CONQUISTADOR ZOMBIE from Zombie
Chris: Even though the screen time of this maggoty-eyed zombie in Fulci's Zombie isn't a huge amount thanks to the film's kick-ass advertising campaign (a simple still of our "beautiful" subject with the tagline: "We're going to eat you!") there's little doubt which of the undead you're going to remember the most here - and that's even taking into consideration one of them beats the Hell out of a shark!
Josh: Seeing this bad boy on the classic video box cover is my earliest memory of finding out what zombies really are. Sure I saw "Thriller" but when I friend of mine showed me this box when I was at the impressionable age of 12 and described how these festering corpses come back from the dead and eat people, I was hooked. When I finally got around to seeing the movie in my teenage years, I was a zombie fan for life. My favorite part of Lucio Fulci's classic is still when that nasty looking dude from the cover comes to life and takes a bite out of Auretta Gay's throat before getting his head smashed in with a cross. It is brief but seeing the conquistador walking around for a few moments is just as cool as when I first experienced it.
TARMAN from Return of the Living Dead
Chris: Return of the Living Dead contains a whole slew of memorable zombies ("Send more Paramedics!") but none of them could compare with the slimy visage of 'Tarman'. One of the first zombies to emerge from the top secret Government cannisters, his half-exposed skull, dripping black skin, and shamble made sure you wouldn't forget him. And he was definitely the best thing about this series' quite bad fifth entry.
Josh: The original TV spot for Return of the Living Dead features the song "Partytime" by 45 Grave and this messy-ass zombie exclaiming "more brains". Punks and the undead has proven to be the ultimate mix in a zombie movie as this is hands down my favorite flick in the subgenre. Even though Tarman does not have a lot of screen time, he is totally memorable and has become the iconic face of the franchise. He does not look like your standard zombie as he is slimy and gross but that is part of his charm as well as the fact that he is smarter than most zombies. Although he has made cameos in a couple of the sequels, it is his appearance in the original that makes him a classic zombie.
BUB from Day of the Dead
Chris: George A. Romero already set the standards with Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead but his introduction of "Bub" in Day of the Dead gave the undead a lot more brain power (no pun intended) than we'd ever seen before. Part of an experiment to socialize zombies, Bub was an interesting character and given more life by actor Howard Sherman than someone who, in fact, has no life probably deserved to.
Josh: Bub is the kind of zombie you would want to take to a party. He is a righteous dude and is more intelligent than your average shuffling flesheater. George A. Romero was brilliant in giving a zombie some human traits as it brings emotion to a corpse and makes us realize the zombies were once human even moreso than he did in Dawn. This twist on the formula is simple but very effective and instantly created an unforgettable horror movie character. I actually had a dream about going golfing with Bub and fellow intelligent zombie Fido. The conversation wasn't very good but it was a fun time and for once, I had the best score.
BABY SELWYN from Dead Alive
Chris: After Evil Dead II you're not likely to find a more outrageously entertaining slice of horror-comedy than what's on display in Peter Jackson's Dead Alive. It's the perfect mix of comedy, gore, and "splatstick" that you can't help but sport a huge grin for its entire running time. Like a lot of the movies here, Selwyn has plenty of competition from the other zombies here but comes away with it simply because of all the public park shenanigans on display - just seeing lead actor Timothy Balme smashing him against the swing set bars sends me into a fit of laughter every time.
Josh: We could not complete this list without a nod to Peter Jackson's classic gorefest. It was a toss-up between Baby Selwyn and Lionel's mum but Selwyn won as he is such a little shit and brings a barrage of laughs as he torments Lionel in the park. Between his incessant giggling and the sheer ridiculousness of his screen time, he is one of the the characters that instantly comes to mind when you think of this film which is one of the greatest horror comedies ever made.
FLYING HEAD ZOMBIE from Zombi 3
Chris: Call this one my guilty pleasure choice. The idea behind it is stupid, the movie it's attached to is stupid, and this is considered one of the more embarrassing of the Italian zombie flicks. Then why do I find myself so very entertained everytime I pop Zombi 3 in? When a character opens a fridge and a zombie head goes flying through the air to bite them, that's why!
Josh: I am not sure if it was Lucio Fulci or Bruno Mattei who came up with this but when this little guy flies out of a fridge and goes for the jugular, it is a classic moment in zombie movie history. I have always found Zombi 3 to be a little underrated as I find it to be one of the most outrageous of the Italian zombie explosion. The flying head is one of many moments that will have you looking at your buddy saying "did that really just happen". I love unexpected stuff like this especially in a movie that features a zombie pool and some pregnancy mayhem.