Zombie Movie Gallery: 1932-2013

Ever since WHITE ZOMBIE (1932) introduced movie audiences to the classic image of the zombie (a mindless revived corpse, directed by a Voodoo houngan [priest]), the restless dead have been shambling across the silver screen in various shapes and sizes, eventually throwing off the shackles of their masters and developing strange new appetites (first for human flesh, then for brains). Here is a representative sample.
WHITE ZOMBIE: Murder Legendre (Bela Lugosi, left) directs his mindless minions.
WHITE ZOMBIE (1932): Murder Legendre (Bela Lugosi, left) directs his mindless minions. The corpses have no will of their own; the film’s true monster is their master.
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Revolt of the Zombies (1936) posits the idea of an unstoppable undead army in WWI.
REVOLT OF THE ZOMBIES (1936): This week follow-up to WHITE ZOMBIE posits the idea of an unstoppable undead army in WWI – offering the first suggestion of zombies as a worldwide threat.
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The Ghost Breakers (1940): This is probably the first zombie film to mix horror and comedy. Although the zombie (Noble Johnson) is revealed to be a fake planted to scare away Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard, his scenes are played for scares more than laughs.
THE GHOST BREAKERS (1940): This is probably the first zombie film to mix horror and comedy. Although the zombie (Noble Johnson) is revealed to be a fake planted to scare away Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard, his scenes are played for scares more than laughs.
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King of the Zombies (1941): Comic actor Mantan Moreland gets some laughs from his reaction to WWII era zombies, under the direction of a Nazi scientist.
KING OF THE ZOMBIES (1941): Comic actor Mantan Moreland gets some laughs from his reaction to traditional-looking zombies, who turn out to be under the direction of a Nazi scientist.
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I Walked with a Zombie (1943): Darby Jones as the zombie Carrefour, in the classic produced by Val Lewton
I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943): Darby Jones as the zombie Carrefour, in the classic produced by Val Lewton. The Voodoo element is strongly represented here. Directed by Jacques Tourneur, this is probably the greatest film every made using the traditional zombie theme.
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Zombies of Mora Tau (1957): This low-budget effort is memorably only for the novel concept of water-logged zombies guarding a sunken treasure.
ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU (1957): This low-budget effort is memorably only for the novel concept of water-logged zombies guarding a sunken treasure.
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Night of the Living Dead (1968): Though the word "zombie" is never mentioned, George A. Romero's film changed the genre forever, reinventing the walking dead as cannibal corpses, driven by instinct to consume the living.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968): Though the word “zombie” is never mentioned, George A. Romero’s film changed the genre forever, reinventing the walking dead as cannibal corpses, driven by instinct to consume the living. Romero wrote but did not direct the 1990 color remake – a worthwhile film, but not classic.
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Tombs of the Blind Dead (1971): Amando de Ossorio's film introduced the zombie-like Knights Templar, who would return in three sequels. Despite their desiccated appearance, the Templars were more of an undead cult than mindless corpses.
TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD (1971): Amando de Ossorio’s film introduced the zombie-like Knights Templar, who would return in three sequels. Despite their desiccated appearance, the Templars were more of an undead cult than mindless corpses.
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Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (a.k.a., The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, 1974): This Spanish film, obviously inspired by NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, is the first to show zombie cannibal carnage in color.
LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE (a.k.a., THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE, 1974): This Spanish film, obviously inspired by NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, is the first to show zombie cannibal carnage in color.
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Dawn of the Dead (1978): George A. Romero's sequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD offers cinema's first vision of the zombie apocalypse, which plays out in the microcosm of a shopping mall.
DAWN OF THE DEAD (1978): George A. Romero’s sequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD offers cinema’s first vision of the zombie apocalypse, which plays out in the microcosm of a shopping mall. Tom Savini’s graphic makeup effects, including exploding heads and disemboweled intestines, set the standard for all zombie films to follow.
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Zombie (a.k.a., Zombie 2, 1979): Directed by Lucio Fulci, this Italian film the graphic splatter approach of DAWN OF THE DEAD with the zombies' more traditional roots in Voodoo. The result launched an army of Italian zombie gorefests.
ZOMBIE (a.k.a., ZOMBIE 2, 1979): Directed by Lucio Fulci, this Italian film combines the graphic splatter approach of DAWN OF THE DEAD with the zombies’ more traditional roots in Voodoo. The result, presented as an ersatz sequel to DAWN OF THE DEAD (which was released as ZOMBIE in Europe) launched an army of Italian zombie gorefests.
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The Beyond (1981): Director Lucio Fulci offers two kinds of living dead: corporeal walking corpses and a more magical variety, able to appear and disappear at will
THE BEYOND (1981): Director Lucio Fulci offers two kinds of living dead: corporeal walking corpses and a more magical variety, able to appear and disappear at will.
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The Evil Dead (1981): Sam Raimi's sleeper hit features human bodies possessed and sometimes resurrected by evil spirits. The grim, low-budget intensity echoes THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.
THE EVIL DEAD (1981): Sam Raimi’s sleeper hit features human bodies possessed and sometimes resurrected by evil spirits. The grim, low-budget intensity echoes THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The 2013 remake emphasized the possession angle, so that there were few if any walking corpses on screen.
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Return of the Living Dead (1985): Dan O'Bannon's black-comedy pseudo-sequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD re-imagines zombies as unkillable brain-eaters.
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (1985): Dan O’Bannon’s black-comedy pseudo-sequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD re-imagines zombies as unkillable brain-eaters.
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Re-Animator (1985): Stuart Gordon's unrated gore film offered a more energetic species of living dead, resurrected by Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs)' formula.
