Coronavirus: Is this the start of the zombie apocalypse?

Is the Coronavirus the start of the zombie apocalypse?


But, that doesn’t stop people from asking the question and whether asked in jest or in seriousness the answer is the same... 

Now before I continue I would like to extend my thoughts to those suffering with or affected by Covid-19. The world has certainly become a smaller place because of this current crisis and I can only hope the powers that be find a swift and viable solution to the current outbreak. 

No personal opinions on current affairs or conspiracies will be conveyed here.

With all that said, the situation does make me mindful of Zombies, that’s just because of the way my brain works. So I am going to give a rundown of some random infection based movies. This does not represent any “top” list or “best” films, that has been covered previously and will be updated in due course. These are simply a few random zombie films to enjoy if you find yourself in isolation and fancy a bit of light entertainment. So put your feet up, grab a cornetto and enjoy...

The first film on my list is a personal favourite of mine and may very well find it’s way on most people favourites list.

28 Days Later:

Directed by Danny Boyle, this film took Zombies up a notch or two. A very ambiguous infection referred to only as Rage. It’s unfortunate victims become supercharged shells with ravenous intentions. Couple this with the stark backdrop of an empty city like London and you have a perfect formula for dread and suspense. Throw in a plot twist and this is one of the greatest zombie films if not horror films ever made. 

With breakthrough performances from Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris alongside movie greats Brendan Gleeson and Christopher Ecclestone this truly is a modern masterpiece of cinema. 

It was followed up with a sequel, 28 Weeks Later in 2007. Although Danny Boyle and Alex Garland served only as exec producers, it was very serviceable and while not sharing its predecessors originality, it was a well made follow up.  

28 Days later has stood the test of time and even now, nearly 2 decades after it first hit screens it impresses and never fails to strike a nerve. There were even rumours of Messrs Boyle and Garland teaming up to bring a third instalment although things on that front have been very quiet. 

I will not give up hope...

The next film on the list is one I love just as much today as I did the first time I saw it...

Resident Evil: Apocalypse 

You either love these movies or you don’t. Or as I always say, you either love them or you’re wrong! Yes they grew more action based as the series progressed but who doesn’t enjoy some mindless horror based action every now and again? Each to their own I guess. 

I loved the first Resident Evil film and while I am a huge lover of the games, in fact I am more a fan of the games than I am of the movies, nevertheless the first Resident Evil film while being so far removed from the source material, if it hadn’t taken place in and around Raccoon City, it may as well not have been “based on”...

I still loved it.

It introduced us to Alice, played by Milla Jovovich, who takes the lead as a completely new character, she awakes in a large mansion with no memory of who she is. She is swiftly scooped up by some military types and taken into the depths of Umbrella's underground research facility. The ending set up an inevitable sequel and one word uttered in the chaos was enough to keep me wanting more... Nemesis! 

When Apocalypse came along I took one look at Nemesis and I knew instantly that I would like it..

Set in Raccoon City in the immediate aftermath of the first film, this one introduces a new set of characters to root for and a much wider expanded universe began to flourish. Alice again as the main protagonist would come up against an old friend... Only now he had been mutated and transformed into a signature Umbrella developed biological weapon. The Nemesis. 

The film itself greatly improves upon its predecessor in both action sequences and special effects and the introduction of a few more recognisable elements from the games was certainly a welcome addition. I mean come on, anyone who has ever played Resident Evil 3 must agree, they got it pretty much spot on and with a lot of discussions online at the moment about the upcoming Res3 remake and its redesigned Nemesis, looking back at this even now, I still think. Wow!

Anyway, as you can probably tell, I like Resident Evil. Back to the film. It’s got zombies, a kick ass protagonist, a kick ass antagonist and loads of action. If you want a nice easy zombie film to kick back with, look no further. It may be universally agreed that this was the series peak however, that has not stopped me from enjoying every film the franchise has put out. 

I am hopeful for a more true to source remake in the near future...

Next up...

Zombieland and Zombieland: Double Tap.

Time to Nut up or up..

This one is a double header and for good reason. If the thought of a semi serious zombie movie isn’t your idea of light entertainment then maybe kick back and lighten the mood with some dark comedy in the shape of Zombieland and its equally entertaining sequel. 

Released in 2009, Zombieland served as a very enjoyable and fun zombie romp. With one of the best kick ass opening sequences featuring one of my all time favourite songs, For Whom the bell tolls by Metallica to the backdrop of some OTT slo-mo zombie action. A great set up to the 88 minutes that follows.

