Friday, May 11, 2007

From Joe Lansdale

Saw the zombie list. Nah, that's not a list. This is a list.
DAWN OF THE DEAD, original.
WHITE ZOMBIE, dated but still weird and creepy, best seen late at night.
DAY OF THE DEAD. Just nasty.
SHAWN OF THE DEAD, funny, but still creepy.
CARNIVAL OF SOULS, pushing it maybe, but still zombie enough.
That's nine, and that's all I got.

Update from Joe:
". . . whoever said I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE is right. That's a close tie with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD for my favorite. So, add it to the list, and take off CARNIVAL, (I picked it because it along with LAST MAN ON EARTH were strong influences on Romero, or so I've hard. Also, as everyone should know, LAST MAN and OMEGA MAN are both based on I AM LEGEND, which has also been an influence.

"But let's replace it with RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, which is good, and very funny. And now, I'm done. There are a few others that are interesting, like LAND OF THE DEAD, but not quite there, and just saw 28 WEEKS LATER, and it doesn't make it. First half is boring, annoying camera work, second half is kick ass. But too little too late."


  1. Gerard3:06 PM

    Did Lansdale do a Zombie book? Or am I confusing zombies with mummies and carnies?

  2. "Across the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks," which is a novella.

  3. Todd Mason3:52 PM

    And even His Own Self nods, leaving off I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE and trying to sneak a ghost movie, CARNIVAL OF SOULS, onto his list.

  4. I'm a fan of I Walked with a Zombie, but maybe it's not gory enough for Joe.

  5. Yeah, but JANE EYRE with calypso. C'mon.

  6. Todd Mason4:13 PM

    Jeff Segal reminds us that DEAD IN THE WEST might be relevant here. For the life of me I can't remember if the Dead there is/are zombie(s) or's been some years, even decades...and I'm middle-aged and tired...

  7. It's been a lot of years for me, too, but I think zombies is right.

  8. I always defer to Champion Joe in all matters zombie.

  9. Todd Mason7:54 PM

    You know, I also can't remember the zombie film Portland Hoffa and Fred Allen are trying to see while searching a vast cinema in vain for a pair of empty seats in IT'S IN THE BAG. I half suspect the makers of ZOMBIES OF THE STRATOSPHERE took that title from the film, in their 1950s opus (clearly, to me, BAG was mocking the titles foisted on the Lewton Unit films such as I WALKED).

  10. And as I recall, Zombies from the Stratosphere isn't really a zombie movie.

  11. Anonymous11:26 PM

    Todd Mason: The movie being shown in It's in the Bag ("Immediate seating on all floors!"), was Zombie in the Attic. But Portland wasn't in the movie, Binnie Barnes played Fred's wife. IITB is still one of the funniest comedies almost nobody's ever heard of, with Robert Benchley, Bill Bendix, Sidney Toler, John Carradine, Victor Moore, Rudy Vallee, Don Ameche, Minerva Pious as Mrs Nussbaum, and of course Jack Benny.

    Art Scott

  12. Jeff Meyerson6:04 AM

    Joe's list is a lot better than the first one. I've actually seen most of them.

    But Carnival of Souls? Uhuh.

  13. What about RAW MEAT? I'd also nominate the British PLAGUE OF THE DEAD from the mid-sixties which has maybe the best rising-from-the-grave scene (even though it's a dream in the movie). And, yes, I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE.

    I've never actually liked Romero's later zombie films - they seem not very well written and they certainly are badly acted.

  14. It's in the Bag is going on the Netflix queue. Assuming it's available on DVD.

  15. Which it's not. I remember now that I've checked before.

  16. Anonymous3:32 PM

    How could we leave off ZOMBIES ON BROADWAY?

  17. What do you mean, "we"?

  18. Fred Blosser11:04 AM

    You have to admit, ZOMBIES OF THE STRATOSPHERE is a kick-ass title, regardless of whether any zombies actually appeared in the film. Wasn't that actually a feature-length re-edit of a Commando Cody serial? And didn't Leonard Nemoy have a bit part, or was that another Republic SF serial re-edit that I'm thinking of? My Leonard Maltin movie/video book also mentions ZOMBIE ISLAND MASSACRE from 1984, memorable only because (as the review notes) "Ex-Abscam Congressional spouse (and Playboy subject) Rita Jenrette has three gratuitous nude scenes in the opening 20 minutes."

  19. Rita Jenrette was pretty good-looking, as I recall.

    Leonard Nimoy was in one of those Rocketman serials, all right, probably that one. He looked appropriately zombie-like.

  20. Todd Mason4:57 PM

    Art Scott--I should've remembered it was Barnes and ZOMBIE IN THE ATTIC, but it's definitely been decades since I've seen IT'S IN THE BAG, which probably is Fred Allen's best movie (an Allenified variation on THE TWELVE CHAIRS, with some bits of peripheral business working better than others, but comparable to one of the better radio shows, if not quite up to the best of them). Fred Blosser's memory of STRATOSPHERE is utterly correct...and if Joe Bob can manage to refer to CARNIVAL OF SOULS as a zombie film even while introducing it, Joe R. roping it in while thinking of its influence on NOTLD seems forgiveable. Juri, I still need to see both RAW MEAT and PLAGUE; my favorite recentish cheesy zombie films, the second RESIDENT EVIL exercise and VOODOO DAWN with Gina Gershon as a sharecropper, belong on no one's list.