RE-ANIMATOR (1985): Stuart Gordon’s unrated gore film offered a more energetic species of living dead, resurrected by Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs)’ formula.
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Diary of the Dead (1985): Romero's third living dead film presents us with the world's first "domesticated" zombie, Bub (Sherman Howard), capable of some primitive human thought.
DAY OF THE DEAD (1985): Romero’s third living dead film presents us with the world’s first “domesticated” zombie, Bub (Sherman Howard), capable of some primitive human thought. Romero would continue to explore the zombie apocalypse in LAND OF THE DEAD, DIARY OF THE DEAD, and SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD.
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Evil Dead 2 (1987): Sam Raimi's sequel to THE EVIL DEAD (1981) pushes the unrated gore to comic levels.
EVIL DEAD 2 (1987): Sam Raimi’s sequel to THE EVIL DEAD (1981) pushes the unrated gore to comic levels.
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The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988): Wes Craven's film, based on a non-fiction book, returned zombies to their West Indies roots, suggesting a realistic explanation: drugs to induce mindless catatonia.
THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1988): Wes Craven’s film, based on a non-fiction book, returned zombies to their West Indies roots, suggesting a realistic explanation: drugs to induce mindless catatonia.
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Braindead (a.k.a. "Dead Alive," 1992): A pre-Tolkein Peter Jackson tries to outdo Sam Raimi in the gleeful gore department, and almost succeeds.
BRAINDEAD (a.k.a. “Dead Alive,” 1992): A pre-Tolkein Peter Jackson tries to outdo Sam Raimi in the gleeful gore department, and almost succeeds.
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Resident Evil (2002): based on the popular game, writer-director Paul W. S. Anderson's film offered a videogame version of zombie violence.
RESIDENT EVIL (2002): based on the popular vidoegame, writer-director Paul W. S. Anderson’s film offered an amped-up version of zombie violence. Several sequels followed, the best being RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION (2012)
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28 Days Later (2002): Instead of traditional zombies, director Danny Boyle's film featured living people infected by a virus that drives them to mindless homicidal rage.
28 DAYS LATER (2002): Instead of traditional zombies, director Danny Boyle’s film featured living people infected by a virus that drives them to mindless homicidal rage – an idea used by George A. Romero way back in THE CRAZIES (1973). The sequel 28 WEEKS LATER expands upon and surpasses the original.
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Dawn of the Dead (2004): This remake of Romero's classic substitutes speedy zombies in place of the familiar shambling walkers. It's entertaining in a slick professional way, with some good characterization, but it lacks the social satire of the original.
DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004): This remake of Romero’s classic substitutes speedy zombies in place of the familiar shambling walkers. It’s entertaining in a slick professional way, with some good characterization, but it lacks the social satire of the original.
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Shaun of the Dead (2004): Riffing off Romero's films, this comedy combines the zombie apocalypse with a love story; the end offers another glimpse of a domesticated zombie.
SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004): Riffing off Romero’s films, this comedy combines the zombie apocalypse with a love story; the end offers another glimpse of a domesticated zombie.
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Fido (2006): Billy Connolly plays a literally domesticated zombie, serving a human household as combination butler-pet.
FIDO (2006): Billy Connolly plays a literally domesticated zombie, serving a human household as combination butler-pet.
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[rec[ (2007): This Spanish film filtered zombies through the lens of a hand-held shaky-cam, in the style of "found footage" films. The explanation for the zombies is a combination of virus and supernatural, an idea explored in the first of two sequels. There was also an American remake, QUARANTINE.
[REC] [ (2007): This Spanish film filtered zombies through the lens of a hand-held shaky-cam, in the style of “found footage” films. The explanation for the zombies is a combination of virus and supernatural evil, an idea explored in the first of two sequels. There was also an American remake, QUARANTINE.
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I Am Legend (2007): Are they vampires or zombies? It's not clear, but thanks to the star power of Will Smith, this adaptation of Richard Matheson's novel reached a wider audience than any zombie movie before.
I AM LEGEND (2007): Are they vampires or zombies? It’s not clear, but thanks to the star power of Will Smith, this adaptation of Richard Matheson’s novel reached a wider audience than any zombie movie before.
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Dead Snow (2009): Nazis-had been done before but never better than in this somewhat comic horror film from Norway
DEAD SNOW (2009): Nazis-had been done before but never better than in this somewhat comic horror film from Norway
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Zombieland (2009): This comedy took the concept of zombies as living humans infected by a virus, and turned it into blockbuster success at the box office.
ZOMBIELAND (2009): This took the 28 DAYS LATER concept of zombies as virus-infected-humans, and mainstreamed it for the masses with a comedic approach, achieving blockbuster success.
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The Crazies (2010): This remake of George A. Romero's 1973 film offers another version of viral zombies - not the living dead, but infected humans.
THE CRAZIES (2010): This remake of George A. Romero’s 1973 film offers another version of viral zombies – not the living dead, but infected humans.
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The Walking Dead (2010-2013): This AMC series, based on Robert Kirkman's graphic novel, hews close to the zombie concept laid down by Romero but appealed to non-genre fans with its characterization and story-telling
THE WALKING DEAD (2010-2013): This AMC series, based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel, hews close to the zombie concept laid down by Romero but appealed to non-genre fans with its characterization and story-telling. The graphic make up and effects are courtesy of Greg Nicotero, who had assisted Tom Savini on DAY OF THE DEAD.
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Warm Bodies (2013): This comedy-romance gives us zombies with a heart as "R" (Nicholas Hoult) finds his human emotions revived when he falls in love with Julie (Teresa Palmer)
WARM BODIES (2013): This comedy-romance gives us zombies with a heart as “R” (Nicholas Hoult) finds his human emotions revived when he falls in love with Julie (Teresa Palmer).
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World War Z (2004): This big-budget blockbuster played out the zombie apocalypse on a bigger scale than ever before.
WORLD WAR Z (2013): This big-budget blockbuster played out the zombie apocalypse on a bigger scale than ever before.
[serialposts]

