Well, it’s official: zombies are the new vampires. Entertainment Weekly reports that both the CW and NBC are developing zombie-based primetime shows, a trend that surely has nothing to do with AMC’s successful first season of The Walking Dead last fall. So you know what this means: soon there will be sparkly zombie romance books and movies for the tweens, and a T&A-heavy HBO zombie series, and a terrible zombie spoof film by those Epic Movie dudes. We’ve already given you advice on how to brush up on your zombie history, but now you need to prep for the inevitable mainstreaming of zombie culture. And what’s the best way to do that? By familiarizing yourself with the more obscure entries in the undead canon. That’s right, you too can impress your hipster friends by scoffing that Day of the Dead is so mainstream.
And with that, we proudly present ten obscure zombie movies that are well worth your time. (HT to our buddy Jeremy Biltz for sharing some of his considerable zombie movie knowledge.)
Let Sleeping Corpsese Lie (aka The Living Dead of Manchester Morgue)
This 1974 horror film was directed by Jorge Graua. Though set in rural England, it was actually shot in Italy, its country of origin (its original Italian title was Non si deve profanare il sonno dei morti. IMDb lists a full 19 alternate titles — gotta love a movie that gives you options!). “Instead of feeling dated,” Pop Matters’ Bill Gibron writes, “as some ‘70s films find themselves, there’s a timeless quality to what this movie accomplishes. By looking to the past while focusing on the present, Grau gives us an experience to contemplate for decades to come. It’s a dark and very disturbing vision.” It’s also a load of fun, and all over pop culture as well: White Zombie named their career-spanning five-disc box set after it, and Edgar Wright pinpointed it as an influence for his hilarious Don’t! trailer in Grindhouse.