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Best Underrated Zombie Movies

author
Carole Stephens
• Tuesday, 03 November, 2020
• 15 min read

Similar to the ways vampires benefited from the simultaneous emergence of Twilight and HBO's True Blood, reanimated corpses are more in vogue these days than ever before, particularly to people who'd otherwise not seek out movies directed by Lucio Full or George A. Romero. To get yourself in the mood for all the devoured skin and rotting walkers, consult the following list of The 25 Most UnderratedZombieMovies and bask in the squalor, gore, and unfiltered bad taste that exemplify the best examples of living dead cinema.

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Contents

The original zombie is something most of today's movie fans would never recognize, based in the realm of voodoo rather than the dead walking again. About a decade after Romero introduced the idea of the dead returning to life with a thirst for brains, other filmmakers moved quickly.

The film, outside the zombie threat, was about a man obsessed with his work and his neglected child, and the two connecting during the end of the world. Released in 2016 and based on the brilliant novel by Mike Carey, The Girl with All The Gifts came and went with little fanfare but deserved a much better fate.

Warm Bodies hit theaters in 2013 but was passed off by most people because it was a zoom, a zombie romantic comedy of sorts. It stars Nicholas Holt (Beast from the last X-Men movies) as a zombie named R. He can think but can't really talk and just lumbers around, not really wanting to eat anyone.

Then, one day, he sees and meets a living girl named Julie (Teresa Palmer) and falls in love with her. Directed by Tommy Nikola, Dead Snow is a film for zombie fans who want a little Evil Dead- style humor in their horror movies.

The Norwegian film centers on seven students on vacation in the mountains of Fjord hunted by Nazi zombies. In 1994, Michele Soave made a cult-favorite zombie comedy starring Rupert Everett named Del Norte Della more.

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While everyone talks about his Nightmare on Elm Street movies, this zombie flick starring Bill Pullman and deserves reevaluation over 30 years later. That is not always a good thing, as it can take a beating by people who were taken aback by the fact that this military movie about American soldiers turned into a zombie -monster film by the end.

J.J. Abrams helped produce Overlord, a movie that saw American soldiers trying to stop secret Nazi experiments taking place in an old church. Sadly, the film only received a limited theatrical release after its appearance at Sun dance, and many people likely missed it completely.

The movie stars Aubrey Plaza (Legion) as Beth, a girl who dies and then returns as a zombie. This comes as a huge surprise to her boyfriend Zach (Amazing Spider-Man 2's Dane Dean) when he learns her parents (John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon) are keeping her locked away at home as her brain is slowly eroding.

The film has a fantastic cast, as well with Nathan Million (Firefly) as the local sheriff, Elizabeth Banks (Hunger Games) as the other lead, and Michael Booker (The Walking Dead) as one of the possessed. Shawn is a former member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle before relocating to Texas and has work published in the Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma Gazette, Vox Magazine and Loud Magazine and on websites like The Huffington Post, CBS, Time Warner Cable, Yahoo, The Movie Network, Chad, Renegade Cinema, 411mania and Sporting News.

Shawn is also a published author, with a non-fiction book about the Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmakers and has begun work on a new fiction series as well. While the extent of zombie -centric shows is limited on TV, there is also an ever-increasing undead library growing in the movie market.

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The movie stars legendary horror actor Bela Lugosi (Dracula, The Wolf Man) as a voodoo master named “Murder Legendre” who, at the request of a Haitian plantation owner Charles Beaumont, uses dark magic to make Madeleine Short, the fiancé of Neil Parker, fall in love with him instead. This version of zombie -ism” was inspired by Haitian Odor (or “voodoo”) mythology, and can be read as a commentary on slavery in that nation.

Terry (Rasmus Hardier) and Andy McGuire (Harry Tread away) are two Cockney-bred brothers attempting to pull off a bank heist in order to raise money to save their grandfather Ray's (Alan Ford) retirement home from being demolished. Meanwhile, two construction workers unwittingly unleash a centuries-old plague that turns people into flesh-eating zombies, then all hell breaks loose in London.

The story centers on the inhabitants of Berkeley, a small town in Australia, as they simultaneously deal with, what appears to be, an alien invasion and a zombie outbreak. Many critics didn't appreciate Undead for what it was, and it still holds negative scores on Meta critic and Rotten Tomatoes, but don't let that keep you from watching what we think is a much underrated zombie movie.

