Sometimes, we get so caught up in the visual dynamics of movies that we don’t consciously realize how important the music and the sound in the background is to our experience. Hearing a zombie approach the victim on-screen is one thing. But, when you add the dramatic, climbing, heartbeat-like sound of an ominous horn section followed by the jarring screams of a string section, you get a chill run down your spine, “They’re. coming to get you Barbara!“
I want to talk about some of my favorite zombie movie scenes and the songs that make them one of a kind. Here they are, in no particular order, because sometimes we need to quit fucking ranking shit and just appreciate shit for what it is.
*Fun Fact: I will belt out Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” when it comes on during a road trip and accompany it with awesome air drums and air guitar.
I feel like it’s impossible not to love the “Don’t Stop Me Now” scene in Shaun of the Dead. I am a HUGE Queen fan. If I ever need to fight off a horde of the undead, best believe that I will find a way to blast “Don’t Stop Me Now”. I love the whole scene, from the “kill the Queen” joke, to the synchronized pool stick beating, and the dart in the head. The musicality that Edgar Wright added to the scene, the movements of the actors, and the lighting was just fun and entertaining. Seriously, Queen made that scene happen. If you’ve never seen Shaun of the Dead, then please check out the video below. I promise, it’s too good. If you don’t like it then I don’t know if I can trust you to be in my zombie killing club.
There is something that the previous two videos are missing: a little bit of gore. I have to give this next mention to Zombieland’s opening credits. First of all, the opener is all action: zombie chases, car crashes, guns, pyrotechnics, and blood. Slow down each frame and blast Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and you’ve got a kickass introduction.
What would this post be without a mention to a scene with straight zombie killing carnage against a death metal music track getting drowned out by gunfire? While I’m not a huge fan of the super undead in this movie, I can appreciate the fatalities of the high-octane ravaging in Resident Evil: Extinction. I could be wrong, but I feel like most people default to death metal when they daydream of fighting off the evil dead. If this scene doesn’t do it for you, then at least appreciate Mila Jovovich’s cool kill scene, because all her kill scenes are dope.
Last, but certainly not least (possibly one of my favorite movie scenes), Don’s escape scene in 28 Weeks Later. This scene had me feeling so much betrayal, anger, and fear. First of all, when shit hit the fan, Don straight ditched his wife! I’d be livid. But, I couldn’t help but feel scared watching how far Don had to run while being chased by super-fast Rage Virus zombies. The camera angles and the scope of the layout just made me feel like I would probably die in that scene. Go ahead, watch it and tell me you wouldn’t have died too.
The score in this scene is SO FUCKING EPIC, for two reasons:
1. I am almost 100% sure that the composer, John Murphy, was inspired by The Cranberries’ “Zombie”. Give the intro a listen and tell me I’m wrong!
2. The score alongside the scene just makes you feel desperate and doomed. It doesn’t have the high-octane feels that death metal gives you. It has that heart thumping, anxiety-stricken, sense of impending doom. The song is relatively slow against fast moving zombies that it gives you the same creeps that Michael Myers’ slow stride does.
Comment below and let me know what your favorite zombie killing music or scenes are!