A Zombie Guide
I love a good zombie story. Forget your vampires and your werewolves and wizards. Zombies are where it’s at. Which is why, if you’re a zombie newbie, you’re going to need to play close attention. Because there are good zombie stories and bad zombie stories, and the bad ones will put you off for life. So here are my top zombie choices.
The Best Book
Hands-down it’s got to be World War Z by Max Brooks. Written as a “true” account of the zombie apocalypse, ten years after the fact, this is a perfectly balanced selection of what are effectively short stories. And if you like World War Z, try Brooks’ other zombie story – The Zombie Survival Guide. But whatever you do, avoid the film adaptation until you’ve read this. The film – although not bad in its own right (who DOESN’T like Brad Pitt saving the day) – is only very LOOSELY based on the book.
The Best Graphic Novel
This is a bit of a no-brainer (geddit!?) really – The Walking Dead from Image Comics is the classic, iconic series from author Robert Kirkman. Following the survivors of the zombie apocalypse, our team of heroes not only have to battle the undead but other survivors and even themselves. Having said that, iZOMBIE comes pretty close.
If I’m honest, there aren’t many to choose from. In fact, I can only think of two – and both are worth watching. First up is AMC’s The Walking Dead. Based on the aforementioned graphic novel, this cult favourite is in its fourth season, and for good reason. The second is French series Les Revenants (also known as The Returned). I was absolutely transfixed by the story of a small Alpine town that suddenly finds the deceased returning.
The Best Film
This is where the zombie genre really has a hold. So I’m actually going to divide this part…
Best comedy zombie film
Many argue for Zombieland, but I’m going British all the way and voting Shaun of the Dead. Duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play layabout friends who find themselves unwittingly in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, and whose only solution is to go to the pub.
Best classic zombie film
The 1968 Romero film Night of the Living Dead is a true zombie classic, and has set up the zombie genre for decades to come.
Best modern zombie film
This will all depend on which side of the fence you sit on with regards to what constitutes a real zombie and how strict you are about those rules. Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later features a new kind of “zombie” – these, rather than being undead, are infected with a rage virus. Even though not technically real zombies, this film was the first film to terrify me in years, and I can never listen to that soundtrack without getting shivers. Plus, it made me fall in love with Cillian Murphy.
So there you have it. Are you a zombie fan? What are your top zombie genre stories?