News del Locarno Festival

The 10 Most Lethal Zombies in Movies

The Girl With All The Gifts


Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Grindhouse: Planet Terror (2007)

Army of Darkness (1992)

Dead Snow (2009)

Zombieland (2009)

Rammbock (2010)

28 Days Later (2002)

I Am Legend (2007)

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

World War Z (2013)

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10. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Ok, that’s beginner’s level. George Romero’s zombies are slow and not so smart as their descendants. They are not even gifted in social organization, since they prefer wandering as lonely as possible instead of moving in a group. Only human flesh can gather them, but then they prefer to eat their own piece of body separated from the others. But, you know, they were the first and we cannot blame them too much.

Speed: 1

Speed of infection: 5

Group skills: 1


9. Grindhouse: Planet Terror (2007)

Biohazard in all its purulent power. Robert Rodriguez transformed the Festival del film Locarno in “Planet Terror” nine years ago, when he presented to the international audience the integral edition of his movie. His zombies have faces full of pustules, which make infection easier, but they walk (better: limp) like Rose McGowan with her first wood leg in the hospital hallway. That means: bad. Good for mankind, though, and for weapons lovers who could enjoy its slaughter scenes without seasickness.

Speed: 3

Speed of infection: 8

Group skills: 3


8. Army of Darkness (1992)

The brainchild of Sam Raimi, the Deadites are generally not zombies in the traditional sense (their origin being linked to demonic possession rather than a virus of some kind), but they’re no less of a pain in the neck. Especially in the third installment of the franchise, where their leader is none other than the hero’s evil clone, making for a rather interesting battle. Of course, the hero himself is to blame for raising them in the first place…

Speed: 8

Speed of infection: N/A

Group skills: 9


7. Dead Snow (2009)

When numbers lack, a good organization can do the most to make you win. It happens in sports, wars and also in zombie movies. This Norwegian low-budget splatter film did not help its director Tommy Wirkola to show on screen a large amount of brain eaters but, hey, they are fast-like-hell Nazis related to one of the clearest hierarchical structure ever seen in a horror film. Standartenführer Herzog ahead, all the other ones following his orders. Well tried, but not enough.

Speed: 9

Speed of infection: 2

Group skills: 10


6. Zombieland (2009)

Ruben Fleischer’s movie introduced two key elements in zombie tradition: Woody Harrelson is without any doubts the best companion to have in a surviving quest (banjo included, of course) and Emma Stone the most precious girl to protect. All the rest – living dead people running and a world rotten until its roots – are secondary. Because you know what counts the most: the last box of Twinkies on planet Earth.

Speed: 8

Speed of infection: 9

Group skills: 5


5. Rammbock (2010)

Festival del film Locarno, 2010: the German movie Rammbock directed by Marvin Kren brings zombies back to Ticino. They are some of the finest ones – fast to move, fasto to infect people, smart enough to gather and to besiege a building. There is only a problem: their weakness in front of flashes and strong lights. Try to imagine them on our red carpet, some minutes before the Piazza Grande show in the evening: they would not survive a second.

Speed: 9

Speed of infection: 8

Group skills: 7


4. 28 Days Later (2002)

Director Danny Boyle may not view them as zombies, due to the science-based backstory, but make no mistake: these “infected” are every bit as vicious as the regular undead, not to mention much faster. The first modern “fast zombies”, they’re ruthless and generally unstoppable, with a single drop of their blood capable of infecting a victim within 20 seconds. And as the sequel suggests, they’re still out there…

Speed: 10

Speed of infection: 10

Group skills: 6


3. I Am Legend (2007)

Although they’re technically vampires, as per Richard Matheson’s source novel, the undead in Francis Lawrence’s adaptation are very much a zombie-like force to be reckoned with. They may be vulnerable to sunlight, but if you stumble upon them in an abandoned building at night, you have only one option: run, as fast as you can, and pray they don’t catch up to you. Alternatively, make sure Will Smith is nearby.

Speed: 9

Speed of infection: 8

Group skills: 10


2. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Iconic though they may be, George A. Romero’s zombies are, admittedly, a bit lacking as an imposing threat, due to their speed, or rather lack thereof. Zack Snyder’s response, in his reimagining of Dawn of the Dead, is to make them really, really fast. The result is a film that may lack the satirical edge one would associate with Romero’s oeuvre, but still packs a decent punch in the scares and gore department.

Speed: 10

Speed of infection: 10

Group skills: 8


1.World War Z (2013)

Not only are they fast, these zombies function efficiently enough as a group to be able to climb a wall, and they’re also extremely contagious: once bitten, you become one of them within 12 seconds. Additionally, as the film’s title suggests, these undead are a truly global threat, from Philadelphia to the UK to Jerusalem. Even if you’re played by Brad Pitt, the odds aren’t necessarily in your favor…

Speed: 9

Speed of infection: 10

Group skills: 10

Mattia Bertoldi & Max Borg

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