Hollywood's Scariest Haunted Houses

Yes, the housing bubble has burst; home sales are down. The news sounds bad, but there is a silver lining: namely, it’s a buyer’s market! With the world’s latest haunted house movie,  THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT, opening today, what better time for interested shoppers to investigate the possibility of purchasing their very own haunted house? With that in mind, Cinefantastique Online offers this catalogue of the finest spooky manses, decaying domiciles, awful apartments, murderous mansions, and cob-webbed castles ever imagined by demented writers and constructed by the Hollywood art department for your haunting pleasure. You want the Top Ten Haunted Houses? We have more than twice that many listings. These properties may not have always appeared in the best movies, but each has its own particular selling points.
A word of explanation: Ghosts and haunted houses are considered to be synonymous, and they do often go hand in hand; however, there is a distinction to be made. Most viewers understand that RING, although a ghost story, is about a cursed videotape, not a haunted house; however, a number of reference sources list THE SIXTH SENSE among haunted house movies – even though the ghosts are not limited to a particular location. All of the houses in our listings feature localized phenomena; the ghosts, ghoulies, and long-leggedly beasties that go bump in the night may make an occasional excursion to the outside world, but they are permanent residents whose ethereal existence seems somehow tied to their haunted homesteads.


CASTLES

Looking for something suitably grand and top-of-the-line? Castles tend to be more the province of vampires and/or evil aristocracy in the Gothic tradition, but there are a few that feature genuine ghosts.
Blackwood Castle in DANSE MACABRE (a.k.a. CASTLE OF BLOOD, 1964).
Lord Blackwood has listed his English family estate with us (a fine old Gothic ruin that perfectly embodies the archetype of a haunted house); however, it is not for sale or even, precisely speaking, for rent. Interested parties, however, are invited to spend the night, alone, free of charge – free, that is, except for a wager that you will not live to see the sunrise. Unlike the Allardyce House and the Belasco House (see below), Blackwood Castleis not haunted because of anything intrinsic to its nature; rather, it is merely been the scene of much murder and mayhem that results in the death of the body but not of the spirit, resulting in an impressive haunting. The castle features numerous amenities and selling points:

  • Crypt (conveniently located in the cellar)
  • Hypnotic painting (subject appears to be alive, eventually manifests in person)
  • At least seven ghosts (as of last count). These are vampiric in nature, requiring the blood of the living in order to sustain themselves. They vary in appearance from perfectly normal to hideously corpse-like; in some cases, they are so beautiful and alluring that you might not mind never leaving.
  • Pets: at least one black cat on premises
  • Selling points: Visited (or at least glimpsed) by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Known fatalities: 8

Buyer beware: Survival rate of previous guests who have accepted Lord Blackwood’s wager is zero.
Asking price: not for sale. Market value difficult to determine due to Lord Blackwood understandable reluctance to have the property appraised (the last attempt ended in disaster). Since the value derives from the ghosts, who could easily be dispatched bywithholding the annual victim, we would estimate its value to haunt-seekers at $4-million.

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Noble Johnson as one of the undead inhabitants of Windward Castle
Noble Johnson as one of the undead (or is he?)inhabitants of Windward Castle

Castillo Maldito in THE GHOST BREAKERS (1940).
This crumbling Cuban Castle, located on a small island off the coast, is reportedly haunted by several phantoms – and a zombie! Some of these selling points may be a bit exaggerated; we have not been able to authenticate all phenomena as genuine, but then, that was typical of the many spooky mansions constructed during this era. Seen in films like THE BAT WHISPERS (1930), THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932), and THE CAT AND THE CANARY (1939, these dilapidated dwellings feature creaking floor boards, whistling winds, secret panels, and hidden chambers – not to mention oddball residents as scary as any ghost. We avoid listing these properties in our catalogue, because most of them turn out not to be haunted. Yet Castle Maldito is an exception.
Amenities & Selling Points:

  • Hidden treasure
  • One authenticated (or at least not debunked) ghost. Although superficially similar to the decaying family mansion in CAT AND THE CANARY (which also starred Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard), Castle Maldito leaves at least one ghost unexplained at the end. This gives the castle claim to being Hollywood’s first truly haunted house. This historical importance does not come cheap.

Asking price: $1.5-million.


COUNTRY HOMES AND MANSIONS

Perhaps the most likely place to find a ghost is an an old mansion or country house. Haunting is especially prevalant in England, where the houses are older and have had more opportunity to aquire ghosts, but there are a few good ones in America, too.

