?Okay, it’s possible this list may have been more appropriate back in October — but the continuing success of AMC’s The Walking Dead proves amply that any time of the year is a good time for the ambulatory deceased.
Over the past decade or so, zombies have emerged (dirt-covered and moaning for fresh brains) as one of the most popular and polarizing nerd genres–everyone in the community seems to love or hate them. Consider the comments for a recent TR post on a book featuring “Zombie Jedi.”
While it’s blindingly obvious that we take the “Pro” position in this debate, we do acknowledge certain deficiencies the undead possess — specifically, their overall lack of personality.
So we thought we’d give a shout-out to the handful of rigor-stricken flesh-eaters who have risen, not just from the dead, but to the status of singular individuals, many of whom would actually be cool companions and fun to hang around… assuming you could get around that whole wanting to eat your brains thing.
10) The Chanukkah Zombie from Futurama
First appearing in the Futurama movie Bender’s Big Score, The Chanukkah Zombie distinguishes himself not only as the undead symbol of a Jewish festival, but as a TIE Fighter-piloting manufacturer of Judaic-themed implements of death.
Bonus Nerd Points for the voice-work of the great Mark Hamill.
9) Bud the Chud from CHUD II
CHUD II was an immensely silly movie with absolutely no real connection to its predecessor. That said, it’s an utter riot if you’ve got a yen for cheesy ’80s horror flicks. B-movie icon and future suicidal Q — Gerrit Graham, has a lot of fun with the role of a re-animated soldier with a taste for human flesh. Graham actually manages to bring humanity and humor to this character, giving this goofy-ass movie a leg up on its contemporaries.
8) Solomon Gundy from Challenge Of The Superfriends
We understand completely that in the comics and in later, more serious shows, Solomon Grundy was and is a formidable foe and a force to be reckoned with. But we fell in love with the big, dead guy who talked like Yosemite Sam and had trouble with personal pronouns on the Superfriends. SOLOMON GRUNDY WANT BE ON LIST, TOO!
7) Kat from Zombie Strippers
[WARNING: Even though this clip is on YouTube, it contains nudity and is 100% NSFW.]
A cinematic achievement born from the deepest, darkest nerd fantasies — Zombie Strippers stars porn legend Jenna Jameson as Kat, who’s stripping skills increase exponentially when she’s bitten by an escaped military-created zombie. The clip is very NSFW — sorry, but there was no way around it. Oh, and don’t mind the French subtitles.
6) Bub from Day Of The Dead
One of the most recognizable zombie characters, Bub may well be the first movie zombie to be given an actual name. Portrayed by Sherman Howard, Bub was an experiment in the mental capacity and learning abilities of the walking dead. Over the course of the film, Bud was taught to use a telephone, a safety razor, a tape recorder, and — most successfully — a handgun.
Youtube is lousy with fan-edited clips of this scene featuring Bub’s lesson in music appreciation — we think Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” is the most fitting of them.
5) Julie Walker from Return Of The Living Dead III
It was the ROTLD series that gave us the immortal undead rallying cry “BRRAAIINNSS!” In Part 3, they also gave us the lovely Julie, played a very young Melinda Clarke, re-animated by her rather short-sighted boyfriend (remember readers: zombifying your loved ones is not considered a healthy means of dealing with grief). Julie deals with her cannibalistic zombie urges through fetishistic self-mutilation — watch some of her highlights, appropriately (if rather predictably) set to Rob Zombie’s “Living Dead Girl.” The clip is technically SFW (at least compared to the Zombie Strippers vid), but you still might wanna watch it at home.
4) Johnny Dingle from My Boyfriend’s Back
After Teen Wolf, a string of horror-themed teen comedies were produced throughout the ’80s and early ’90s. My Boyfriend’s Back was one of the very few that was not galactically lame. This under-appreciated 1993 flick is the story of Johnny Dingle (Matthew Fox), your average teenager who just happens to have risen from the dead to take the prettiest girl in school to the prom. It’s a neat take on the “good girl falls for the wrong kind of guy” clich?. Watch the complications zombiism brings to making out in a car.
3) Ed from Shaun Of The Dead
As a combination zombie and British comedy film, the inimitable Shaun Of The Dead may be the one of the nerdiest movies in existence, and without a doubt it’s one of our all-time favorites.
For the uninitiated, Nick Frost is Ed, the useless but lovable best friend of Simon Pegg’s titular Shaun. By the end of the film (SPOILER) Ed is bitten during the heroes’ last stand against the invading undead hordes — and he stays behind to help cover the escape of Shaun and his girlfriend, Liz. Six months later all is well– the military has wiped out the zombies — and a re-animated Ed lives in Shaun’s toolshed, where they hang out and play videogames. In other words, joining the ranks of the living dead hasn’t caused much of an upheaval in Ed’s existence.
2) Randall Skeffington from Ugly Americans
Other than South Park, Comedy Central has had very little success with animated programming (Futurama doesn’t count). Ugly Americans looks like it might have a shot at reversing this trend.
Randall Skeffington is the zombie roomie of main character Mark, a civil servant who helps the various… things populating New York assimilate to American society. Randall became a zombie by choice in a very ill-advised attempt to impress a girl with an undead fetish. Along with being the stereotypical boat anchor roommate, he’s also a total perv who thinks exclusively with his dick — watch the clip to see what happens when his overly abused organ has some ideas of its own (set to the tune of King Missile’s immortal “Detachable Penis”).
1) Fido from Fido
There just aren’t enough good things we can say about this film — imagine a zombie comedy made by Tim Burton at his best.
The film features Billy Connolly as a “house-zombie” in a darkly hilarious satire of “a boy and his dog” movies. We really can’t do the film or the character justice here: watch the trailer and see the movie, zombie fans — you won’t regret it.