Google+ Consumer Psyche: Happy Halloween

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy Halloween

ESPN’s TMQ columnist Gregg Easterbrook suggests, the appeal of zombie movies and TV shows is more primal — and somewhat disturbing — that: “the heroes can kill, kill, kill without compunctions or consequences.”
1. “Night of the Living Dead.” George Romero’s 1968 ultra low-budget black-and-white creepfest that started the modern zombie film. The 1990 remake isn’t bad, either.
2. “Dawn of the Dead.” Romero’s 1978 second entry in what was originally a zombie trilogy might be even better than his first picture as the zombies take over a shopping mall. It was made for $650,000 and made $50 million worldwide.
3. “28 Days Later.” “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle’s 2002 picture upset zombie purists — it’s a disease movie, like “World War Z.” But it was scary and the zombies are fast, not plodding.
4. “Shaun of the Dead.” The best zombie comedy ever, this 2004 British film starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost bitingly sends up the genre, forever bursting its bubble.
5. “Zombieland.” More fun, the 2009 picture feels like a video game with Woody Harrelson mowing down zombies right and left and features a memorable turn by Bill Murray.
6. “White Zombie.” The 1932 original belongs on this list, with Bela Lugosi at his best playing the evil zombie master. It's set in Haiti, where zombies are supposed to originate via voodoo.
7. “Dead Alive.” This bloody, gory, over-the-top 1992 mess comes from Peter Jackson, who, of course, went on to make “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, remake “King Kong,” etc.
8. “Return of the Living Dead.” The first film to have fast-moving zombies rather than the plodding variety, the 1978 picture was also the first to use the cry “Brains.”
9. “Day of the Dead.” The final installment in Romero’s original trilogy (he’s made two more forgettable zombie movies since) wasn’t well received when it came out in 1985. Watch it now.
10. “Planet Terror.” Half of “Grindhouse,” the 2007 exploitation picture, this one comes from Robert Rodriguez, who gets everything about zombie pictures right.
Honorable mention: “World War Z,” the high budget, highfalutin zombie picture that was a modest hit this summer and is now available for home viewing — just in time for Halloween.
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