The Allardyce House in BURNT OFFERINGS (1976).
This large Victorian mansion in the California countryside looks like a bit of a dump at first – run down, with paint chipped and boards peeling – but if you give it a chance, it’s  a real fixer-upper that requires amazingly little effort on the part of its (human) renters. This is one of those rare haunted houses that seems to be malevolent in its own right: there are no signs of surviving personalities; the house itself is the haunt.
Amenities & Selling Points:

  • The house comes equipped with a pool, but swimmers are advised to beware of unexpected waves.
  • Self-reparing home. Just move in, and in no time at all the house will almost literally grow on you, shedding its old shingles like a snake shedding its skin, to reveal the glossy appearance hiding beneath the old facade.
  • Known fatalies: 3

Buyer Beware:

  • The upper chimney may not be stable, so keep your eyes open for falling bricks.
  • The upper window (to Mrs. Allardyces’ room) probably needs to be replaced.
  • The rent is reasonable, but there are strings attached, such as having to leave food outside an upper room for old Mrs. Allardyce, an apparent (and unseen) agoraphobic who insists on remaining at home, even when strangers have rented the place.

Asking price: not for sale. Market value varies, most recently appraised at $750,000.

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The Belasco House in THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (1974).
This is one of the premiere properties in our catalogue, the so called “Mount Everest of Haunted Houses.” Lovingly designed by original owner Emeric Belasco in 1919, this extensive mansion features ornate quarters, spacious living areas, and its own chapel.
Amenities and Selling Points:

  • Unlike most of the houses in our catalogue, this English mansion was deliberately constructed to be a “haunted house”: it features an innner sanctum sheathed in lead to create a sort of battery containing psychic energy.
  • This power source fuels a wide range of psychic phenomena, both mental and physical: ectoplasm, shaking tables, self-igniting fireplaces.
  • Guests may also enjoy the amorous attention of an unseen visitor at no extra cost.
  • Number of ghosts: one (but appears to be more)
  • Confirmed fatalies: 40
  • Pets: There is a sort of house mascot in the form of a black cat, who gives new meaning to the phrase “bad kitty!”

Buyer Beware:

  • Those with repressed sexual desires and/or a naive faith in their own ability to exorcise the house are advised to say away.
  • Watch out for spinal and/or leg injuries.

Asking price: $9-million

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Bly House in THE INNOCENTS (1960).
This excellent English country mansion is one of the jewels in our crown, a beautiful property with high turrets, large rooms, a lake, and expansive grounds (although the surrounding terrain is a bit treacherous, especially if you have tipped one too many at the local pub). As with Blackwood Castle, there is nothing inherent in the structure of Bly that makes it haunted; it simply happens to be inhabited by ghosts.
Amenities and Selling Points:

  • Number of ghosts: 2, Quint and Miss Jessel. These are a rather quiet, incommunicative, and diffident pair, given to appearing at unexpected moments, more for the sake of causing mental unease than for actually doing anything overtly malevolent. However, presence can be quite disconcerting when they make the effort, with shadows and voices combining for a nightmarish effect in the wee hours of the morning.

Buyer Beware:

  • Several residents have claimed not to see any ghosts at all in Bly.
  • Please be advised that we do not recommend this property for families with children, who seem to be peculiarly susceptible to the influence of Quint and Jessel.
  • If you require servants, try to hire a governess who is (1) can swim and (2) is not a neurotic spinster given to doing more harm than good while trying to defend her charges against a supernatural conspiracy.

Asking price: $3-million

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The Dutch Colonial House in THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979 & 2005).
This lovely home on Ocean Avenue on the South Shore of Long Beach, New York is one of the most famous properties in our catalogue, but it no longer attracts the attention of most serious shoppers. It was quite popular back in 1979, but since then the value has dropped precipitously, thanks to scurilous rumors that it may not actually be haunted; in fact, there are some who say that the whole thing was made up. Nevertheless, the property’s lovely facade, with upper front windows that suggest menacing eyes, is quite an attractive selling point for buyers who require only that their house look haunted.
Asking price: $500,000.

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Fort Marmorus in THE BLACK CAT(1934).
Or more precisely, the house built by Satanic architect Hjalmar Poelzig upon the remains of the fort. Unlike most of the houses listed in our catalogue, this one has a distinctly modern look – bright, with clean lines and wide open spaces; fortunately, there are some dark corridors, for tradition’s sake. Whether or not the house is, strictly speaking, haunted, is another matter. Rather like our other Poe-inspired property, the House of Usher (see below), Poelzig’s manor seems embued with psychic influences, in this case the result of the many hundreds of souls who perished on the battlefield during the first world war; the skeptical may consider this to be “supernatural baloney,” but some visitors have succumbed to the uneasy atmosphere, turning temporarily “mediumistic” under its palpable influence.
Amenities & Selling Points:

  • Located conveniently close to a cemetery (see picture)
  • Numerous glass cases displaying the preserved bodies of former wives.
  • Dynamite in basement for easy self-destruct
  • Confirmed fatalies: 100s – or even thousands – if one counts those who died on the surrounding battliefields.

Buyer Beware:

  • Even the phone is dead.
  • While this house may not be for everyone, it is an unusual find for just the right purchaser, one who doesn’t require howling banshees and clanking chains, but prefers a more subtle shade of psychic influence.

Asking price: $1-million.

