Lets face it, everybody loves a bit of zombie, there’s something oddly loveable about the undead as they lumber about feasting on flesh and being generally hungry. So what could possibly be better than a whole night of zombies on the truly massive and awe-inspiring screen that is the BFI IMAX? Absolutely nothing that’s what. The perfect date night in fact! The After Dark Zombie All-Nighter on 19 January features 4 of the best zombie films of recent years - 3 of which have a distinct London flavour. Cheer along with joy at the blood splattered immersive IMAX joy of it all!
First up is Slither, a film rapidly gaining cult status as a pitch-black B movie classic. It’s the story of a small southern US town is taken over by an alien plague, turning its residents into hideous mutant zombies. Probably not based on a true story.
Then comes the Danny Boyle masterpiece that is 28 Days Later with perhaps the best opening of any London film ever as Cillian Murphy wanders the familiar but utterly deserted streets of our fair city looking for signs of life after a virus has destroyed the population. Technically not a zombie movie (they’re not undead they’re infected!) but we’ll let that pass as the film is brilliant and terrifying – the killer idea was to make the Rage-infected run like Olympic athletes, much scarier than your traditional slow-moving breed of zombie.
The sequel that came along a couple of years ago, 28 Weeks Later, was much better than it deserved to be (the trailer made it look like a horrible derivative version of the original featuring kids and Americans with guns). It proved to be a worthy follow-up that will ensure you never see Docklands the same way again. Once more a deserted London is the star as the US army declares that reconstruction of the UK can begin. Guess what? It doesn’t go according to plan.
And finally the best comedy of the last few years, Shaun of the Dead (you know it’s much better than Hot Fuzz), a gloriously subversive blend of zombie movies with British sensibilities featuring a brilliant script, top quality performances from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and some genuinely scary moments. Also, ironically, the most accurate depiction of how Londoners would actually react if London ever became infested with zombies. We’d all have a cup of tea and a chat before heading off on an epic quest to the local boozer. Genius!
By James Bryan
The Zombie All-Nighter is at the BFI Imax on Saturday 19 January from 23.30. Tickets £25 online here. Book now!