Beyond the jump, we’ve listed a few flicks that some casual moviegoers might mistakenly describe as an exploration of the walking dead.
28 Days Later: Although a fantastic film on many levels, Danny Boyle’s “28 Days Later” isn’t part of the zombie canon. The creatures that inhabit this horrific post-apocalyptic world are victims of a rage-inducing plague, one that’s transferred by blood, but certainly doesn’t cause death then subsequent flesh-hungry resurrection.
Cabin Fever: Violent transformation caused by contagious infection? Check. Spewing blood out of the mouth like a great geyser? Check. Zombies? No. Eli Roth’s “Cabin Fever” is another classic example of disease changing man into something aggressive and grotesque, but certainly not into a soldier of the undead.
Death Becomes Her: In “Death Becomes Her,” Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn play filthy rich competitors that set out to kill each other – only to realize that they’re now immortal due to an eccentric cosmetic they’ve both used. While repeatedly suffering horrible accidents that would kill most humans, neither character ever truly dies – so even though they miraculously survive endless bouts of violence, they’re never resurrected, and can’t be classified as zombies.
The Evil Dead II: Sam Raimi’s cult classic horror film certainly deals with the dead, but protagonist Ashley J. Williams — played famously by Bruce Campbell — is really going up against a whole lot of bad voodoo, not so much an army of zombies. (That’s reserved for the next film.) Even the scene where he battles his monstrous lover Linda shouldn’t be classified as a zombie attack, as her body has been repossessed by evil spirits.
I Am Legend: The world of “I Am Legend” is certainly bleak and apocalyptic. Will Smith plays one of the last human survivors of a terrible outbreak that wipes out the majority of mankind and turns nearly everyone else into a Darkseeker, a creature with enhanced strength, agility, aggression and animosity towards uninfected human beings. But these creatures are actually a lot closer to vampires considering their aversion to sunlight and relative intelligence, qualities that are irregular by zombie standards.
Tell us which other alleged “zombie movies” aren’t really zombie movies at all in the comments and on Twitter!