So you’ve watched all two-plus hours of Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead on Netflix—now what? Restart the whole mission over again? Replay this slots-and-chips purgatorial time loop? Hell no! There’s an entire universe of zombie films ready to be streamed at your command, and I hold the roadmap you seek. With regards to theme or tone, I’ve done my best to connect as many of these recommendations to something relatable in Army of the Dead—wherever possible. In a few cases, no further desire exists than to expand my dear readers’ horizons. Shall we begin before the horde descends?
25. Resident Evil: Extinction (Netflix, Hulu)
Zack Snyder isn’t the only filmmaker to cover Vegas in zombie guts! In Russell Mulcahy’s Resident Evil: Extinction (number three), Alice’s (Milla Jovovich) survivor squad battles the living dead on the sandy dunes that now bury a once neon-nostalgic den of sin. It’s one of the better entries into Paul W.S. Anderson’s action-heavy franchise, also mirroring the faster shift into an unruly intensity that Snyder intends to reflect. It’s even got the same desert haziness that sneaks into Snyder’s cinematography (albeit more sepia here).
24. Zombieland (Netflix)
I still remember the excitement I felt on opening night for Zombieland, a big-ticket undead comedy that plops us into an ongoing outbreak. It’s never as severe as Snyder’s horror-heist hybrid, but hits upon the same “the world is ending, we’re trying to adapt” themes with what we can call mini-heists along the way. Breaking into Bill Murray’s house for provisions is sort of a heist! In any case, it’s got the same rambler’s tone and blockbuster shine—plus zombies in costumes, whether that’s showgirls in Vegas or clowns in an amusement park.
23. Resident Evil: Afterlife (Netflix, Hulu)
In the way that Army of the Dead treats Las Vegas as its landmark location of interest, Resident Evil: Afterlife chooses Los Angeles. I connect the zombies between Snyder and W.S. Anderson’s franchises because they often have slight mutations and become less identifiable by the minute, which begins happening more frequently in Afterlife. We also get Wentworth Miller as Chris Redfield and a few more surprises before a steadier decline in continuity quality. Los Angeles is burning, and it smells like rotten flesh!
22. Cargo (Netflix)
I do adore this little zombified survival wanderer about a father and daughter—no, not Army of the Dead. Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke’s Cargo stars Martin Freeman as a father traveling through Australian brush with his infant daughter as they try to avoid zombie packs. Threats present themselves in rogue lunatics and infected pursuers, as this softer brand of parental relationship development under horrific circumstances is rather sweet, and evermore dreadful—a comparison on the other end of the genre spectrum than Snyder’s roll of the dice.
21. #Alive (Netflix)
Imagine if at the dawn of Snyder’s Las Vegas outbreak you found yourself stuck in a tacky strip hotel, surviving on nonperishable food and the hope of rescue? That’s #Alive, except swap Las Vegas for Seoul, Korea. A video game livestreamer deals with undead hordes outside while attempting to live onward, which succeeds in amplifying the chaos of such a disaster. Snyder opts to fast-forward through some beginning exposition—#Alive embraces the drama and thrills in these unsure limbos hinged on government responses.
20. 28 Days Later (Hulu)
We can argue the “zombies” versus “infected” debate until our grandchildren have invented a new breed of reanimated terror. Still, one can’t deny that 28 Days Later influenced many zombie titles after its smashing popularity. I tie Zack Snyder’s own Dawn of the Dead to Danny Boyle’s screeching banshee of a viral doomsday in the way they ushered a quicker pace of zombie into the forefront of the genre ranks. It’s no secret that Snyder favors these kinds of flesh-hungry killers, as Army of the Dead pushes further into undead agility traits—although one has to respect an O.G. whether “zombie” or not.
19. 28 Weeks Later (Hulu)
In Army of the Dead, America has seemingly quarantined Las Vegas in a way that leaves most other territories unaffected. In 28 Weeks Later, we witness what happens when danger breaches containment barriers and viruses can spread anew. It’s the lesser sequel to a horror phenomenon, but not without its merits and standalone appeal. I remember a first-person sequence being quite frightening, let alone a cast that includes Rose Byrne, Idris Elba, and Jeremy Renner.
18. Life After Beth (Tubi, Hoopla, Kanopy)
If we’re talking about love in a time of zombies, Life After Beth deserves its conceptual credit. It’s the one where Aubrey Plaza plays Dane DeHaan’s undead girlfriend, as the human boy refuses to move on despite his lover’s graveyard complexion. Snyder’s not the first to question whether feelings can spark cerebral functionality in a corpse’s brain, and when it’s Aubrey Plaza playing (un)dead, there’s an additional performative draw. Maybe a little slight for some? Worth the stream, in my opinion—way better than Burying the Ex.
