The Funny Zombie: 1990-2002

Zombie films in the 1990s were not as commercially successful as Dawn of the Dead in the late 1970s.

Though there were a few greats moments, such as Braindead (1992) and Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man 1994), the nineties produced a lot of garbage such as Dead Men Don’t Die (1990), Zombie Rampage 2 (1992), Zombie Holocaust (1995) and Zombie Doom (1999).

From Dario Argento protégé Michele Soavi, Dellamorte Dellamore (Cemetery Man in the U.S.) (1994-Italy) has become a genre favorite. Everett plays the caretaker of a graveyard in the small town of Buffalora, Italy where the dead have been coming back to life. By day he tends the grounds and repairs tombstones, but by night he dispenses with the undead. “This is my business,” he says before wearily doing away with a zombie motorcyclist. “They pay me for it.”

Peter Jackon’s 1992 film Braindead, retitled Dead Alive for North American release, is a gore-filled  affair that follows a young man, Lionel, whose mother is bitten by a “rat monkey.” She dies and comes back to life as a ravenous reanimated corpse with a rather indiscriminate palate — she even eats dogs! The movie culminates with a sensational battle between Lionel and his friends, and a horde of ruthless zombies (including their reanimated body parts), as well as a memorable final showdown with his now-grotesquely transformed mother.

A zombie revival later began in the Far East during the late 1990s, inspired by the 1996 Japanese zombie video games Resident Evil and The House of the Dead, which led to a wave of low-budget Asian zombie films, such as the Hong Kong zombie comedy film Bio Zombie (1998) and Japanese zombie-action film Versus (2000).