sherman Howard who plays the unnervingly intelligent (and, by the end, gun-toting) zombie ''Bub.''
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7. CEMETERY MAN (1994)
Graveyard custodian overseer Rupert Everett reacts to the dead rising from their graves not with terror but with an air of bored melancholy (well, that and some dum-dum bullets). ''All this extra work, it's not as if they pay me anymore,'' he declares after slaying a couple of zombies in the oddest and most tragically underseen film on this list.
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6. [REC] (2007)
A Spanish television reporter and her cameraman follow some firefighters into an apartment building where zombie-esque hell proceeds to break out — literally. The 2008 US remake, Quarantine, dropped the supernatural elements but is equally excellent.
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5. 28 DAYS LATER (2002)
No, it's not technically a zombie film because the rage virus-infected ghouls threatening Cillian Murphy's recovered coma victim are not dead. And yes, George Romero has been vocal about the fact that zombies cannot and should not run, as the human-monsters do in Danny Boyle's movie. But...phooey. Alex Garland's script hits enough zombie tropes to make this list while Boyle brilliantly succeeds in turning London into an eerie and frightening environ even before he introduces the hordes of slavering maniacs.
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4. DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
In the first few nerve-rending minutes of Zach Snyder's remake, nurse Sarah Polley is forced to hit the road by her crazed, undead husband and drives through a blood-drenched vision of the zombie apocalypse more epic than any other (even that to be found in George A. Romero's original 1979 Dawn). The rest of the movie is almost as good and features the most darkly comedic exchange in zombie movie history: ''Is everyone there dead?'' ''Well, dead-ish.''
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3. SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004)
A ''rom-zom-com'' with a pun for a title, Shaun of the Dead could hardly have sounded less promising. But the first real movie from Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright works as both an affectionate, in-joke-filled homage to the genre and a terrific zombie film in its own right. Simon Pegg stars as a lovelorn slacker who believes the best place to wait out the undead apocalypse is his local pub.
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2. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)
''They're coming to get you, Barbara!'' Indeed, they are. Romero's groundbreaking and enduringly creepy low-budget shocker offered a blueprint of terror that pretty much all subsequent zombie movies would borrow from: flesh-hungry undead ghouls; a group of besieged, bickering characters; and great gobs of gore.
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1. DAWN OF THE DEAD (1979)
Romero?s second zombie movie still packs a gory, funny, and just plain crazy punch. Of course, punching a zombie isn't going to do much good at all. What you want to do is have him walk into the blades of a helicopter, as Romero memorably does in his mostly mall-set classic.