Rather, we're referencing Black Sheep, the wonderful dark horror comedy from New Zealand written and directed by Jonathan King. It stars Nathan Master and Peter Deena as brothers Henry and Angus Oldfield who grew up on a sheep farm.

When Henry returns to the family farm as an adult, he discovers that Angus has been performing genetic experiments on the sheep, turning them into blood-thirsty carnivores. Black Sheep is filled with superbly written dialog and contains many funny sight and sound gags that keep the film from simply becoming another macabre monster movie.

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Thanks to brothers KIA and Tristan Roache-Turner, Australia has once again produced a quality zombie movie with Wormwood: Road of the Dead. The movie starts with a split narrative following two protagonists, Barry and his sister Brooke, in different areas of Australian outback.

After a meteor (which Barry names Wormwood after a reference to the book of Revelations) hits Earth, people begin turning into zombies. While Barry tries to escape the outbreak with his family, Brooke is kidnapped by a military group, led by a captain who is performing nefarious medical experiments on both the infected and uninfected.

Watching the quality of props, costumes, makeup and special effects, it's hard to believe this movie was made for $160,000. Navy SEALs vs. Zombies is a solid directorial debut for Hollywood stuntman and NASCAR driver Stanton Barrett.

The story doesn't jump immediately into fighting zombie hordes, choosing instead to take a “slow burn” approach to setting up the characters and plot. After the White House loses contact with Vice-President Bentley (played by former NBA star Rick Fox) during a press conference in New Orleans, a group of SEALs are sent on a search and rescue mission to find him.

What starts off as an easy way to make a fast buck, quickly turns into a fight for survival as the military (with evil intentions, of course) gets involved with the zombie outbreak. The story centers on radio “shock jock” Grant Jazzy (Stephen Mattie) and his producer Sydney Brian (Lisa House) trying to survive as the town of Pontoon is placed under quarantine following an undead outbreak.

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There are so many great horror films that fall into the zombie subgenre out in there that we didn't touch on, such as The Horde, Doghouse, Hammock: Berlin Undead, The Dead, just name to a few, that we could go on talking about them ad nauseam. The UnderratedZombieMovies listed in this article are great, but never received the same popularity the classic ones got.

It is a small, low budget film that takes place in Jasper, Alabama. The zombies make their way to a nursing home where an elderly man named Henry, and other residents, bunker down in the kitchen and wait for rescue.

Henry’s family even stopped there plan to rob a bank to rush to his aide on the East Side of London. Shortly after the war ended, an unknown viral outbreak spurs a zombie uprising.

As he fights to stay alive he focuses on giving internal miss to his murdered wife and son. Henry returns to sell his share of the family’s sheep farm to his brother Angus.

Henry developed a crippling fear of sheep after a terrible prank played on him, shortly after his father’s death. While catching up on old times, Henry discovers his brother Angus has been doing bizarre genetic experiments on the sheep, turning them into vicious carnivores.

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This made-for-TV movie takes place in a safari park called the Eden Wildlife Zoo. As a new crew of college interns arrives for there orientation tour a group of monkeys falls ill from a strange virus.

While at the medical center they turn into zombies and attack the vets, killing two before escaping into the park. The cartoon movie takes place years after the mystery gang broke up.

Spanning numerous sub-genres, styles, cultures, and monsters, directors have found a ton of creative ways to scare viewers. However, with more horror films releasing every year some slip through the cracks and remain relatively unknown to the general populace.

Release Date: February 24, 2017, IMDB Rating: 6.0 out of 10 Starring: David Sauced, Lawrence Ross, Monica Davis Unlike other horror movies, Savage land doesn’t have any jump scares or moments meant to directly terrify.

While writing his last book, he travels from Los Angeles to New York to spend one night in the evil room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel, which is…2009-03-03T22:27:00.000Z One of Steven King’s lesser known film adaptations, 1408 is about a cynical horror author deciding to stay in the most haunted room of an old hotel.

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Release Date: April 7, 2017, IMDB Rating: 5.8 out of 10 Starring: Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers The Void is a fantastic film that mixes old school practical effects with a tight compelling story.

While you may know director Mike Flanagan for his work on Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House, one of his previous horror films shouldn’t go overlooked. Oculus is a fairly traditional horror film about a pair of siblings attempting to prove that an old mirror is cursed.

Flanagan’s focus on proving the mirror is cursed also makes the film’s fairly straightforward plot feel fresh and engaging. Splinter Trailer young couple retreats to the wilderness for a romantic camping weekend, but their idyll is shattered when they are car-jacked by an escaped convict and his girlfriend on the run from the police.

