HBO’s The Last of Us has been a massive hit for both the streaming service and the zombie genre as a whole. Not since the Dawn of the Dead days have we seen such an interest in the re-animated and audiences aren’t done yet. With the record-shattering HBO apocalypse series officially coming to end for season one, viewers have been forced to turn elsewhere to get their zombie fix, and there are plenty of options on the table. Since the dawn of cinema, horror films and television have explored the undead. So, if you’ve finished season one of The Last of Us and you find yourself looking for another great zombie series or film to fill the gap before season two kicks off, we’ve got you covered.
Best Zombie Shows and Movies at a Glance
Here are some other fantastic TV shows and movies that have both defined and expanded the zombie genre:
- Best overall:The Walking Dead
- Best movie:World War Z
- Best series:Fear The Walking Dead
- Best comedy:Shaun of the Dead
Table of contents
- Best Zombie Shows and Movies at a Glance
- 1. The Walking Dead TV (2010-2022)
- 2. Fear The Walking Dead TV (2015 – present)
- 3. All of Us are Dead (2022 – present)
- 4. World War Z (2013)
- 5. Zombieland (2009 & 2019)
- 6. The Resident Evil franchise (2002-2016)
- 7. Army of the Dead (2021)
- 8. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
- 9. I Am Legend (2007)
- 10. Train to Busan (2016)
- How Man of Many Chose the Best Zombie Movies and Shows
- Alternatives to Zombie Movies and TV Shows
- General FAQs
1. The Walking Dead TV (2010-2022)
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Spin-offs: Fear the Walking Dead
Final episode date: 20 November 2022
First episode date: 31 October 2010 (USA)
Networks: AMC, Fox, AMC Networks
Based on: The Walking Dead; by: Robert Kirkman; Tony Moore; Charlie Adlard
Zombie movies have always been a staple of the horror genre. However, it wasn’t until The Walking Dead debuted that the idea of a long-running zombie series was placed in the spotlight. Based on the comics of the same name, The Walking Dead follows police officer Rick Grimes.
After Rick is shot while on duty, he’s put in a coma. When he wakes up, however, he discovers the world has become overrun with walkers. While the show does include lots of bloody and gory zombie action, part of what makes it stand out is the way in which it also focuses on how humanity handles such a catastrophic event. And while The Walking Dead may have finally come to an end in 2022, fear not. A multitude of spin-off shows have been confirmed and are in the works, so stay tuned for those releases for even more zombie-related content.
2. Fear The Walking Dead TV (2015 – present)
IMDb Rating: 6.8/10
Genres: Serial, Zombie apocalypse, Drama, Science fiction, Horror fiction
Adapted from: The Walking Dead
Composers: Paul Haslinger; Danny Bensi; Saunder Jurriaans
Created by: Robert Kirkman; Dave Erickson
Editors: Todd Desrosiers; Victor DuBois; Marc Clark; Tad Dennis
Set in the same universe as the flagship The Walking Dead series, Fear dials the clock back and takes place right at the beginning of the initial outbreak. Drawing the curtain back on how the zombie outbreak started, how the government and citizens handled it and furthermore, how the virus was able to spread across the US.
While it may not be as beloved as the main show, Fear The Walking Dead still boasts an impressive zombie experience, one that manages to get better and better as each season goes on. With great performances from main cast members Alicia Debman-Carey and Kim Dickens, Fear is another zombie show to add to the list. Fans of the flagship series might even see some familiar faces pop up in Fear as well.
3. All of Us are Dead (2022 – present)
IMDb Rating: 7.5/10
First episode date: 28 January 2022
Genres: Korean drama, Zombie apocalypse, Horror fiction
Based on: Now at Our School; by Joo Dong-geun
Cinematography: Park Se-seung
One of the more recent entries on this list, Netflix’s All of Us are Dead proves why many believe that Korean zombie content is the best of the best. Set within a school, All of Us are Dead explores what would happen if the zombie virus first started on campus.
As a result, the series follows a group of students as they try to survive the school’s quick demise, with hoards upon hoards of students turning quickly into the undead. However, what sets this show apart from many others is the way it explores the details of the virus. From its origin, who it chooses to target and how it affects each person, All of Us are Dead is twist upon twist.
For those wanting to see some fast-paced, tense and creative zombie action, this is the show for you. Season two has almost been confirmed by Netflix so at least you know there will be more to come when you wrap up the debut season.
4. World War Z (2013)
Release date: 20 June 2013 (Australia)
Director: Marc Forster
Sequel: World War Z 2
Adapted from: World War Z
Screenplay: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof
Music composed by: Marco Beltrami
Brad Pitt commands the screen in the scary and eerie zombie movie World War Z. This film, which is based on the 2006 Max Brooks novel World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, looks at what the global response would be like if a deadly virus was to take over the world.
Not only that, World War Z includes some of the most horrifying zombies ever created for the screen, with massive action set pieces that are sure to have even the most hardcore zombie fans terrified. Despite rumours and initial plans that a sequel was in the works, Paramount officially pulled the plug on any follow-up movies back in 2019. However, the movie still operates very well as a standalone piece. For those who do fall in love with the World War Z lore, a video game was created back in 2019 and offers up a great co-op gaming experience.
5. Zombieland (2009 & 2019)
Release date: 3 December 2009 (Australia)
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Screenplay: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Box office: 102.4 million USD
Art director: Austin Gorg
Budget: 23.6 million USD
While most zombie shows and movies focus on the horror elements of the apocalypse, Zombieland explores the setting by taking the comedic route. When the first film debuted in cinemas back in 2009, it was an instant hit with audiences for the way it commercialised the genre while also being a fantastic standalone comedy.
