I'd like to start the week off with what I'm calling "Golden Age" Zombie movies, Wednesday will focus on "Silver Age" and we'll end the week in the "Modern Age".
I am going to skip posting pics with these posts, since Blogger makes it frustratingly hard to add more than one or two, but I will include links to the Wiki page for the movies in case anyone is interested in learning more about them.
For the fist film, I am choosing, as it would be logical, the first recognized zombie movie. "White Zombie", starring Bela Lugosi and directed by Victor Halperin in 1932. It was an independent movie at the time and came out about a year after Lugosi's hit, Dracula. White Zombie wasn't a big critical hit, but it did do well enough that they made a sequel, which I have not seen.
I enjoyed this movie, it's very moody and atmospheric and Lugosi is usually fun to watch. The zombies in the movie are probably the closest to "real" zombies as you are going to find, maybe with the exception of "Serpent and the Rainbow" but that's for another blog. These zombies are true walking undead which do the bidding of their master, who as you can probably guess is played by Lugosi.
This is probably skipable unless you are a zombie completest or love Universal's classic horror movies, otherwise I think most folks would be a bit bored with it.
I can't help but pick this movie as my number two, it's a classic but not in the way the director had attempted. "Plan 9 From Outer Space" is famous for being horrible. It was directed by Edward D. Wood Jr. in 1959. I think the reason that this and Wood's other movies are so popular is that you really get the impression that Wood thought he was making a modern masterpiece. His eagerness to tell you the story shows as much as the strings and cheap sets do. I love this movie, it's just so much fun to watch, but it's probably best viewed with a group!
The zombies in this are closer to the classic zombie, but still retain their origins, meaning they are walking corpses who do their master's bidding, except in this case the masters are from outer space.
This movie is also notable for containing the very last footage that was shot of Bela Lugosi, the brief clip was shot by Wood for another movie but was edited in as a selling point. If you have ever seen "Ed Wood" by Tim Burton, then you'd know the story. That's also a fantastic movie, but not on topic, so we move on.
This next description is going to be brief, because I have only seen the movie once and it was probably over 10 years ago. This movies is the Hammer Horror Studios', "Plague of The Zombies" from 1966. It's notable for being, I believe, the only zombie movie that Hammer Film Productions made and they did it well enough that much of the imagery in the movie has influenced many later zombie movies. If I remember correctly this was the first movie to show the dead rising from their graves! It continues with classic idea of zombies as slaves toiling away for their masters.
With that, I will leave you for today. The next movie is a big leap forward in how we view zombies and is one of my all time favorites. It also is the transition into the Silver Age...see you soon my repulsive readers!