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The Best Zombie Comedy Movies

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Highlights

  • Zombie comedy movies have gained popularity in recent years, with some becoming cult classics.
  • Films like
    Cooties
    ,
    Anna and the Apocalypse,
    and
    Little Monsters
    offer a unique and hilarious twist on the zombie genre.
  • Shaun of the Dead
    and
    Zombieland
    are considered iconic zombie comedies that have redefined the genre and are highly enjoyable to watch.

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The zombie genre has evolved a lot over the years since Night of the Living Dead first created what is now considered the modern definition of a zombie. While this image has continued to evolve through a variety of fantastic movies and franchises, some of the best-known works in the entire zombie sub-genre are actually more recent comedy movies, which have been gaining in popularity over the past two decades.

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Many of these are well-known and are somewhat responsible for keeping the zombie sub-genre alive while much of the genre’s modern media turns to fantastic video games and TV series. But others are fantastic hidden gems that deserve a second look from audiences, having only managed to gain a cult following the first time around.

Updated on February 24th, 2024, by Chris Harkin: The zombie genre isn’t disappearing anytime soon. Despite so much having already been covered and achieved in this genre, all forms of media from games to movies are still finding success, and zombie-comedy movies are no different. In 2024 and beyond, there are plans for even more films that will help define and redefine this genre again and again. As more continue to find new success by doing their own satirical takes on the genre, across a variety of countries and languages, more will find their way into the annals of the very best zombie-comedy movies of all time, and more of those will once again find their way on to this list.

15 Life After Beth

IMDb Score: 5.6

Life After Beth

  • Director/s:
    Jeff Baena
  • Release Year:
    2014
  • Starring:
    Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, & John C. Reilly

A particularly strange version of many zombie tropes, Life After Beth stars Aubrey Plaza as a girl who dies after being bitten by a venomous snake, but is resurrected as a zombie and doesn’t realize she was ever dead. This hilarious idea spins into an out-of-control story about a young man attempting to move on with his life after her death, while she’s still around.

Life After Beth is a hilarious idea made into a truly enjoyable and comedic film because of the gusto with which Aubrey Plaza takes to the leading role. As Beth and other returned people begin to get more aggressive, life in the town breaks down and becomes untenable, as does Beth, in what becomes a somewhat sad but also highly amusing finale.

14 Cooties

IMDb Score: 5.7

Cooties Zombie Movie

  • Director/s:
    Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
  • Release Year:
    2015
  • Starring:
    Elijah Wood, Leigh Whannell, & Rainn Wilson

A very modern-feeling American zombie film with a strange twist, Cooties decided to take the “shut-in by zombies” idea of films like Dawn of the Dead and put a hilariously comedic spin on the formula. Instead of a shopping mall, the eccentric cast of characters are all teachers trapped in a school after many of their young students are turned into zombies.

Featuring the likes of Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, and Rainn Wilson, Cooties is a brutal film, taking the bold step of killing a lot of children, which doesn’t normally go down well. This didn’t help it earn big at the box office, but it is another zombie film with comedic charm that managed to gain a cult following.

13 Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

IMDb Score: 5.8

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies the main cast

  • Director/s:
    Burr Steers
  • Release Year:
    2016
  • Starring:
    Lily James, Sam Riley, & Matt Smith

One of the wildest ideas the zombie genre has ever tackled, Pride And Prejudice And Zombies is a completely original take on the classic Jane Austen story which adds the undead to the mix, making for a comedic and fantastically strange take on both period films and zombies.

Whether or not this was simply too silly and bizarre for some zombie fans, it cannot be denied that it was a hilarious idea which worked out quite well. With a stellar British cast including Lily James and Matt Smith, there is a certain lovable charm to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies that can’t be denied or forgotten.

12 Cockneys Vs Zombies

IMDb Score: 5.9

Cockneys vs Zombies 2012

  • Director/s:
    Matthias Hoene
  • Release Year:
    2012
  • Starring:
    Alan Ford, Michelle Ryan, & Harry Treadaway

One of the most bizarre and outrageous pieces of zombie media ever made is Cockneys vs Zombies, a British zombie comedy which features a gang of bank robbers suddenly running into a zombie outbreak that stems from the catacombs beneath London.