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Gull Cottage in THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947).
Other realtors may hesitate to show this house, for fear of its haunted reputation, but we are more than eager to go the extra mile on your behalf, assuming that you will not be intimidate by the ghost of a brusque British sea captain. The cottage is a quaint, comfy abode witha nautical theme to its decor, and the view of the ocean is beautiful. Quiet, serene, and beautiful, it is a perfect seaside home for a widow raising a child. If not for an unfortunate accident with a gas lamp, it would not be haunted at all; fortunately, Captain Gregg is one of the most interesting and accommodating of ghosts – if you can get on his good side. If you are concerned about the propriety of living under the same room with a man to whom you are not married, just remember: he’s a ghost, so he doesn’t have a body.
Amenities:

  • Number of ghosts: 1 (or 2)
  • Captain Gregg is very effective at removing unwanted guests

Asking price: $1-million

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The Haunted Mansion in THE HAUNTED MANSION (2003).
This is another property we are eager to unload. The house itself looks great, and its name is certainly promising, but the ghosts inside just don’t cut it. They try their best, but they’ve got no real spirit. They’re less like phantoms from the beyond than like…recycled gags from a theme park attraction.
Asking price: $300,000

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Hill House in THE HAUNTING (1963). Built by Hugh Crain for his young wife (who died on the way to seeing it) this certainly the jewel in our crown, our most prized and coveted listing. Why? Because of all the haunted houss in this catalogue, this is the one that appears to be self-haunting. Many have died there, and indeed some may have remained in spirit form, but Hill House appears to have been born bad – a malign place before the first resident ever set foot in it – and those who perished within are more victim than ghosts. In short, there is little chance that whatever walks there will be exorcised as long as the house itself remains standing, which it has done for 80 years and might do for 80 more. It is an expert if eccentric piece of architecture, with no right angles; although the tiny variations are individually imperceptible to the eye, they add up to a virtual maze, wherein one can never be sure what lurks beyond each new door. The construction is superb: walls are upright; bricks meet neatly; floors are firm. Current owner has considered reconverting the building into a nightclub, but no plans are in the works.
Amenities & Selling Points:

  • The avid psychic investigator will be pleased to find that the house offers a distinctive “cold spot” (the heart of the haunting).
  • Musical instruments do not quite play themselves but they do resonate with ambient tones.
  • Doors close by themselves when not watched; when they are watched, these closed doors bend inward as if pressed by some sinister unseen force from outside.
  • Loud pouding noises at night
  • Confirmed fatalities: 5
  • Number of ghosts: the haunt does not manifest surviving, invididual personalities

Buyer Beware:

  • Staircase in need of repair.
  • Treacherous driveway
  • Look out for the writing on the walls
  • If you feel a hand holding yours in the night, for god’s sake, turn on a light to confirm whether it is indeed your fellow investigator, frightened into silence, or…something else.

Asking price: $10-million

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The House of Usher in THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (1960).
This ancient family mansion might not appeal to the average avid haunt fan, but it would be the perfect purchase for a buyer with the proper aesthetic appreciation. The problem is that it is not, technically, a haunted house; rather, it seems to be imbued witha miasma of intangible atmosphere. Even Hill House, by the end, appears to contain at least one genuine ghost, but the House of Usher really is its own monster – a vessel for the accumulated decadence of the family that has inhabited it for so long. This manifests in the occasional balustrade giving way (was the wood rotted, or was the housetrying to dispose of an unwanted guest?) and in the general decline of the two surviving family members, one of whom suffers from catalepsy.
Amenities & Selling Points:

  • Family crypt conveniently located in basement
  • Confirmed fatalies: the entire Usher family
  • Number of ghosts: none (unless you count their appearance in a dream)
  • The house is the monster

Buyer Beware:

  • The house is in need of some repair; in particular, that big crack running through the outside wall needs to be fixed before the entire structure splits in two and sinks into the tarn.
  • If you bury someone in the crypt, make sure the door is locked – so they can’t get out!

Asking price: $1-million.

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The Old Country House in THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (1970).
We have just about given up on this one. The previous retailer assured us that this house was some kind of karmic balance adjuster, dishing out just deserts to its inhabitants according to what they deserved. But on further investigation, we discovered that the house – despite its notorious name – had little or no blood on its…er, hand? (No – well how about no blood on its window panes?) The victims either died in other locations (like a wax museum), were felled by problems that pre-dated their residency, or brought into the house outside objects that were the real culprit (like a mysterious vampire’s cloak). It’s not a bad piece of property, but haunted?
Confirmed fatalities: 5 (not counting those who died outside the house)
Asking price: We’d like to unload it for $250,000.

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The Remote Country House in THE OTHERS (2001).
This graceful estate on the isle of Jersey is somewhat in the style of Bly House. In the manner of haunted houses, it is big and dark and beautiful. It features the traditional fog-bound atmosphere, but with an interesting distinction: the fog seems to be literally impenetrable, as if the house were shrouded from the outside world, cut off in some kind of limbo land all its own.
Amenities & Selling Points:

  • A piano plays itself in an empty room.
  • A figure that initially presents as an innocent child turns out to be a hideous hag
  • Confirmed fatalities: 3 (not counting a husband who died overseas in the war)
  • Number of ghosts: 3, 6, or 7 (depending on the occasion)

Buyer Beware: Residents may expect to experience different phenomena, depending on their point of view.
Asking price: $1.5-million.

