Anytime the living dead are shuffling about you can guarantee some poor souls are gonna get turned into a living buffet, only to return and make others a living buffet. And while zombies seem content to just bite and chew on their victims, there are times when their feeble zombie brains can think of other ways to dispatch their targets and entertain the audience. So, in honor of those zombies who chose to stand out from their shambling brethren, here are seven of the coolest and craziest zombie kills to ever grace the silver screen!
7. Crazy Man in Cemetery, Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)
Let’s start off our craziest zombie kills list right. While Arbie and his girlfriend Wendy are getting it on in a cemetery, they are interrupted by a crazy dude with an ax in one hand and his “junk” in the other. Fleeing the scene, Wendy leaves behind a pair of her panties which the crazy dude picks up and begins to sniff – just before a zombie’s hand bursts from the ground and goes right up the dude’s butt for an impromptu prostate exam. But it doesn’t stop there. The zombie works his hand and arm up through the dude’s body and out his mouth – only to snatch the panties and pull them right back out the dude’s butt. And it should be noted that this is within the first five minutes of the movie. Gotta love Troma!
6. Lia Rousseau, Hell of the Living Dead (1980)
Lia and Vincent are cornered in the Hope Center by a horde of zombies. While Vincent is pulled off-screen and killed – lunch on the go, obviously – Lia is left to stand there as the zombies do their dirty work. Obviously irritated by Lia’s screaming, one zombie rips her tongue right out of her mouth before jamming his hand through her upper palate and into her head, and then pushes her eyes out from the inside! Bruno Mattei’s movies might be crap, but they’re glorious crap worth watching for gory scenes like this.
5. Evelyn, Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror (1981)
Anyone who’s seen this flick is probably still weirded out by Peter Bark, at the time a 26-year-old man playing a 12-year-old boy named Michael who has incestual feelings for his mother, Evelyn. After making advances on his mother and being rejected, Michael is killed by a zombie, only to return later when Evelyn and two others are cornered in some kind of workshop. Happy that her son is alive, she pops her breast out and offers it to Michael – who must not be lactose intolerant because he takes a bite right out of it. Ah, they just don’t make them like this anymore.
4. Simone, Porno Holocaust (1981)
What Joe D’Amato’s films lack in quality they often make up for in sleaze and audacity. Case in point: Porno Holocaust, a flick that combines horror with hardcore pornography. While on an island to check its radiation levels, Simone is wandering about outside her tent clad only in her birthday suit. The zombie emerges from the jungle, forces Simone to her knees – where he chokes her to death with his penis! While not gory or messy (no bodily fluids of any kind are spilled), it’s the sheer novelty of the scene which earns it a spot on this list.
3. Helen Cooper, Night of the Living Dead (1968)
George A Romero’s first feature-length movie is responsible for turning zombies from mindless slaves into the flesh-eating baskets of decomposition that we know and love. So it only makes sense that a scene from the movie makes a list of craziest zombie kills. While Ben and Co. are making a last stand against the zombies, Helen goes into the basement to check on her daughter, Karen – only to find that she’s become one of the living dead. Karen corners Helen, grabs a trowel off the wall, and begins stabbing Helen repeatedly. The image of a zombified Karen haunted me (and millions of others) for months after watching this.
The appearance of Lucio Fulci’s masterpiece on this list should come as no surprise, and you probably already know which scene it’s gonna be. Yes, that one. After finishing her shower, Mrs. Menard is attacked in her house by several zombies. She barricades herself in her bedroom and makes the fatal mistake of thinking she’s safe. Wrong. A zombie’s hand bursts through the door and grabs her by the hair, pulling her head-first through the opening – and her eye happens to be lined up perfectly with a splinter of wood. After stretching the scene out for maximum effect, Mrs. Menard’s eyeball joins the splinter in unholy matrimony. While this isn’t technically what kills her, it’s still too iconic a scene to be left off a list of the craziest zombie kills.
1. Pvt. Torrez, Day of the Dead (1985)
I’ll bet you were expecting Captain Rhodes’ death to appear at the top of the list. While his death may be gorier and more satisfying, it is the death of Pvt. Torrez which takes the top spot for one very simple reason: his scream. After Torrez is pinned down by a group of zombies, one of them jams his fingers into Torrez’s eye sockets and begins pulling Torrez’s head away from his body, all while Torrez is screaming and flopping his legs about. As his vocal cords are stretched, Torrez’s scream becomes higher in pitch, finally reaching King Diamond-esque levels before snapping completely. The zombie moves away with Torrez’s head in tow, his mouth still moving in silent agony. Even after all these years this scene still manages to send a shiver up my spine.
So there you have it: seven of the craziest zombie kills to ever grace the screen. I’m sure there are plenty of others out there, but these are the ones that stick out most in my mind. How about you? What are your favorite crazy zombie kills?