Starring Woody Harrelson, Jessie Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, Zombieland is an awesome and fun look at these few survivors of a zombie apocalypse. We follow the protagonists as they attempt to maintain their status as living, and search for a Twinkie! A lot of laughs, a lot of blood, some gross out moments and an amazing star cameo set this up as not only one of the best zombie movies but one of the best comedies of the last few decades! 

When Amazon commissioned a pilot for a potential TV show, things seemed ok but when it was announced that said pilot would recast the characters, my heart sank. It seemed that hopes of an actual sequel were gone...The pilot under-performed and was inevitably benched. 

It would be another 5 years or so until news started to filter out that the original cast, Director and Writer were delivering a follow up.

10 years on from the original film and the promised follow up came in the shape of Double Tap (Rule #2 if we’re interested). What this film delivers is exactly what fans wanted to see, more of the same and more Tallahassee! What’s not to love? A few more cameos and a wider world is introduced but essentially, it’s more kick ass, mindless zombie action laced with awesome punchlines and fist bump moments! 

Take this entry as it was presented and make it a back to back double header! You will not regret it, even if you have seen them before, they’re always worth a watch...

Going back semi serious for next film although this one is actually a remake, it is one hell of a fun film!

Dawn of the Dead

As remakes go, this is certainly in my mind up there with the best. A remake of a Horror Classic, the amazing 1978 film of the same name was directed by the master, George A Romero and while his original vision was a raw and thought provoking entry into his “dead”  series, the remake gives us a much more formulaic film while being unbelievably fun to watch. 

We follow the characters as they hold up in the seemingly safe surrounds of a shopping mall. With hordes of zombies congregating on their location, they must make a break and escape the flesh hungry zombies! 

Running zombies, light comedy and even a zombie baby! On the surface, it might just be another cheesy zombie film but underneath the corn, there is a very gritty survival horror which in true Romero fashion, is bleak and shocking. Zack Snyder did very good job indeed!

With an ensemble cast consisting of Sarah Polley, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell and Ving Rhames just to name a few, DOTD hooks you in from its full on opening sequence and hauntingly brilliant Johnny Cash song, The Man Comes Around. You will not regret giving this one a watch!

As much as I love this film, whoever decided to follow on the trend and remake Day of the Dead... No! That film is only worthy of being on one list and it is not this one! 

I can’t make a list which includes Zombieland and not include our own homegrown UK entry into the comedy based zombie action. I have already made reference to this film at the beginning of this post so it seems only fitting to end on the same...

Shaun of the Dead

This is without a doubt one of my all time favourite movies and easily one of the best British films ever made!

From the team that gave us the amazing Cult classic that is Spaced, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg (minus Jessica Hynes/Stevenson - although she does make a cameo appearance).

When I was first introduced to Spaced as a wide eyed 16 year old, I was instantly hooked! Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes and Nick Frost as Tim, Daisy and Mike fast became my best friends I didn't even know. There was one episode in particular that endeared me to the character of Tim Bisley and in the broader sense, Simon Pegg. Series one Episode three. Tim spends much of the episode playing through Resident Evil 2 on the PlayStation. At the time, I was pretty much doing the same so I loved this without any second thought. So when I found out that this same team were bringing us a feature length zombie film, I patiently waited for the end result.

With the release of Shaun of the dead, I rushed to my local cinema and was not disappointed!

A perfect blend of dread and suspense interlaced with comedy and cultural references delivers the definitive Rom-Zom-Com which still stands worlds apart from all the pretenders who try to live up to the masterpiece that is Shaun of the Dead!

Shaun must save the day after being confronted with an increasingly dangerous zombie... (sorry, mustn't use the Z word!) outbreak. 

Starring Simon Pegg as the titular Shaun, Nick Frost as best mate Ed, Kate Ashfield as girlfriend Liz and a plethora of recognisable faces both from Spaced and the wider pool of great UK actors. Shaun of the Dead plays like a Romero fan-boys dream with a comedy timing that is often reserved for the best of the best.

If you haven't seen this film, I have to ask why. If you have seen it, good and watch it again, it never gets old!

So there we are, a few zombie films to pass the time. If you find yourself in isolation and looking for something to watch, stick one of these on and enjoy!

And if things get any worse, just remember;

Take car, go to Mum's, Kill Phil, grab Liz, go to the Winchester and wait for all of this to blow over...

How's that for a slice of fried gold?

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