The Undead Zone

In the beginning, zombie movies were truly frightening, the gold standard being George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. But thanks to the uproarious (and scary) Shaun of the Dead, Romero’s symbolism-heavy flesh-eaters have turned into the most reliable sources of comedy this side of Tyler Perry in a dress. The latest contender in the horror spoof genre: Zombieland, with Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson (opening 10/2). We hope to god it’s got a better gimmick than the deadbeats below.

Photo: Weinstein Company/Everett Collection

Zombie Sheep!
Ever wonder what it would look like to watch a sheep attack a human’s throat? Prepare to find out … over and over and over. Black Sheep (2007) chronicles an experiment in genetic engineering gone horribly wrong, and naturally comes to you from the land where sheep outnumber humans: New Zealand.

Photo: Lionsgate/Everett Collection

Zombie Pet!
Fido (2007) features comic actor Billy Connolly as a rotting six-foot zombie kept as a sort of dog (he’s on a leash) by Timmy, a lonely child neglected by his parents. Then Fido goes and eats the next-door neighbor. Highlight: After the authorities take him away, Timmy’s father tells him that Fido’s “at a farm upstate.”

Photo: Sony Home Entertainment/Everett Collection

Zombie Pole Dancers!
Jenna Jameson, in a non-porn role, is the head of a cabal of naked undead in Zombie Strippers (2008). The twist: The government-created virus only zombifies men who stumble around in search of sustenance while the infected, brain-eating chicks keep their smarts. Just like at a real strip club!

Photo: Sveinung Svendsen/IFC Films/Everett Collection

Zombie Nazis!
In Dead Snow (2009) the evil undead are the Gestapo. This is the film’s lone joke—zombies … and Nazis!—which isn’t all that different from the “Zombie vs. Shark” video that circulates online every few months. All high-concept ironic fanboy in-jokes and no real blood-and-guts terror equals zombie shtick at its worst.

The Undead Zone