The chemistry between the ensemble cast of Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Abigail Breslin and Emma Stone, as well as an iconic cameo from Bill Murray, was a driving force in what makes Zombieland a cult classic for many. After a decade of begging, fans were eventually treated to a sequel in Zombieland: Double Tap. A zombie experience that once again proves that, while the undead are a great source of horror, they can also be comedy gold with the right script and cast.
6. The Resident Evil franchise (2002-2016)
Release date: 25 April 2002 (Australia)
Director: Paul W. S. Anderson
Narrator: Jason Isaacs
Producers: Paul W. S. Anderson, Bernd Eichinger, Jeremy Bolt, Samuel Hadida
Screenplay: Paul W. S. Anderson, Alan McElroy
Music composed by: Marilyn Manson, Marco Beltrami
When it comes to the zombie genre, The Resident Evil IP maintains its status as one of the biggest names in the market. First created as a video game series by Capcom, the Resident Evil world first jumped to the big screen back in 2000. Now a household name, Milla Jovovich’s kickass performance as Alice in all Resident Evil movies helped solidify the actress as an action star.
Since the original 2000s movie, Jovovich has gone on to star in five more Resident Evil films. And while they may not be the most critically acclaimed zombie movies, they do hold a special place in the hearts of many zombie fans. After all, the Resident Evil movies are the highest-grossing zombie film series to date, as well as being the highest-grossing film series based on a video game.
7. Army of the Dead (2021)
Release date: 21 May 2021 (USA)
Director: Zack Snyder
Film series: Army of the Dead
Screenplay: Zack Snyder, Joby Harold, Shay Hatten
Cinematography: Zack Snyder
Story by: Zack Snyder
Director Zach Synder teamed up with Netflix to deliver one of the best zombie films of 2021. Army of the Dead follows a group of mercenaries as they venture into the quarantine zone of the zombie outbreak in the hopes of pulling off a thrill-seeking heist. While the premise itself already sets you up for a wild ride, the Las Vegas setting adds even more originality and excitement to the movie.
With a fantastic ensemble cast that includes the likes of Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell and Tig Notaro, Army of the Dead offers up a fun, fast-paced and at times shocking zombie movie. While Zach Snyder’s trek into the superhero genre may have been less successful than he would have hoped, Army of the Dead proves that Snyder has a great creative eye and is definitely a zombie film that fans should add to their watch list.
8. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Release date: 7 October 2004 (Australia)
Director: Edgar Wright
Sequel: Hot Fuzz
Budget: 6.1 million USD
Distributed by: Universal Pictures, United International Pictures, Rogue Pictures, Bac Films
Edited by: Chris Dickens
While Zombieland may have been many audience members’ first experience with a zombie comedy film, hardcore fans will know that Shaun of the Dead was the original zombie horror comedy. One of Edgar Wright’s most underrated films, Shaun of the Dead is a silly and at times pointless movie. However, the comedy, writing and performances elevate the piece and, when the film first released back in 2004, flipped the genre on its head.
While most main characters in a zombie apocalypse film are extraordinary, Shaun is a simple salesman whose life has no direction. However, his uneventful life takes a sudden turn when he has to adapt and deal with an entire community of zombies. Trust me, it’s epic.
9. I Am Legend (2007)
Release date: 3 January 2008 (Australia)
Director: Francis Lawrence
Adapted from: I Am Legend
Screenplay: Akiva Goldsman, Mark Protosevich
Box office: 585.4 million USD
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Will Smith has built a career starring in action films so naturally, he’s done a zombie movie. However, I Am Legend offers up a great zombie experience. When a virus infects the world, Dr Robert Neville, a scientist, is left alone and in search of a cure. However, these zombies aren’t like the usual type we see in television and film. They are unable to appear in any sunlight, meaning they wait until nighttime to venture out and hunt or alternatively, hide within buildings.
What’s more, a sequel for the 2008 film was announced to be in the works last year, meaning fans of the original will finally get to revisit the I Am Legend world, this time with updated visuals and, most likely, an even scarier zombie experience.
10. Train to Busan (2016)
Release date: 12 August 2016 (Australia)
Director: Yeon Sang-ho
Prequel: Seoul Station
Distributed by: Next Entertainment World
Train to Busan is often referred to as one of the best zombie films of all time and this praise is well and truly deserved. The film sees a zombie virus that breaks out in South Korea, all while a group of passengers aboard a train struggle to survive on their journey from Seoul to Busan.
While other zombie movies and TV shows focus on the greater impact of the world that a zombie virus would have. Instead, Train to Busan takes place on, yep you guessed it, a train. The close-quarters combat adds a massive layer of claustrophobia to the whole film, with the urgency of the stakes leaving you on the edge of your seats from the get-go.
How Man of Many Chose the Best Zombie Movies and Shows
This list of the best zombie movies and TV shows was curated by Man of Many’s team of editors and contributors. The Australian lifestyle publication has over 10 years’ experience critiquing and reviewing the entertainment industry. Similarly, the author of this article, Eleni Thomas has spent years writing about film, television and gaming across a number of international publications. In addition to watching every movie and series on this list, we also turned to the wider public for their overall ratings. In addition to our own opinions, we take into account reviews via IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.
Alternatives to Zombie Movies and TV Shows
Love the zombie and horror genre? Why not check out some of our other recent coverage on movies and television?
- Best Movies on Netflix Australia
- Best Movies on Stan Australia
- James Cameron’s Best Movies Ranked
- Best Action Movies Of All Time, Ranked
- Best Heist Movies of All Time, Ranked
- Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 21st Century So Far
While many have attempted to make a zombie TV series, the best of them remains The Walking Dead franchise. The comic book adaptation has spawned several spin-offs and is widely regarded as the best TV show in zombie genre.
In Australia, The Last of Us is available to watch on BINGE, Foxtel and HBO Max.