With scenes featuring zombies in a British retirement home, the hilarity of British humor interspersed throughout, and the completely absurdist attitude that it takes, Cockneys vs Zombies is a treasure trove of what a zombie comedy film can be if it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

11 Anna And The Apocalypse

IMDb Score: 6.0

Anna-and-the-Apocalypse-1

  • Director/s:
    John McPhail
  • Release Year:
    2018
  • Starring:
    Sarah Swire, Ben Wiggins, & Malcolm Cumming

A mixture of many genres and styles, Anna and the Apocalypse manages to do a good job of being a zombie comedy. However, while achieving this, it decides to really stuff the film by adding in a Christmas setting, and to top it all off, it’s also a musical. For fans who’ve wanted to hear characters singing while fighting off undead creatures, this movie is a great choice.

Set in a Scottish high school, the story involves Anna and her friends trying to survive a sudden outbreak of zombies at Christmas, all while Anna considers where her future life will lead her. The hilarious out-of-the-box thinking and style helped garner Anna and the Apocalypse a cult following, but this unique film deserves a second look by many.

10 Dead Snow

IMDb Score: 6.3

The Zombies In Dead Snow

  • Director/s:
    Tommy Wirkola
  • Release Year:
    2009
  • Starring:
    Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode Henriksen, & Orjan Gamst

One of the most unusual zombie films ever created, Dead Snow is a Norwegian film that focuses on a set of students who are caught out by a zombie attack in the mountains of Norway. The strangest part about Dead Snow is that it capitalized on the recent Call of Duty trend of the time and made the zombies chasing after them into Nazis.

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The idea of Nazi zombies that were trying to reclaim their gold was inspired by Norwegian tales of draugr, which have appeared in games like Skyrim. The black comedy tale is a hilarious one to watch, and an English dub was even released for the film due to the popularity it gained among audiences.

9 Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse

IMDb Score: 6.3

Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse

  • Director/s:
    Christopher Landon
  • Release Year:
    2015
  • Starring:
    Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, & Joey Morgan

One of the most modern and completely absurd takes on the zombie genre, Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse follows a group of teenage scouts who, along with a cocktail waitress, get caught in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Managing to be a very fun coming-of-age film while focusing on comedic zombie action in the age of open-world zombie games, this is well worth a watch.

Featuring a cast of ridiculous characters who subvert many stereotypes, this film treads the line between ridiculous and hilarious perfectly, ensuring that it is a lot of fun for practically anybody who wants to check it out.

8 Little Monsters

IMDb Score: 6.3

Little Monsters Zombie Movie

  • Director/s:
    Abe Forsythe
  • Release Year:
    2019
  • Starring:
    Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England, & Josh Gad

Another zombie comedy film filled with children, Little Monsters features Lupita N’yongo as a mild-mannered teacher who is forced to get aggressive as she protects her class on a field trip when a zombie outbreak traps them at a farm. Stuck with only a washed-up musician chaperon and a horrible children’s entertainer as backup, the teacher has to figure out how to get everyone out alive.

A series of mishaps, an adorably fun style, mixed with absolutely brutal zombie-fighting moments help Little Monsters reach a hilarious level. Add to that the amazing ability of the film to constantly subvert the expectations of the audience and this becomes a high-quality watch that doesn’t lose any of its charm on re-watch.

7 Warm Bodies

IMDb Score: 6.8

R the zombie in Warm Bodies

  • Director/s:
    Jonathan Levine
  • Release Year:
    2013
  • Starring:
    Nicholas Hault, Teresa Palmer, & John Malkovich

Another zombie comedy that goes deep into genre-bending territory, Warm Bodies manages to become a romance film at the same time. Set eight years after a zombie apocalypse, the film focuses on R, a zombie who becomes attracted to a human, and, in a love story heavily inspired by Romeo and Juliet, they become entangled with each other despite their differences.

The hilarity and charm of Warm Bodies is that it manages to be a high-quality romantic comedy, which also features a great new take on the zombie genre. Unlike almost any other zombie movie, Warm Bodies is highly rewatchable and has become a favorite for many since its initial release in 2013.

6 The Return Of The Living Dead

IMDb Score: 7.1

The Return Of The Living Dead

  • Director/s:
    Dan O’Bannon
  • Release Year:
    1985
  • Starring:
    Thom Matthews, James Karen, & Clu Gulager

Considered by many to be the first ever zombie comedy movie, The Return Of The Living Dead was made in 1985 and managed to not only do a great early take on the zombie genre but also introduced some concepts to the genre that became popularized in the mainstream, such as zombies specifically wanting to eat the brains of humans.

