Where you find zombies, you will also find gore. Sure, there are zombie films that aren't particularly bloody, but they are the exception, not the rule. This is, after all, a genre where disembowelments are standard operating procedure. To stand out in this viscera-clotted field, a movie's got to be pretty grotesque, but plenty of filmmakers have risen to that challenge over the years, making some of the goriest films of all time. Films like Re-Animator (showing on Halloween in the VAC basement on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder) pushed the boundaries of good taste, knocked them over, then proceeded to stomp the boundaries' face into mush. For those who love that kind of gruesome mess, we've collated this list of some of zombiedom's most gorific films. Enjoy! (Caution: Clips are NSFW!)
Re-Animator It wouldn't be fair to leave this one off just because it's what inspired the list, would it? Hell, no! Stuart Gordon's tale of mad science in the morgue delivers on the grossness almost from the get-go. Offering everything from drills through the chest cavity to a severed head getting freaky with a co-ed, Re-Animator keeps it from getting too heavy with a healthy dose of gallows humor. Of course, that doesn't mean it's any easier to watch while you eat.... Seriously, don't try to eat while you watch this one. It's just a bad idea.
Dead Alive Peter Jackson is better known these days for his mega-blockbuster Lord of the Rings films, but before he became the Hobbit guy, he was a splatter maestro. Dead Alive is his greatest work, a hilarious horror comedy about a man with serious Mommy issues whose mother gets turned into an insatiable zombie. Also her nurse, the local priest, some random thug and, eventually, a whole houseful of people. Then all of those zombies get dismembered, ground up and decapitated. A lawn mower is featured prominently, and there are literally gallons and gallons of blood and grue slopped around everywhere. There's also the creepiest zombie baby you'd ever care to see as a bonus.
Day of the Dead All of George Romero's Dead films were gory for their time, but Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead haven't aged as well, gore-wise. Luckily, Day of the Dead outdoes them all with its gore. Half-dissected zombies try to get up and walk, men are torn limb from limb, and guts are munched with abandon. It's gross and it's awesome. Special effects master Tom Savini's work never looked better, or more disturbing.
Lucio Fulci's Zombie All of Fulci's work is pretty damn grotesque, including his trio of zombie works (Zombie, City of the Living Dead,
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Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer If you want a little local color in your gore fest, check out BizJack FlemCo's Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer. It's terrible, for sure, but it's basically just an excuse to pull off every cheap, cheesy gore effect possible, with some feces thrown in for good measure. Co-creator Richard Taylor calls it an exercise in "blood, boobs and bowling," and that's pretty much it -- emphasis on the blood. Heads are crushed, cheap-looking blood is sprayed everywhere and a good time is had by all. Well, all that can enjoy Troma-style gross-outs, anyway.