List: Worst Zombie Movies

Posted by Cory Casciato On November - 11 - 2009


Among the nearly 200 zombie movies I have seen, there have been some truly atrocious films. Not just bad mind you — in a genre so filled with amateurish, low-and-no-budget entries, bad is commonplace. No, we are talking about the truly, spectacularly terrible — movies that are difficult, painful or even brain damaging to sit through. Which I have done, because when it comes to zombies, I watch them all from the opening credits to the end credits, no matter how much it hurts. And some of these hurt bad. So to save you the trouble — or to provide the masochists with fodder for their self-abuse — I present these, the ten worst zombie movies I have had the misfortune to sit through. I don’t necessarily claim these are the worst of all time, just the worst I have seen. God forbid that there are actually worse, but in all honesty, there probably are. And I’ll get around to watching those eventually, too…

All of these except number 10 have full reviews elsewhere on the site, just click the “Full review here” link at the end of each entry if you need more detial. And a final note regarding ranking – don’t get too hung up on it. At this level of awfulness, these are all pretty much the worse movie you have ever seen.

10) Automaton Transfusion – I will never understand how anyone actually liked this movie. Apparently someone over at Bloody Disgusting liked it enough to call it one of the best zombie movies in years, if the blurb on the case is to be believed. That person should be fired and everything they have ever written destroyed, because this movie sucks. Apart from one minorly amusing, over-the-top gag involving a pregnant woman having her fetus ripped out by a zombie, there is nothing to like here. Fast zombies, plot and dialog that seem to be made up as they went along and lots of nonsensical running around killing zombies. It’s like some people decided to film their hyperactive nephews playing make-believe zombie apocalypse in the back yard. And if I didn’t hate it already by the time it ended, the ending made me want to put my head through the screen. The story simply stops, the words “To Be Continued” flash on screen, and it’s over. Um, Automaton Transfusion? Go fuck yourself. You will not be continued.

9) City of Rott – Horrible, cheap, stupid and slow, this one-man animated feature runs a mere 78 minutes but manages to feel like it lasts as least 178 minutes. There really needs to be a good, animated zombie apocalypse tale. This is most assuredly not it. (Read the full review)

8 ) Dead Moon Rising – Here’s a hint to the filmmakers. You do not tell your story exclusively through the use of asides directed at the camera/audience. And you most especially do not use a talentless, uncharismatic ass clown as your lead/narrator if you do. And you don’t make a major subplot involving him pissing himself and hating guns because of said pissing incident. And also … well, just don’t ever make another movie, okay? That’s probably simpler. (Full review here)

7) Deadlands: The Rising – I think someday that Gary Ugarek, the director/writer/producer/star of this turkey, will make a decent movie. This is his first effort, and it is not a decent movie. No one in it can act. The makeup and effects are nearly nonexistent. There is nothing to like about it. It is a confusing, talky, meandering, pointless, ill-conceived mess. His sequel, Deadlands 2: Trapped (that one is reviewed here), is several orders of magnitude better — enough to pull it out of the bottom ten, anyway — and it’s still kind of a mess. (Full review here)

6) Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill – It’s just your average cowboy zombie-ghost meets debating team held hostage by drug dealer story, so what’s not to like? Besides everything, I mean. Some of the worst cinematography, lighting, acting, writing, directing and effects ever. There was one girl who was kind of cute, though. (Full review here)

5) Violent Shit 3: Infantry of Doom – Just thinking about this makes me want to scream, then go take a long, hot shower in ammonia. Blech. Horrible, horrible German horribleness from Andreaas Schnaas. It was just one long orgy of rape, mutilation and mind-meltingly bad dubbing. I think there was a story of sorts, but it not only made no sense, it actively sought out and destroyed sense, so I can’t be sure. Fuck you Schnaas. (Full review here)

4) Everything Bruno Mattei ever directed – I’ve only seen three of Mattei’s films (there are at least two more that look to have zombies, god forbid…), but sweet brain pudding, they are fucking atrocious. And they kept getting worse as he made more! Hell of the Living Dead (aka Virus, aka Night of the Zombies, et al — read my reaction piece here) is almost not-bad enough to escape this list (it would probably sit around eleven, though) but Zombie 3 (credited to Lucio Fulci but widely known to have been directed by Mattei — read my reaction piece here) and Zombies the Beginning (review here) are seriously dangerous. I am pretty sure they both made me stupider and less attractive. They may have caused some sterility as well. Avoid anything and everything with his name on it, and thank god he can’t make any more films (he’s dead, see).