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The Winward House in THE UNINVITED (1944). Like Gull Cottage, this is a lovely seaside residence located conveniently close to the ocean. It does not provide the outward appearance of being haunted; consequently, it has no trouble aquiring residents unprepared for the phenomena within. Up until 1944, most old dark houses turned out not to be haunted after all; following the comedic THE GHOST BREAKERS (1940), this is probably the first Hollywood movie to present a genuine haunted house seriously. This lends the property, with its muted thrills and subtle suggestions of horror, an almost inestimable historical value.
Amenities & Selling Points:

  • Cold spots
  • Flowers that wilt in the blink of an eye
  • The melancholy sobbing of an unseen woman
  • Confirmed fatalities: 3
  • Number of ghosts: 2

Buyer Beware: that seaside cliff is treacherous!
Asking price: $5-million.


HOTELS

Perhaps you are not looking for a permanent residence but only a place for a pleasantly haunted stay? Or maybe you are looking to get into the haunt business yourself – purchase a property and rent it out to others? Here are some prime properties that should interest you.
The Overlook Hotel in THE SHINING (1980).
This is another one of the great haunted properties, one that dwarfs most of the competition. Built on the remains of an old Indian burial ground, the Overlook features high ceilings and brighlty lit rooms that are virtually the opposite of traditional haunted house decor, and yet the atmosphere is all the more effective because of it. The isolated location adds to the allure, and residents may rest assured that it is inhabited by enough ghosts to fill a dozen other haunted houses. Of particular note are the mysterious woman in Room 237 and the mysterious set of playful twins in the corridor. There is also a lovely band playing old-fashioned dance music, a helpful butler, and – best of all – a bartender named Lloyd who likes to offer drinks on the house. It is hard to say whether the Overlook was born bad or became bad as the result of the people who died there; it’s a sort of chicken-or-the-egg question. However, it got that way, it is safe to say that this Hotel is one of the most haunted places on the planet.
Amenities & Selling Points:

  • A hedge maze. If you have some time on your hands, you might try your skills and finding your way in and out, but try to pick a day without snow.
  • A convenient elevator service for those not frightened by the sight of enough blood to fill a dozen Dario Argento movies
  • Long corridors great for riding your big wheel
  • Confirmed fatalies: 6 (but obviously many more, judging from the number of ghosts)
  • Number of ghosts: too numerous to count
  • Your money’s no good here – which means more than enough free phantom booze to intoxicate a recovering alcoholic

Buyer Beware: The location is extremely isolated in the snowy winter season, so take care that nothing happens to the battery in the snow mobile.
Asking price: $8-million.

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Seven Doors Hotel in THE BEYOND (1981).
Outwardly, this Louisiana hotel is no match for the Overlook, but it does have one unbeatable thing going for it: it’s built on one of the Seven Gateways to Hell! This puts the hotel in that special category of properties that will always be haunted, regardless of who died there. Yes, the ghosts of the dead are restless within its walls, but that gateway is responsible for a far more apocalyptic form of supernatural mayhem.
Amenities & Selling Points:

  • Confirmed fatalities: 3(not counting those who died elsewhere)
  • Number of ghosts: Only a few are identifiable, but there appear to be many more – perhaps infinite
  • The gateway to hell not only revives dead souls and reanimates bodies into zombies; it also bends the very fabric of reality, teleporting unsuspecting victims literally to Hell and Gone – also known as the Sea of Eternal Darkness. You don’t get amenities like that in the Overlook!

Asking price: $5-million.


SUBURBS AND APARTMENT LIVING

City ghosts were once an anomaly; spirits used to keep to isolated locations: mansions and castles or at least houses set well apart from the neighbors. In the modern era, however (perhaps due to the population explosion), phantoms have been forced to seek residence in more highly populated areas. This is a great advantage to haunt enthusiasts who would like to purchase a ghost-invested property without givng up the benefits of city life.
The Freeling House in POLTERGEIST (1982).
This is definitely one for bargain hunters – we are slashing prices way, way, way down! It turns out that it wasn’t really the house that was haunted; it was the damn television that acted as a portal to the afterlife, allowing all manner of spirits to enter the land of the living. Now the TV’s gone, and so are the ghost.
Asking price: $250,000

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The House in HOUSE (1986).
This is a model that was quite popular in its day, but the market value has fallen more than average for this kind of property. Buyers want something new, or they want the classics. These mid-level haunted houses are all right for brief visits, but no one much wants to live there, especially when the haunting seemed so specific to the previous owner, rather than a part of the house’s nature.
Asking price: $250,000

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The Rundown Apartment House in DARK WATER (2001 & 2005).
One of the small, dingy rooms in this building would be a terrible place for a divorced mother to raise her child – even if the place were not haunted. Unfortunately, a little girl died there a while back, and though not outright malevolent, she is downright scary in her supernatural quest to secure a surrogate mommy.
Amenities & Selling Points:

  • Confirmed fatalities: 2
  • Number of ghosts: 2

Buyer Beware:

  • Watch out for leaky faucets, bathtubs, etc.
  • Don’t let your kids play on the roof, and especially don’t let them climb up on the water tank!

Asking price: not for sale, but rent is cheap – even if not haunted, this place should be condemned.

