April 25, 2009

8 GREAT ZOMBIE MUSIC VIDEOS (that aren't Thriller)

What words do you think of when you think of "zombie"? Energetic, flexible, choreographed, and musical are probably not the first, second, or even third words that come to mind. However, ever since Michael Jackson and John Landis dropped the megahit Thriller on us in 1982, every ghoul, zombie, and crafty corpse with a half-decent sense of rhythm has been trying to recapture the limelight of music video stardom. Few music videos have ever topped Thriller, but I would like to present:

(that aren't Thriller)

8.) "A Hard Day's Night of the Living Dead" by The Zombeatles

Admittedly, the song here sucks. Sucks HARD for the ears, but you'd expect zombies to be pretty tone deaf. However, The Zombeatles (as performed by Wisconsin's The Gomers) are a goofy and fun concept and this video gets enough play out of the ineptitude of zombies stumbling around to warrant a few chuckles. "A Hard Day's Night of the Living Dead" is okay, but it can't hold a candle on our next entry -- one of the weirdest videos I've ever seen.

Whose next on the list? Read more!

7.) "Zombie" by Count Smokula

Where to begin? First, I had never heard of Count Smokula before today. Therefore, I was not prepared for a white-faced, mascara-wearing Jewish old man in a leopard fez and cape belting out Zombie songs with an accordion. Perhaps there is no way to prepare. Throw in some African-kitch and googley-faced voodoo zombies, and you have a video for the ages. Fun, silly, danceable, and kitchy -- "Zombie" deserves a higher ranking on this list. I just can't get over the fez.

Count Smokula is a beloved cult figure in Hollywood performed by Robert "Smokey" Miles.

6.) "I hear you calling" by GOB

Okay, this one takes me back. "I Hear You Calling" would have been popular just as I was finishing up high school, so this song is indelibly stamped on the sound track of my graduation year and first year of University. Strangely, I forgot this video had zombies in it. And not only zombies: SOCCER too! Yeah, not that exciting. Let's take the world's slowest monsters and make them play the world's slowest game. Okay, that's not fair. American Football is far more boring.

Anyways, this video features some great zombie makeup and (aside from the Thriller dance reference) a pretty unique and nonsensical premise.

5.) "Fashion Freak" by Naked Ape

Sexy Zombie Carwash? Sign me up.

Here's a video I had never seen before. Naked Ape is a Swedish group and although the song rubs me the wrong way with its digitally distorted voice synthesizers, this song is HEAVY on the zombies. And sexy zombies too! They titillate, unnerve, and confuse you all at once. I guess in this bleak post-apocalptic version of Sweden, the undead have an instinctual desire to get soapy and writhe around on the hood of cars while zombie chihuahuas roam the land. Holy shit: BRAIN STORM! Dawn of the Dead set at IKEA! I need to write that screenplay. "DOCKSTA OF THE DEAD" -- Copyright THE ZED WORD!

4.) Brains - Living Dead Girlz

I featured "Brains" in my first list article, Top 5 Sexy Zombies. It's a ghoulish parody of Liam Sullivan's "Shoes" by The Living Dead Girlz: a zombie dance troupe led by Amber Steele of the Steele Dance Company. To learn more about the Girlz and their bloodlust, check out my list of the
Top 5 Sexy Zombies.

3.) "Good Advice" by Head Like A Hole

Head Like A Hole was a New Zealand band that disbanded in 2000 (although some news seems to suggest that they have since reunited). Before they disbanded, however, the last video they made was for their song"Good Advice." While this video is not perfect -- it is more 'short film' than music video since you can barely hear the music (which doesn't sound that exciting anyways) -- what it lacks as a music video it makes up with ZOMBIES and CHAINSAWS and BLOOD. Those New Zealanders really know how to make zombies messy.

2.) "Back From The Grave" by El Guapo Stuntteam

WOO-HOO. Strap yourselves in for this one -- it's a wild ride.

Lighting reanimates a crazy biker licked with flames (I call him Eviler Knieveler) who raises a graveyard of zombies that emerge through the mist to terrorize a spooky cabin. The two young women inside refuse to be victims and fight back, grind house style, and splatter the walls with zombie guts. Then: dueling chainsaws climax. I want this to be a feature-length movie

El Guapo Stuntteam hail from Belgium, which I now know for its waffles, chocolate, and ass kickery. This video is beautifully shot and realized. I love the attention to detail: that corpse bride has an axe in her back which she then uses as a weapon!

and our #1 zombie music video is................


Okay, so I cheated. But you can't have a list of zombie music videos without giving Thriller it's due. It is, hands down, THE BEST zombie music video. But, instead of linking to the original Thriller, I thought I'd show just how much of a global cultural impact Thriller has had with these tribute videos.

Still #1!