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10 Best Zombie Movies Not Directed by George A. Romero

Fresh brains, hold the Romero.
Best Zombie Movies
By  · Published on October 28th, 2022

5. Cemetery Man (1994)

Cemetery Man

Dellamorte Dellamore, where to begin with you, you beautiful, mad film? Francesco Dellamorte (Rupert Everett) spends his days taking care of a cemetery with the help of his assistant Gnaghi (François Hadji-Lazaro). Simple enough, yes? Oh no, this is no ordinary cemetery with the dead just chilling six feet under. This is a cemetery from the mind of Michele Soavi which means we get super sexy demon ladies, motorcycle zombies, and spaghetti all trapped inside a snow globe. It’s a bonkers horror-comedy with the star of My Best Friend’s Wedding. Watch it in 3D for full enjoyment! (Chris Coffel)

4. The Return of the Living Dead (1985)

Return Of The Living Dead

Every time I rewatch The Return of the Living Dead, I’m reminded of what a tremendous loss it was for film fans when the great Dan O’Bannon passed away. His directorial debut remains an utterly brilliant take on the genre that delivers big laughs, fantastic practical effects, and a killer cast of characters. The young’uns are fine, but veterans like Clu Gulager, James Karen, and Don Calfa absolutely steal the show. The zombies run, feast, and talk (!) about suffering and ordering more food – it’s a blast that never gets old. The film may be an unofficial entry in Romero’s “Living Dead” franchise, but it’s one of the best around. (Rob Hunter)

3. Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

Scooby Doo On Zombie Island

If you’ve seen this Scooby-Doo movie, I don’t need to explain to you why it made the cut. But the rest of you might be a bit surprised. Sure, Scooby doesn’t have the gore of most zombie movies so die-hard genre fans might scoff at it. But this film is clever, surprising, and, as long as you’re a dog person, a total romp. In this movie, the Scooby gang is Bayou-bound as they make their way to Louisiana in search of a mystery. They wind up on an island inhabited by the secretive Simone Lenoir and a handful of zombies and ghosts who want them all to leave. But if you think you know where this is going, think again. Just because this is a DTV movie for kids doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining, spooky, and a damn good mystery. (Anna Swanson)

2. Re-Animator (1985)

Re Animator Get A Job In Sideshow

“You killed him!” a woman screams as she stares at a blood-drenched Herbert West. “No, I did not,’ he exclaims, “I gave him life!” Sure, that life may have been short-lived and caused a recently-dead person’s eyeballs to explode, but a moment of reanimation is still a win for H.P. Lovecraft’s timeless Doctor. From moment one, there’s no getting around the comedy at the heart of Stuart Gordon’s zombie horror film Re-Animator. Released the same year as another zom-com classic, Return of the Living Dead, Gordon’s film plays with a similar zany zeal that has been endlessly imitated but never bettered. In an age where zombies all have a similar flavor, Re-Animator continues to be a breath of fresh air almost 40 years later. (Jacob Trussell)

1. Zombie (1979)


Is Lucio Fulci’s Zombie – also known as Zombi 2 or Zombie Flesh Eaters, depending on your part of the world – the greatest zombie movie ever made that wasn’t directed by George A. Romero? Best on its placement on this list, yes, and with good reason! When her scientist father’s boat floats into the New York Harbor, a suspicious Anne (Tisa Farrow) partners with a journalist (Ian McCulloch) to visit the island where he has been off conducting research. They soon discover that a terrible voodoo curse has raised the dead, and they’ve got a hunger for the flesh of the living! Released as an unofficial sequel to Dawn of the Dead, Fulci aimed to return the zombie to its voodoo origins with a modern twist. It’s safe to say Fulci and team succeeded, setting the bar for zombie films at a level few have managed to achieve since. Whether it’s a zombie embarking on underwater hand-to-hand combat with a live shark, Olga Karlatos getting the worst splinter imaginable, or hordes of zombies staggering across the Brooklyn Bridge to the tune of Fabio Frizzi‘s legendary soundtrack, Zombie is a gut-munching good time from start to finish! (Chris Coffel)

Looking to cleanse your palate after eating all those brains? Check out more 31 Days of Horror Lists!

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Chris Coffel is a contributor at Film School Rejects. He’s a connoisseur of Christmas horror, a Nic Cage fanatic, and bad at Rocket League. He can be found on Twitter here: @Chris_Coffel. (He/Him)