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The Saeki Residence in THE GRUDGE (2004).
Externally inauspicious, this is in fact one of the most intensely haunted properties in our catalogue, thanks to three malevolent  yūrei residing there: Kayako, Takeo, and Toshio. The death of the three familiy members (a murder-suicide perpetrated by father Takeo) left a curse on the property, resulting in an extremely high fatalities among subseqeunt residents, besting many of the more elaborate models; just about everyone who passes into its portal succumbs. Despite its conventional appearance, this haunted house engenders intense feelings of dread and apprehension at the mere thought of crossing its thresshold. The house has been seen in four Japanse JU-ON movies and two American GRUDGE films. Of these, THE GRUDGE implicity suggests that the curse falls only on people who have entered the Saeki House, raising the property’s importance to the haunting – and thus its value – over the Japanese predecessors.
Amenities & Selling Points:

  • A lovely staircase, perfect for making a memorable entrance (especially if you like crawling on your hands and knees)
  • Pets: one black ghost cat
  • Confirmed fatlities: 8 (not counting those who died elsewhere)
  • Number of ghosts: 3
  • Like the Seven Doors Hotel, the Saeki House can bend reality – in this case time, creating weird anomalies in which characters from the present can view the past and perhaps be viewed (or at least sensed) in return

Asking Price: $7-million

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The Changeling (1980)The Victorian Mansion in THE CHANGELING (1981).
This lovely old structure perfectly conforms to everyone’s idea of what a haunted house should be: it’s big, imposing, old, and spooky, with more than enough room for plenty of ghosts. In point of fact it is not a particularly evil place, and the haunting is limited to the ghost of a single murdered child – a troubled but not particularly malevolent spirit of the type that cannot rest peacefully until justice has been rendered. Whatever the ghost’s intentions, the effect is suitably unnerving, creating an effective haunting that should please those who enjoy their ghosts that raise the hair on the back of their necks rather than jumping out and screeching “Boo!”
Asking price: $2-million.

Top Ten Zombie Films, Plus One or Two

With DIARY OF THE DEAD opening in exclusive engagements around the country this weekend, horror fans have zombies on the brain. In fact, zombie fans are probably wondering aloud at this very moment: Just what are the Top Ten Zombie Films of All Time? And we bet they just can’t wait for us to tell them – so here we go!

Noble Johnson as the zombie in THE GHOST BREAKERS (1940)