3) Dead and Deader – This one deserves a special slot in hell, because it takes a recognizable cast, some decent production values (and thus probably a decent budget) and a midget and manages to make a shit sandwich out of it. This is one of the few movies that left me genuinely angry. Seriously, if I met the director, I might still be tempted to punch the guy. It also made me hate Dean Cain even more, but that was its only good point. (Full review here)

2) Zombie Lake – It couldn’t be a bottom ten list without at least one Nazi zombie movie, could it? The zombies in this just had green paint smeared on their faces. There’s a subplot about a daughter whose father is one of the zombies that makes no sense, but does provide some touching zombie/daughter moments. It’s slow, painful to watch and utterly sleazy. Okay, that last point is actually a compliment — this movie is chock full of hot French nude girl, which was probably a reason to watch it before the advent of Internet porn. Now it only dulls the pain enough to stop you from scratching your eyes out of your head. (Full review here)

1) Zombie Night – Oh, how I hate thee, Zombie Night. You no-budget, shot-on-video, Canadian piece of shit. It’s a complete rip off of Night of the Living Dead, but that’s actually its best feature. It was completely impossible to get any gauge of the timescale of the film — does it take place over a couple of nights, or over a couple of months? People came and went seemingly at random, despite it apparently being the end of the world. Technically deficient, narratively challenged and wholly unlikable, it felt endless — seriously, somewhere in my mind, I feel like I am still watching Zombie Night, and in that place I am screaming and screaming and praying for the sweet release of death. (Full review here)

16 Responses to “List: Worst Zombie Movies”

  1. Jay Clarke says:

    haha, there’s definitely some shit in here. Can you believe I actually saw Automation in a theater?! It ACTUALLY played a film festival here. Augh, Zombie Night! All I remember from that movie was the ridiculously excessive use of foley. I’d replace Zombie Lake – as any movie with a “hot French nude girl” automically disqualifies it from being any worst list – with Oasis Of The Zombies, or zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz for short.

  2. Craig Varian says:

    Jay, you are reading my mind! I was going to say the exact same thing about Zombie Lake (which I actually liked better than Dead Snow) and Oasis of the Zombies. I have a pristine “Filmland” pressing of “Oasis” on VHS, but the packaging is definitely the nicest part…. Especially because on the bottom of the cover it says “This video film should not be rented to or viewed by persons under 18 years of age”. I’m assuming the part that should have read “because it’s boring as FUCK” was somehow cropped off.

  3. Craig Varian says:

    Also, surprised “City of the Walking Dead” wasn’t on here, but I haven’t seen most of these others. Can only imagine how bad they must be…

  4. Whoa, I can see replacing Zombie Lake with Oasis (six of one, half dozen…) even though I found a strange watchability to Oasis (and didn’t it have nudity too? Did I dream that?) that Lake was sorely lacking. But Lake better than Dead Snow? That is just crazy talk.

    And City of the Walking Dead aka Nightmare City? Not on here because despite being unquestionably terrible, it is also hilarious and entertaining in spite of itself. I mean, it’s worth it for the attack on the aerobics studio alone!

    Also Jay, not only did Zombie Night overuse Foley, it was the WORST FOLEY EVER CONCEIVED BY MAN. And that is no exaggeration.

  5. Vince says:

    Hi Cory, this is an excellent top ten list. Haven’t seen all of these, but I am inspired to go onto Netflix to add them to my queue. I also gives me good material for our annual pumpkin carving party there we watch bad scary movies outside on a projector screen. You can cross-post this to our site and link back to your site. We are trying to create a directory for top ten lists where people can find your site. The coolest feature is you can let other people vote on the rankings of your list.