17. Land of the Dead (Peacock)
If there’s any George A. Romero “…Of The Dead” title Snyder most recalls with Army of the Dead, it’s Land of the Dead. Romero himself began to include “intelligent zombie” explorations most famously via Bub in Day of the Dead, then Big Daddy in Land of the Dead—shamblers with recollections of their memories. It’s vastly more basic than Snyder’s less forthcoming hierarchy mythos, yet makes an infinitely louder impact given how the grandfather of zombie lore suggests the living dead might be more complex than horror fans assume—something explored as far back as Day of the Dead and The Return of the Living Dead in 1985. All that to say, look for the famous Shaun of the Dead cameos in Land of the Dead!
16. The Cured (Hulu)
Army of the Dead introduces advanced logic that pertains to “intelligent” zombies, but what about going a step further? So many zombie films tout fantasies of an antidote to zombified states—The Cured takes ten more steps. David Freyne’s recalibration of zombie norms starring Elliot Page imagines a world where “cured” patients are now going about their lives after once being infected and possessing zombie-like traits. Resistances rise, prejudices thrive, and those cured live with the memories of their unconscious actions in this thoughtful addressing of what some zombie films consider a happy endgame.
15. I Am Legend (Hulu, HBO Max)
While watching Army of the Dead, my mind continually transported back to 2007’s I Am Legend where, no—there aren’t any zombies—but the cannibal-vampire Darkseekers mirror more than some physical attributes and parkour skills. The idea of alpha creatures and their more submissive underlings, as well as their capacity to love, is something Snyder reanalyzes in Army of the Dead. An alternate I Am Legend ending even brings Will Smith’s virologist Robert Neville face-to-face with an alpha, then something, well, beautiful happens? The doctor realizes the Darkseeker he’s been studying is the brute’s partner—the “monsters” rub foreheads, wail, and express romantic feelings in the same way Snyder’s king and queen share a few moments of compassion. Although only one film proves that you can provoke an antagonist worth fearing without beheading his mate, and shockingly enough, it ain’t the Snyder flick.
14. Little Monsters (Hulu)
There are times where Army of the Dead is caught between these Ocean’s Eleven comedic beats and Snyder’s typical deathly grimness—the antidote there could be Little Monsters! Lupita Nyong’o plays a kindergarten teacher whose sunny disposition can’t be squashed when zombies interrupt her class’s farmland field trip. Josh Gad plays children’s entertainer Teddy McGiggle as he loses his family-friendly composure in an example of horror comedies done so very flippin’ right. It’s gruesome, in command of its tone, and has so much fun with characters caught as plans keep going to, welp, shit.
13. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (Hulu, Tubi)
If I’m writing a streaming zombie recommendation listicle, you’re getting Resident Evil: Apocalypse. You know, the best Resident Evil movie? It’s more akin to Snyder’s earlier Dawn of the Dead in terms of glib, nightshade-soaked terror, which becomes a friendly reminder after watching Army of the Dead. Chase Snyder’s latest with something more distinctly stylistic, primarily since some have described Army of the Dead as having video game influences.
12. Train to Busan (Hulu, Shudder, Plex, Hoopla, Tubi)
The adrenaline high any zombie filmmaker has been chasing ever since 2016 is Train to Busan. You think your undead hoarders are nasty, intimidating, and unstoppable? Yeon Sang-ho redefines what it means to be a full-throttle zombie actioner with this breakneck slice of horror breathlessness. We’re getting an American remake from Timo Tjahjanto—which is bar-none the best choice given based on Headshot and The Night Comes For Us alone—but the original will forever stand on its own because it’s that exhilarating.
11. Resident Evil (Amazon Prime)
If you think about it, Resident Evil is in ways like a heist film in that there are objectives, traps set to prevent sneaky parties, and a hard out. I appreciate what Paul W.S. Anderson eventually builds as his Resident Evil empire, but this is the scariest Umbrella material he’s able to achieve. Something happens along the way where blockbuster action becomes the focus—box office returns mixed with game focuses like Resident Evil 6 presumably. I can’t blame a filmmaker for giving audiences what they want; I just wish the entire series stayed more like Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
10. Cooties (Amazon Prime, Tubi, Plex)
Alright, you caught me. There’s no real correlation between Cooties and Army of the Dead (outside a dead child during Snyder’s credits), but one of my wishes is for Cooties to gain more deserved traction in genre circles. Teachers fight back against zombie children turned by toxic chicken nuggets. Pipsqueak snot buckets get everything earned, and we can laugh because they’re undead! Best of both worlds.
