Monday, February 27, 2012

Top Five Zombie Movie Posters of All Time

I've been a fan of zombie movies since before most of the shamblers in a zombie walk were even born, and I also love the art of movie posters. One would justifiably assume that since zombie movies contain some of the most vivid, colorful, emotion provoking images in all of cinema that the posters for these movies would be some of the most interesting amongst all movie posters.


I don't know why, but the zombie genre has spawned some of the most boring, unoriginal, uninteresting movie posters in movie history. George Romero, while making the defining movies of the genre, has spun off what I think are the most boring movie posters (except for one. but more on that later), and Day of the Dead may be the most bland, generic movie poster of all time. 

No, the darkest day of horror the world has ever known was the day someone was either so tired or so distracted that they green lighted this boring piece of shit poster. I actually owned an original rolled copy of this poster at one point in my life. You'd vomit if I told you how little I paid for it in 1993. I vomit that someone had the brainpower to throw it in the garbage.

Why in the world they didn't use this poster designed for the video release, I'll never know. 

So, that's the bad, and trust me, there's no shortage of bad to go around, but let's get right to the good. I've selected five zombie movie posters I've always had a strong reaction to. One I hate, but I acknowledge it's quality and enduring ability to elicit a strong reaction, which is part of what a good movie poster, or work or art, should do. 

                                                 5) Revenge of the Dead 

This is a magnificent poster, and if you're a collector, one you can get an original in great condition for a very reasonable price (think 25-50 dollars). There's just one problem: nothing you see in this poster even remotely comes close to happening in this movie. In fact, the movie has almost nothing to do with zombies. It's more of a mystery adventure in France involving something about something like the Priory of Scion but none of that matters because if you insist on seeing zombies in a zombie movie you won't here. That said, if you do like the horror genre, this is a reasonably good movie if you have the patience. 

4) The Gates of Hell

Okay, so this movie poster is similar to every poster for every Italian zombie movie made in the zombie mania in Italy that followed Dawn of the Dead. I don't care. I like it. Here I must confess a bit of heresy which may get me banned from the zombie community altogether... I don't care for Lucio Fulci's movies. I don't like the misogyny, the cruelty or the stylistic choices. I don't like maggots and creepy crawlers. I don't like ooze and objects slowly inserted into peoples' eye sockets. However, there are two Fulci posters in my top five. 

3) Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

You're right, this poster isn't any great shakes, but it has one property that make it one of my favorites... I own it! Not only do I own it, I own one of the few anyone has anywhere, and I spent a good deal of money to have it professionally framed and oneday I will mount it on the wall of my study when I finally get to the last place I will ever be. This is my favorite zombie movie, as you must know by now because I include it some way or another in any zombie list I make, and another poster where you're nor going to get much idea about what the movie is about by looking at it. 

2) Zombie
Yuck. I simultaneously hate and acknowledge the enduring power of this iconic image. The text is great. Direct, blunt, and accurate. We're going to eat your ass. The color is bold and well-chosen. It has a stark, grotesque power that is perfect for the movie it heralds. Well done. I still dislike Fulci.

1) Dawn of the Dead

It is entirely fitting that the best zombie movie of all time should also have the best poster. A raving success of design. A combination of great design and the most quoted line of dialogue from any zombie movie ever. A movie poster I also purchased for $25 dollars original and rolled in mint condition in 1993, but no longer possess due to move after move after move. It's heartbreaking what you lose in life, but it's all part of getting to the place you are meant to be. Maybe I'll be re-united with this poster eventually. 

Few things in life will be remembered more fondly by me than Zombie Night at Castaways. After twelve years schlepping drinks in other peoples' bars I finally got a chance to run my own, and the first thing I insisted on was screening zombie movies. The first night we had I think eight people, but by the summer of 2006 we had over 200 people showing up to watch Slither, Shawn of the Dead, then we started slipping in Hard Rock Zombies, Wild Zero, Troll 2, and movies like The Stuff. Andrew Davis designed this poster and to me it will always be one of the great things no one can take away. 

I'm curious to know what zombie movie posters strike other peoples' fancy. Aesthetics are such a personal matter I realize everyone has their own tastes. These are just mine, and like I said, one of these I wouldn't even allow in my study. While you're here you might as well take a look at a couple other zombie events I created The 2012 Zombie Academy Awards and My Top Ten Zombie Movies You Might Not Have Seen. As always, thank you for stopping by, zombie fans, and feel free to link, share, or otherwise just take whatever you want, but please give me a credit. 

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  1. Sounds like a cop-out but I think The Walking Dead poster is pretty chilling, massive city, empty lane and one tiny guy heading towards a barren city. No zombies though, lame.

    Most iconic zombie moment for me it (appeared in some posters) was from Zombi 2 when the chick's eye is pulled towards the splinter... still makes me whince today.

  2. The Dawn of the Dead Poster and Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things are my favorites!

  3. Paragraph, I also think that's a pretty good poster. I watched only episode one and because I rarely watch any new zombie movies or shows, and thought that scene in particular and the one where he comes around the corner in Atlanta and is suddenly confronted by hundreds of zombies pretty cool. I didn't go on to the second episode for some reason but I hear people are disappointed in season 2. As for Fulci and the eye impaling... just a little bit more pain than I want to see anyone in.

  4. Venessa. I thought it was just me that liked CSPWDT.

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