The actual plot involves a pair of bumbling fools who accidentally unleash toxic chemicals on some corpses, causing them to reanimate and attack. They and their friends are trapped in a cemetery while the zombies attack, and many of them are transformed due to exposure to the toxins. The madcap style and low-budget feel helped to make this an instant cult classic which has inspired many other zombie comedy films in the years since its release.

5 Army Of Darkness

IMDb Score: 7.4

Ash_with_a_boomstick_in_Army_of_Darkness

  • Director/s:
    Sam Raimi
  • Release Year:
    1993
  • Starring:
    Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, & Marcus Gilbert

The third entry in the blackly comedic Evil Dead series took a truly bizarre turn. After the first two films focused more on the idea of demons than zombies and other undead, Army of Darkness chose to move the setting away from the present day, as Ash was sent back in time by the Necronomicon and had to contend with an army of the dead.

Attempting to retrieve the evil book so he can return home, and with his trusty shotgun in hand, Ash fights alongside medieval warriors to battle against an evil version of himself and the dead army he leads. While the first two entries in the series were comedic but mostly horror, this entirely absurdist film was completely within the realms of zombie comedy, and it remains a great example of ridiculously fun filmmaking.

4 Braindead

IMDb Score: 7.5

Braindead 1992

  • Director/s:
    Peter Jackson
  • Release Year:
    1992
  • Starring:
    Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, & Elizabeth Moody

One of the most hilarious examples of a zombie movie trope, Braindead, is about a young man whose mother becomes bitten by a “Sumatran rat-monkey” at a zoo and turns into a zombie. Unwilling to kill her, he attempts to keep her in the basement, but she makes constant escapes and turns many of their neighbors into zombies.

This hilarious take on the zombie genre was actually an early creation of Peter Jackson, who directed the film at the height of the “splatter phase” that made up much of his early career in film. This hilarious, visceral take on the zombie genre remains one of the most beloved satirical collections of ideas about the creatures ever made.

3 One Cut Of The Dead

IMDb Score: 7.6

The director films while standing next to a stairway in a scene from 'One Cut of the Dead'

  • Director/s:
    Shin’ichirō Ueda
  • Release Year:
    2017
  • Starring:
    Takayuki Hamatsu, Harumi Shuhama, & Yuzuki Akiyama

Asian cinema has taken on a leadership role across the world in the creation of new zombie movies, creating several in the last decade that can be considered instant classics in the genre. These true greats often come from South Korea and Japan, the latter being where One Cut Of The Dead was made.

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The film is about a crew of filmmakers attempting to make a zombie movie who are caught out in an actual zombie apocalypse, but can’t afford to stop filming. The hilarity helped this low-budget film earn over a thousand times its production budget at the box office, becoming one of the more famous recent exports from Japanese cinema.

2 Zombieland

IMDb Score: 7.6

The protagonists in the original Zombieland

  • Director/s:
    Ruben Fleischer
  • Release Year:
    2009
  • Starring:
    Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, & Emma Stone

Perhaps the most well-regarded American export in zombie comedy, Zombieland released in 2009 with a fantastic cast, featuring Jesse Eisenberg as a paranoid nerd looking for love in the zombie apocalypse. He is joined by gun-toting redneck Woody Harrelson, and con artist sisters Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin. This cast, all individually great, made for a perfect frenemies turned family dynamic.

With its wacky style, the list of rules for survival in Zombieland, and the perfect way that the cast bounces off each other, not to mention that Bill Murray cameo, there is little stopping Zombieland from being one of the most enjoyable zombie comedies in existence.

1 Shaun Of The Dead

IMDb Score: 7.9

The Cast Of Shaun Of The Dead

  • Director/s:
    Edgar Wright
  • Release Year:
    2004
  • Starring:
    Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, & Kate Ashfield

Not the first zombie comedy, but definitely one of the definitive takes on the idea, Shaun of the Dead was made by Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost, a team that worked together on some of the most famous British comedies of all time. Featuring incredible comedy, a wonderful cast, and a simple but beautiful story, Shaun of the Dead was an instant classic that redefined the rules of the zombie genre.

The many uses of zombies as comedic devices that have been developed since were mostly inspired by this film. From trying to act like zombies to hide among them, to attempting to end a fight with your girlfriend during a ridiculously tense moment, Shaun of the Dead managed to be classically British while kick-starting the passion for zombie comedy that cinema has today.

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