Does ‘Army of the Dead’ Make it Into My Top 10 Zombie Movies?

Netflix’s Army of the Dead is an over-the-top mashup of a Las Vegas heist movie and a zombie killfest. It has loads of action and some cool concepts, like a Siegfried & Roy zombie tiger. I loved the tiger and thought it was the best part of the movie.

However, like much that occurs in Vegas, it’s glitz over substance. The movie favors mindless action and stock characters over plot and character development. Your heart pounds while the film is playing, but you’re not really moved by any of the characters.

In fact, a few of the characters’ motivations are so improbable that I would have been happy to see them torn to shreds by the zombies. I mean, if you want to risk your life doing something so stupid …

I also found the film’s runtime—at a shade under two and a half hours—too long. The first part of the movie, during which Dave Bautista’s character Scott Ward relives his backstory and recruits his gang of thieves, drags.

I had such high hopes for the movie. It is written and directed by Zack Snyder, who is enjoying a lot of hype right now because of the recent release of his version of Justice League (2021). In addition, Bautista is one of my favorite actors.

The movie does have its moments, but I was a little disappointed. And no, it didn’t make my top 10. 

Those are, in descending order of personal preference:

10. Cooties (2014)

This movie demonstrates that zombie children can be fun. And the ensemble cast is great. Rainn Wilson’s character cracked me up. You try saying “dual rear wheels.”

9. Cargo (2017)

This Aussie post-apocalyptic film is original. It’s also the first in which I cried when a zombie died (or, more accurately, stayed dead and stopped moving).

8. Dawn of the Dead (2004):

Ironically, I preferred this Snyder-directed movie to Army of the Dead. I thought Dawn of the Dead was better written and had more heart. The movie is a remake of George Romero’s 1978 flick of the same name.

7. Resident Evil (2002)

Yes, the Resident Evil franchise went on for too long, but the first one is undeniably scary and groundbreaking.

6. Zombieland (2009)

Bill Murray as himself. ’Nuff said.

5. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

I admit it. This movie gave me belly laughs. I can't look at a pub in the same way. 

4. 28 Days Later (2002)

This movie brought us fast zombies, making them waaaayyy more badass and frightening. 

3. Train to Busan (2016)

This South Korean film is truly white-knuckle, edge-of-your-seat exciting. I think it brings the zombie genre up quite a few notches.

2. World War Z (2013)

World War Z cost big bucks (around $190 million) to make, and it shows in the slick production value and incredible, and memorable, action scenes. The action sequence in which Brad Pitt’s character flees before the zombie hordes hurtling over the walls of Jerusalem and pouring through the streets is nothing short of explosive.

A must-see for zombie fans.

1. Night of the Living Dead (1968)

This is my No. 1 despite the fact that it’s in black-and-white and has hardly any special effects other than makeup. I give it top billing because it is the movie that led to the modern zombie flicks that we’re watching today (with very few major changes, I may add). We have to give credit where credit is due.

Honorable mention: Rampant (2018)

I thought I’d mention this South Korean movie, which is one of my personal favorites because it combines zombies, sword fighting and period palace intrigue. Great special effects and well-choreographed fight and action sequences.


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