Tuesday, September 2, 2014

12 Zombie Films that have NO Zombies!

We all know and love zombie’s and there have been many, many excellent entries into the genre (and some not so good ones). All have a standard set of rules to apply, be it worldwide chaos, or a small group trapped against insurmountable odds; both of which were established over forty years ago. They work, so why change them? However, in an attempt to do just that, re-invent the wheel, so to speak, a number of films have adopted the ‘rules’ except for one fundamental – the zombies themselves. A zombie is, by definition, a reanimated corpse. Oh, there have been numerous ideas on how zombies themselves behave (i.e. run fast or lumber along, eat just brains or any old body part etc.) but they have to be undead in order to be classified as a zombie.

That hasn’t, however, stopped screenwriters from writing ‘zombie’ films but not including any zombies – indeed the godfather of the genre George Romero himself was one of the very first to do such a thing in 1973 withThe Crazies. But we all know what is going on – it’s nothing but a zombie flick just not including the word; thus the antagonists are viral infected, radiation poisoned or demon possessed, but one thing they are not is dead; thus not zombies. So, let us take a look at the top twelve entries in the small genre: A zombie film that has no zombies. 

In this 2009 French film, written, directed and edited by David Morlet, our monsters have a viral infection that turns them into bloodthirsty mutants hungry for human flesh. The plot revolves around the ‘small group trapped’ idea, but is intensified by being just two, and one of them is infected! Despite its low budget - surprising how many are on this list - the film manages a reasonable atmosphere, but not a zombie in sight.

Jake West directs Danny Dyer in this low budget 2009 British horror-comedy – and that sentence should be enough to instil fear! The premise is very familiar; a small group have to face off against a horde of flesh-eating monstrosities, but the twist is that the small group are a bunch of lads celebrating a divorce of one of their crew battling against infected women who want nothing but to chow down on man-meat. There is little directorial flair, but the gore is plentiful and the whole thing is played tongue in cheek – don’t expect sinister horror, it’s meant as a laugh and that is probably why it doesn’t quite work, unlike Shaun of the Dead which understood the genre and how to make light of it, Doghouse either tries too hard, moves into coarseness or is just plain daft. No zombies though, so it has a place on this list. 

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