After years of struggling to get his superhero universe off the ground, Zack Snyder returns to the genre that launched his career -- the zombie genre. "Army of the Dead" isn't a sequel to Snyder's remake of "Dawn of the Dead," but it is a return to form. And, if all goes according to plan, this is where he will find some success in building a franchise.
As you can tell from the trailer, "Army of the Dead" is a mashup of zombie horror and action heist, with a mix of comedy thrown in. Snyder answers questions that no one asks. And here he clues us in on what would go down if Danny Ocean had thought of zombies as the perfect Vegas heist diversion.
After dealing with a year-long pandemic, what's a better escape than a good ol' viral zombie outbreak movie? We'll help you keep the party going. Here are nine more zombie genre mash-ups to queue up, after the "Army of the Dead" takes the Strip.
1Shaun of the Dead
"Army of the Dead" strikes the perfect balance between action and zombies. But Edgar Wright's breakout hit is the ideal mashup of horror, comedy, and romance. A "zom-rom-com," if you will. This is the first in what became Wright's "Cornetto Trilogy." It was later followed up by satires of the action genre ("Hot Fuzz") and sci-fi/apocalyptic genre ("The World's End"). Taking its cues from zombie master George A. Romero, "Shaun of the Dead," follows titular slacker Shaun (Simon Pegg) on an unlikely day as he loses his love, deals with troubles at work, and faces a zombie outbreak. What better place to take cover than the local pub?
"Shaun of the Dead" plays with classic zombie tropes, while also playing with rom-com conventions. However, "Zombieland" is more on the nose with its satire and social commentary. There are rules here in Zombieland. In a world ravaged by a mutated strain of mad cow disease, the main rule is not to form personal connections. After all, in one second you're finding love, and in the next, you're forced to kill them in their zombie form. Lonely Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) tests the limits of this rule as he finds companionship with the aggressive Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), the alluring Wichita (Emma Stone), and her jaded little sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). We don't know their real names, but the one name we do know comes in the form of a brilliant cameo by Bill Murray.
"Army of the Dead" is the perfect mashup of big-budget, bloated action, and zombies, but "Little Monsters" brings things down to earth. "Little Monsters" is a whimsical blend of indie rom-com sentimentality, kiddie summertime fun...and zombies. However, while there may be kids in the picture, this is not typical family-friendly fare. We do, though, want more of Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong'o kicking major zombie butt.
Two star-crossed lovers try to make their love work in spite of their backgrounds and differences. It's the essence of William Shakespeare's "Romeo & Juliet," and in 2013 "Warm Bodies" flipped it to the undead. To make a romance between the living and the undead work, zombie R (Nicholas Hoult) does possess some sense of self awareness. His heart is cold and lifeless until he encounters gun-wielding Julie (Teresa Palmer). The beautiful Julie awakens something in R. And he's also intriguing to Julie in his own way. Can this love work or is it doomed from the start?
5Anna and the Apocalypse
The only thing missing from all these zombie flicks is a little bit of music and some Christmas cheer. "Anna and the Apocalypse" makes you want to throw logs on the fireplace and pour some 5-month old eggnog, even as the summer begins. Anna (Ella Hunt) prances and sings as she wields a candy cane and protects her Scottish town from the undead. With nods to classic musicals like "West Side Story" and "La La Land," this horror/musical mashup makes the case for it being the most wonderful time of the year.
In "Saving Private Ryan," there was only one thing missing from Steven Spielberg's gritty and all-too-realistic portrayal of D-Day -- hordes of zombies! "Overlord" sends us back to the storming of Normandy, as a paratrooper squad is shot down on the eve of Operations Overlord and Neptune. The squad is whittled down to four. And as they make their way through a war-torn village, they encounter a group of Nazis and German scientists up to no good. If you're a fan of the MCU, you'll get a kick from a WWII-era Wyatt Russell looking at a syringe of serum and wondering what kind of Nazi super-soldiers he's up against.
Action, sci-fi, and horror come together in this film adaptation of the video game series "Resident Evil." We could have picked any one of the six entries from director Paul W. S. Anderson and his zombie-killing wife Milla Jovovich. Why not start where it all began? In this franchise kick-off, a genetically engineered virus is stolen beneath the streets of Raccoon City and all hell breaks loose. Critics may have hated it, but here's the thing. Alongside the loud bombast of "Army of the Dead," nothing goes better than this film that spawned a zombie-killing franchise.
828 Days Later
We'll admit it -- if there's one entry on our list that might hit a little too close to home these days, it's this one. Especially as our protagonist Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up from a coma in a desolate hospital and has to piece together all the madness he missed. Director Danny Boyle blends sci-fi chills and thrills as he paints a realistic picture of a zombie outbreak and how it might all begin. It's crazy to think how much effort Boyle went through to depict London locations like Westminster Bridge and Piccadilly Circus as devoid of life. It would be roughly 6,349 days later until that became a reality.
9Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
We don't want to end on a downer. So let's get back to some escapist fun and take in an unlikely mashup of classic period drama and zombies. No one would have guessed this would work. But apparently the one thing that's missing from Jane Austen's classic novel is some martial arts and zombie deaths. It might have worked a little bit better on-page than on-screen, but there's still something to chortle at as the cast of shows like "Downton Abbey" and "Game of Thrones" show off their fight training and take on the undead.
About the Author
Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.