It's zombie week here at FEARnet, and we are counting down our 20 favorite zombie characters from film, TV, comics and videogames as we march toward the premiere of The Walking Dead. To start off, we have a couple of Italian zombies, and a big comic book zombie.
First Appearance: 1981‘s Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror, directed by Andrea Bianchi.
Bio: Michael is a young boy who joins his parents on a weekend trip to a countryside mansion. Even before Michael becomes zombified, he is a disturbed kid, making incestuous advances towards his mother. Creepier still, the role of Michael was played by a midget named Peter Bark. Peter Bark was in his late 20s when he filmed the role of pre-adolescent Michael. After Michael’s mother rejects his sexual advances, we wanders off and gets eaten by a zombie. Mommy dearest sees this and kills her son’s attacker, but he rises a few scenes later and joins the zombie mob.
Diet: Mother’s milk in the creepiest sense possible. He actually munches down on his mother’s breasts.
Awesome Because: An incestuous man-child brings a whole new level of weird to a delightfully bad movie.
Name: Solomon Grundy
First Appearance: All American Comics # 61, October 1944. One of the O.G. zombies.
Bio: Named after the nursery rhyme character (“Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday”), this brutish zombie was once Cyrus Gold, a rich merchant murdered and dropped in a swamp near Gotham City. He returns 50 years later, part man, part swamp and all undead. He’s jacked, brain dead, practically unkillable and eternally pissed off. Where else to go but the criminal underworld? Grundy became a super villain, foe to the likes of Green Lantern, Superman, Batman and the rest of the Justice League.
Diet: Nada. This guy feeds on violence.
Awesome Because: For over 50 years, Grundy has tormented the characters of the DC Universe with his super strength (at times said to be comparable to Superman’s) and endless appetite for destruction. You can’t kill him because he’s already dead and even if you do cast him off for the time being, he’ll undoubtedly return.
First Appearance: 1994’s Dellamorte Dellamore (released in the US as Cemetery Man), directed by Michele Soavi.
Bio: The dead are rising in this Italian film, and it is up to cemetery groundskeeper Francesco, and his sweet but slow assistant Gnaghi to re-kill them. Gnaghi is taken with the town’s mayor's daughter, Valentina. She is beheaded in a motorcycle accident, and after the funeral, Gnaghi digs up her coffin and takes her head to keep him company. He keeps Valentina in a broken television set and she sings to him as he cares for her. It’s quite sweet. Sadly, when her father comes to the cemetery to use her corpse as a photo op, he discovers that she isn’t where he left her. He refuses to give her permission to marry Gnaghi, and in a rage, she flies out of the television and chomps down on daddy’s neck. Gnaghi is heartbroken when Francesco must shoot Valentina.
Diet: Daddy’s flesh.
Awesome Because: She doesn’t let her undead, disembodied form keep her from her love. Oh and also, she is a flying head.
Check back tomorrow for the next three zombies in our countdown, including one who knows how to play the tambourine, with more daily updates through Sunday.