  6. edsalkeld says:

    Zombie Lake? That’s surely one that goes full circle and enters the ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ list? I love that film.

    And @Cory (above) Nightmare City is a BRILLIANT film. Nothing you can say could possibly change that. It’s awesome.

  7. Craig Varian says:

    Ha! I stand corrected about Nightmare City – I had completely forgotten about the aerobics scene which was indeed 100% awesome. Cinema Gold. In that same vein, I love the gym scenes in Demons 2, especially the horrible, borderline racist, Mr. T inspired phony black dialog from the trainer (that you know HAD to have been dubbed in a white guy). Pure hilarity.

    That same strange watchability you find in Oasis, I also find in Zombie Lake – there’s something so perplexing about ZL and minimalist about it (especially the “spooky” organ score) that I find myself drawn into it and quickly zoning out, except for occasional bouts of laughter. I feel the same way about The Ghostly Galleon. And wasn’t there plenty of scenes of Swedish nudity in ZL? Been about 10 years since I’ve seen it.

    Working off of edsalkeld’s comment above, how about a ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ list? Hell, a book could be written about that, or at the very least a documentary. Maybe it should get its own website. Come to think of it, I would say SBIG is my preferred type of zombie film…

    As for Dead Snow, it had a nice look (and a classic kill or two) but I thought it crossed the line from outright homage to other films into being unoriginal. It was big and loud and fun while it lasted (certainly nothing wrong with that), but nothing really memorable. For Nazi-Zombie movies, I’ll take the sheer hypnotic ineptness of Zombie Lake over the bombastic mediocrity of Dead Snow any day.

  8. Taylor says:

    Check out undead or alive. Western zombie flick with chris kattan the guy from desperate housewives and Brian poesehn. Its a steaming pile of shit.

  9. @taylor – I have seen Undead or Alive (you can find the review on the site) and while it was admittedly bad, it was better than everything else here by a long shot.

  10. […] movie. But it isn’t one of the worst — I wouldn’t replace any of the movies on my worst movies list with this, and it isn’t even […]

  11. Jeff says:

    Maybe not top ten worst. But I think Zombie Diaries is one of the worst movies ever put into my favorite genre. I completely agree that Automaton Transfusion was bad in ways that may give you cancer. How any grown human being can say that’s a good movie is beyond me. “Hey, there is a ton of zombies outside. If I close the door, they magically disappear until we try to leave. Then they are everywhere!”

  12. Noah from Chicago says:

    Fortunately for me I haven’t seen most of the movies on this list but I have seen some bad ones. Zombie 3, 4 & 5 were all terrible. Automaton Transfusion was a piece of garbage as well. However, the two that take the cake are Seventh Moon and Vampires vs. Zombies. Save yourself the boredom and frustration and skip all the ones I’ve mentioned. The only reason to watch these movies is if you’re a filmmaker in need of examples of what NOT to do when making a zombie movie.

  13. Martin says:

    ere mate u forget zombie wars its the worst sack of shit ive ever seen near the top of the list of worst films (superhero movie is amongst them) it was just so horribly cheesy and low budget and shit

  14. Zombie Shakespeare says:

    Zombie Night is a truly horrible movie, but I found it so unbelievably awful that it was enjoyable on some level. The piped in background noise often made it seem as if there was a dinner party somewhere off screen and I could have sworn that the main character is running around most of the movie with a cap gun in hand.
    I think Zombie Diaries is the worst zombie movie I’ve seen. I couldn’t keep the characters straight and it was so boring that I didn’t even care to try. It also seemed that all of the zombie actors were given the same direction: “OK, tilt your head to the right, hands at your sides, and sway back and forth,”
    Call me crazy, but I thought Automaton Transfusion was decent. Not the best I’ve seen, but there is certainly a lot worse.

  15. Budolf says:

    Hey man, excellent list! I could not agree with you more, especially with the first three! If you’re looking for something completly opposite, check this out:

  16. deuce says:

    that bruno one was funny… say do you think that if he came back as a zombie his zombie movies would get better? there’s a thought: his movies get better after he’s dead. lol

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