9. Zombeavers (Amazon Prime, Tubi)
Oh, so you’re impressed by zombie horses and zombie tigers? Let me tell you about the time vacationing horndog teens encountered zombie beavers that spread a transformative virus that becomes werewolfian—well, that’s actually it. Undead zombies attack, victims sprout buckteeth and thumper tails, and the carnage ensues. You thought Army of the Dead tried something different with its attackers? Think again!
8. Dead Sushi (Amazon Prime)
Oh, so you’re impressed by zombie beavers? WHAT ABOUT ZOMBIE SUSHI? I don’t know how else to explain this gonzo Japanese midnighter other than sushi starts to bite back. Also, maybe there’s a fishman creature that knows karate? Killer sashimi and cackling rolls attacking patrons who morph into these zombified creatures with sushi rice spilling from their mouths—and it’s a blast. Go YouTube the Dead Sushi trailer. I promise.
7. The Dead (Amazon Prime, Tubi, Hoopla)
The Dead is a lot like Army of the Dead, except instead of Las Vegas, it’s Africa—and it’s a stranded mercenary faced with a “gauntlet” of danger trying to find his escape route. Expect a more low-fi survival story compared to Snyder’s bombastic action, one that succeeds in selling the main protagonist’s will to live (along with allies). Sunkissed West Africa makes for a sultry backdrop, and there are solid gore effects. Enough to spark a sequel with, you guessed it, more dead.
6. Dance Of The Dead (Amazon Prime, Tubi)
At Army of the Dead’s core is a collection of personalities finding a way to complete their common goal (also, zombies). In 2008’s Dance Of The Dead, we see that same struggle except on a high school level of cafeteria clashes as prom night is ruined (by zombies). Gregg Bishop’s indie darling is scrappier than Snyder’s Netflix budget but is arguably way more fun (if I’m arguing). Can parking lot cliques set aside differences and save the world?
5. JeruZalem (Shudder, Tubi, Plex)
Army of the Dead sells so much significance to the fact that it’s a “Las Vegas zombie flick,” in the same way that JeruZalem is a “Tel Aviv zombie flick.” Well, the word “zombie” is a little conspicuous to casual horror fans—it’s a movie of Jinns and Golems and demons. The text connects zombies to these ancient evils through history and lore, which we glimpse to the maximum extent through someone’s Google Glass perspective (remember that). As a first-person horror lover, JeruZalem scratches the itch.
4. Yummy (Shudder)
I could think up some wild connection between Army of the Dead and Yummy if I tried hard enough, but let’s be honest—you’ve already read enough, so here’s a softball: watch Yummy. A woman seeking breast reduction surgery finds herself with a band of misfits inside a shady hospital where zombies now roam. Someone’s liposuction gets reversed, and he explodes cellulite and blood everywhere. It’s rad.
3. The Girl with All the Gifts (HBO Max)
The Girl with All the Gifts is a fascinating standout in the classification of “learning how to survive” zombie flicks after initial events. “Hungries” still pose a threat, but humanity stands a chance thanks to “hybrid second-generation children” who can think, learn, and crave flesh. This idea once again ties to Snyder’s approach to humanistic zombies, except without Snyder’s muddled intentions (did you catch the robot skeletons). The Girl with All the Gifts is for inquisitive genre fans who love seeing zombie lore pushed to the brink—luckily, this story withstands.
2. Shaun of the Dead (HBO Max)
“Take the remote. Go to HBO Max. Search Shaun of the Dead, pour a nice cold pint and wait for all of Edgar Wright’s hilarious zombie goodness to wash over. How’s that for a slice of fried gold?” Ah yes, exactly how the quote goes. (What? Do you need another zombie comedy enthusiast to state why Shaun of the Dead is a modern masterpiece?)
1. Chillerama (Tubi, Hoopla)
Fans of B-movie schlock should flock to Chillerama for its cheapo-extremeo odes to the most ridiculous ideas filmmakers could promote after midnight. With anthology segments like Adam Green’s “The Diary of Anne Frankenstein” and Adam Rifkin’s “Wadzilla,” you should know what’s in store (or maybe not, these segments fly off the handle). Joe Lynch squirts blood atop popcorn with “Zom-B-Movie,” about zeds taking over a drive-in horror marathon—zombie content I rarely see plugged, so guess what, it’s my finale sendoff. If any good came from Army of the Dead, it’s my ability to hoist underseen titles like Chillerama for y’all to explore.