The Six MUST-HAVE Elements of Great Zombie Flicks

Hello dead heads!  I was just watching a German zombie short called, Live or Let Die on Youtube (posted at the bottom), and it made me think about the things that I need in a zombie flick.  If you’ve read my blog before, I’ve mentioned some of them.  But I wanted to make a solid list of the quintessential things that make a zombie movie great.  The quintessential elements that are necessary to make me fall in love with a zombie flick, and watch it repeatedly.  At least in my humble opinion. I guess this goes for TV shows, and books too.   I snatched a few from one of my previous blogs and added a couple.  Here we go!


#1 People getting together, who under normal circumstances wouldn’t have.

I love that element because the zombie apocalypse brings people from different backgrounds, races, and religions together.  Even when it just brings a broken family together, it’s the element of working together that I really enjoy.  Gives me hope for humanity.

#2 People who thought they were weak, finding their strengths and becoming heroes. 

Folks who didn’t think they had anything to contribute, are forced to pull bravery, smarts, and whatever else out, in order to survive or help someone else.

Planet Terror

#3 Just the right amount of cheese to make me laugh.

Movies like Shaun of the Dead, and Zombieland, and the loads of B-movies with the comedic element are just awesome.  But this element is optional, because some zombie flicks are just dead serious.

#4 Killer running and fighting scenes.

I don’t necessarily mean fight scenes with other humans, but a good zombie head chopping is always awesome. And a great chase scene is the icing on the cake.Michonne_Say_The_Word_3 the walking dead

#5 Mount up and roll out scenes.

When everyone has to run into a car, or van, or to bicycles, or whatever vehicle, and take off!.  Think Dawn of the Dead 2004, when everyone piled into the trucks; Planet Terror’s caravan scene, when they ran out of the bbq spot; Or Brad Pitt getting his family into the RV in World War Z.  This is also optional however, because some stories just don’t call for it. But it’s sooooo much better when they do.


#6 It must, must, MUST be that head shots are what kill the zombies.

I have it listed as number six, but this is zombie supreme rule number one. Some zombie story creators try to change that element. No, no, no! Killing the brain is the only way to kill a zombie. Shoot it, stab it, chop it, slice it – there must be brain interruption. Otherwise, it’s not a zombie.

Things I don’t really care about:

I don’t necessarily care why there’s a zombie apocalypse, but it’s nice to know.  Usually, it’s not integral to the story.  But it’s cool when it is.

I don’t really care if they are Romero zombies are fast zombies. Though, fast zombies can be considered Romero zombies too, because he did have a fast one in Night of the Living Dead. Some people have a serious preference.   As long as they are after flesh, or brains, I’m good.

Elements I don’t like:

I don’t like when zombies can think.  Not one bit.  They shouldn’t know how to use door knobs, or to pick up things to use as tools to break things down.  They can bang and claw with their hands, but if they pick up something, like a brick, then that means they can think, and thinking zombies suck.  Their stupidity is scary enough.  Zombies don’t hide. Zombies don’t plot.  Not the kind that I want to watch or read about.  Well… for the most part.Warm Bodies

Which leads me to the other thing I don’t like: zombie POV.  I don’t want to know what the zombie feels or thinks, because he’s not supposed to feel or think anything.  There are exceptions to my feeling about this and the above rule though.  I did enjoy Warm Bodies and the novel Deadbeat – Makes You Stronger, by Guy Adams.  Zombies were thinking and doing all types of regular people stuff, and I liked both.

That’s pretty much it.  Six must-have elements, and some dislikes.  What do you think?  What are some elements that are must-haves in your zombie world?

Also, what do you think about the short movie below?  Be sure to check for him on Youtube and tell him what you think!

Thank you for reading!



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