Release Date: April 3, 2009, IMDB Rating: 6.1 out of 10 Starring: Charles Baker, Jill Wagner, Paulo Costansó Director Toby Wilkes does a great job delivering a gritty, uncompromising story that is sorely missing in most mainstream horror flicks.

Release Date: August 17, 1990, IMDB Rating: 6.4 out of 10 Starring: George C. Scott, Ed Flanders, Brad Dour if Even though The Exorcist III doesn’t live up to the lofty pinnacle the original achieved, it’s still a solid horror film.

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Set in a psychiatric hospital, police Lieutenant attempts to uncover the truth behind a series of killings that are reminiscent of a deceased serial killer. Not only does The Exorcist III deliver a genuinely compelling story, but it has one of the greatest jump scares in the history of cinema.

Release Date: July 2, 2014, IMDB Rating: 6.2 out of 10 Starring: Eric Band, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Mann A personal favorite, Deliver Us From Evil follows the story of a New York City cop who begins investigating a series of grisly crimes.

Release Date: September 1, 2019, IMDB Rating: 4.8 out of 10 Starring: James Franco, Scott Haze, Tarn Manning Directed by Dan Bush, The Vault delivers some clever scares and characters are interesting enough that you’ll want to see the end.

Release Date: February 5, 2016, IMDB Rating: 5.8 out of 10 Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Charles Dance Exclusive to Shudder, Mayhem is a visceral and stylish film that isn’t afraid to squeeze everything it can out of the Mature rating.

A story about killer dolls stalking and killing a group of psychics, Puppet master is a lean, clever little film. All the different dolls are surprisingly terrifying and director David Schiller does a great job delivering big scares from this tiny killers.

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Release Date: July 31, 2009, IMDB Rating: 6.4 out of 10 Starring: William Preyed, Diane Ayala Goldener, Josh Stewart For those wanting something a bit more claustrophobic, The Collector is a tense cat and mouse, home invasion film.

What follows is 90 minutes of bloody, brutal moments meant to both shock and make viewers squirm in their seat. Mixing old school with new, The Collector hardens back to the age of slashers and minimalist style horror movies.

Not to be confused with the American remake from 2006, Pulse is a supernatural horror film about spirits trying to inhabit the world via the internet. Even though that concept sounds silly at first, director Kibosh Kurosawa produces a terrifying tale that is full of scares.

Release Date: June 11, 2010, IMDB Rating: 6.4 out of 10 Starring: Sean Bean, Eddie Redman, John Lynch Instead, Black Death masterfully builds its tension, playing with the audience’s mind until the brutal kill final takes place.

Release Date: September 16, 2016, IMDB Rating: 5.1 out of 10 Starring: Sheri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs Set in the late 70s, a group of carnival workers is kidnapped and forced to participate in a brutal life or death game.

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Release Date: November 1, 2016, IMDB Rating: 6.4 out of 10 Starring: Gore Abrams, Alice Bake, Danny Bellini Hell House LLC spends a lot of developing its cast, which helps add to the fear and crazy third act.

Release Date: August 7, 2008, IMDB Rating: 6.1 out of 10 Starring: Bradley Cooper, Leslie BBB, Minnie Jones Minnie Jones absolutely owns the part of the killer and Bradley Cooper gives a solid performance as the photographer drawn to the darker side of life.

Typically, overshadowed by the game-changing horror movie 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later is a bigger, bolder, and badder version of the first film. Set in London a few months after the disaster, society has begun to slowly rebuild after the Rage virus wiped out most of the United Kingdom.

Release Date: June 24, 2016, IMDB Rating: 6.3 out of 10 Starring: Blake Lively, Oscar Canada, Brett Cullen Following a surfer trapped on a coral reef by a killer shark, she has to find a way to get to the shore before the tide comes in.

The Awakening is very much a character-driven horror film that focuses on delving into the psyche and past of Rebecca Hall’s investigator. You’ll spend a lot of time with her as her beliefs are consistently challenged as she begins to uncover the secrets of the school.

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A nice mixture of jump scares and tense moments, The Awakening is an enjoyable flick that is certainly worth your time. Release Date: April 8, 2016, IMDB Rating: 6.6 out of 10 Starring: Kate Siegel, John Gallagher Jr.

This little detail adds so much to the movie, allowing the scares and absence of sound to build upon the terrifying masked murderer.

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