A word of warning: You may find this list questionable; in fact, you may find some of the entries and omissions so bizarre that you even start to question our sanity. Rest assured, however, that there is a method to our madness. Can you decipher what it is?
1. I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943). This moody black-and-white opus from the producer-director team of Val Lewton and Jacques Tourner features a nurse who comes to the West Indies to take charge of a catatonic patient. It turns out the brain-dead woman may have been struck down not by disease but by voodoo. Midway through, the nurse takes her patient on a long trek to a local priestess in hope of finding a cure; along the way, they encounter another zombie, Carrefour (Darby Jones) – or is he? The mysterious storyline leaves the question of the supernatural up for grabs, creating an eerie ambiguity that chills the mind.
2. WHITE ZOMBIE (1932). Bela Lugosi (DRACULA) stars as a voodoo master who uses zombies to work his sugar mill. He is hired by a love-struck plantation owner to abscond with another man’s fiancee, but he decides to keep the beautiful woman for himself, turning her into a mindless automaton. The script makes clever use of the “facts” of zombies, reciting a local ordinance the prohibits the use of drugs to create a death-like trance from which the victim can be awakened. This leaves open the question of whether any of the zombies we see are, in fact, the walking dead or merely victims in a trance. Either way, this creaky old effort is historically important as the first zombie film ever, and it overcomes its flaws thanks to its rich atmosphere and the strength of Lugosi’s performance.
3. THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW (1987). Director Wes Craven turns in a fictionalized film version of a non-fiction book about an anthropologist who heads to Haiti in search of the truth behind the myth of zombies. As in WHITE ZOMBIE, the scientific explanation revolves around the use of drugs to render the victim with no will of his own, so that he resembles the walking dead. However, Craven tosses in several of his patented hallucinatory dream sequences, leaving open the question of whether the supernatural exists or not.
4. THE GHOST BREAKERS (1940). Bob Hope and Paulette Godard star in this follow-up to THE CAT AND THE CANARY, in which the couple head to Cuba to take possession of an inherited castle, which turns out to be haunted not only by ghost but also, according to the locals, by a zombie (Noble Johnson). Although a comedy, the horror elements are played relatively straight, and the black-and-white atmosphere is genuinely spooky. Of course, the last-reel explains the supernatural elements away, but lingering doubts remain.
5. PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES (1966). Hammer Films’ only zombie flick is set in a Cornish village where a powerful local squire is using voodoo to revive the dead, whom he then puts to work in his tin mine. Although the ending is weak, this is otherwise a strong effort, featuring a wonderfully hallucinatory sequence of the dead rising from their graves, clawing their way through the earth to attack the hero, who watches in horror as the resurrected corpse of his dead wife is decapitated.
6. SUGAR HILL (1974). The titular character (played by Marki Bey) is a tough black woman who uses voodoo to seek revenge after her boyfriend is murdered by a white mobster as part of a plan to take over the victim’s night club. With the help of the god Baron Samedi, Sugar resurrects some black slaves who died on the boat to America centuries ago and turns the zombies loose on the murderous thugs. This obscure title is not really very good, but it is fun to see the cross-pollination of the blaxploitation and horror genres, and Robert Quarry, as the villain, is a real hoot.
7. ZOMBIE (a.k.a. “Zombie 2,” 1980). Director Lucio Fulci’s rip-off of DAWN OF THE DEAD combines the explosive flesh-eating splatter of George A. Romero’s urban film with the moody island atmospherics of I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE. The story is mostly set in the Caribbean, where a scientist (Richard Johnson) tries to find a solution to the question of why his dead patients keep returning from the grave. His assistant, a local native, believes he has the answer: a local voodoo priest has put a curse on the island that brings the dead back to life. This is the film with the infamous scene of a woman’s eye being skewered by a splinter of wood. Almost as much fun is the amusing but ridiculous scene of a face-off between a shark and a zombie, each trying to eat the other.
8. DAWN OF THE DEAD (a.k.a. “Zombie,” 1978). George A. Romero’s sequel to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD relocates the cannibalistic corpses to a modern shopping mall, where a group of human survivors hope to ride out the apocalypse in comfort and style, thanks the the abundant supply of consumer goods around them. Whereas NIGHT offered a science-fiction explanation for the return of the dead (radiation from a crashed satellite), DAWN introduces hints of the supernatural, as Peter (Ken Foree) quotes his grandmother, a voodoo priestess: “When there’s no more room in Hell, the Dead will walk the Earth.” The film also includes Romero’s first reference to the living dead by their traditional voodoo name: when a motorcycle gang breaks into the mall near the end, Peter notes that the place will soon be filled with “zombies.”
9. LAND OF THE DEAD (2005). Twenty years after DAY OF THE DEAD, Romero has another go at the subject, this time with metaphoric references to the military occupation of Iraq, in the form of a “Green Zone,” where the rich and affluent can live in comfort, protected from the horrors outside. This expensive studio films lacks the inspired creativity of Romero’s earlier films, but it still has plenty to offer, including an amusing performance from Dennis Hopper, who at one point remarks casually, “Zombies, man…they creep me out.”
10. CHOPPER CHICKS IN ZOMBIE TOWN (1988). This low-budget cult film mixes elements of Russ Meyer with George Romero in its tale of a female biker gang that rides into a small town where a mad scientist (Don Calfa) has resurrected the dead and put them to work in the local Uranium mine. It’s not very scary, but it is quite funny. Billy Bob Thornton makes an early appearance as the boyfriend of one of the biker chicks, who becomes one of the living dead.
11. UNDEAD (2004). A tongue-in-cheek effort from Australia, this film borrows Romero’s rules for the living dead (i.e., shoot ’em in the head) and adds slow-motion gunplay lifted from John Woo. It’s funny, though not quite as funny as it intended, and actor Mungo McKay’s attempt to channel Clint Eastwood through an Aussie accent is a bit of a botch. Still, you have to give credit to a film that has a hero who has been expecting the coming disaster ever since he was attacked by a “zombie fish.”
12. ANDY WARHOL’S FRANKENSTEIN (a.k.a. “Flesh for Frankenstein,” 1974). Actually written by Warhol protege Paul Morrissey (with assistance from Antonio Margerit on filming the 3-D gore effects), this bizarre piece of bloody camp may seem out of place in this list, but Baron Frankenstein (the marvelous Udo Kier) refers to his piecemeal creations, male and female, as “my zombies.” This is a film that really needs to be seen in 3-D; otherwise, you loose the impact of those entrails handing out of the screen into your nose.
Well, that’s it – the Top Twelve Zombie Films of All Time. What’s that, you say? Wondering why SUGAR HILL ranks above DAWN OF THE DEAD? Aghast that your favorite flick is not on the list? Appalled by the absence of classics like NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, EVIL DEAD 2, DAY OF THE DEAD, RE-ANIMATOR, DEATH DREAM, BRAIN DEAD (DEAD/ALIVE), THE BEYOND, CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD, and 28 DAYS LATER. Uncertain just what form of crack we’ve been smoking?
Well, we warned you up front that this list would be eccentric, but there is a rational behind our choices. Have you figured it out? It’s a little hard if you haven’t seen the films, but we tried to lace the entries with clues: check out the titles, plots descriptions, and dialogue references, and you might be able to piece it together, even if you have missed one or two of the movies.
Give up? Okay, we’ll tell you. By and large, when it comes to the cannibalistic walking dead seen on screen since NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, the bottom line is this: They’re not Zombies!
As George Romero himself says, “For me, zombies were the slave workers in WHITE ZOMBIE [1932] with Bela Lugosi. […] I never thought of [the walking corpses in my films] as zombies; I never called them zombies in NIGHT. They were ‘ghouls’ or ‘those things.’”


As Romero rightly points out, the word “zombie” specifically refers to a corpse that is resurrected through voodoo and mindlessly obeys the commands of its master. Our Top Twelve emphasizes films that feature this traditional definition of the word “zombie.” Failing that, we have selected films that either include “zombie” in the title or use it in the dialogue to refer to the walking dead. Consequently, movies like ZOMBIE and SUGAR HILL, which feature Caribbean settings and/or references to voodoo, rank above Romero’s DAWN and LAND, which feature only brief lip service references to “zombies.” That’s why we called this a “Top Ten” list rather than a “Best of” list.
Okay, so maybe it’s not the cleverest conceit in the world, but it did give us an excuse to assemble a list that was not just a hodge-podge of the obvious.