Horror shorts have a tendency to be cookie-cutter, it is one of the reasons we feature relatively few of them relative to the popularity of the genre. The exception to this though has always been the zombie sub-genre. It’s hard to find any category of short film that displays as much ingenuity and range of emotion as this one, and on the occasion of the sad passing of George Romero, the man most responsible for bringing zombies into the modern age and cementing their place in the film firmament, we’ve combed our archives and culled together this playlist of diverse and essential takes on the undead. 

The fact that the two biggest shows on television are directly influenced by Romero’s vision of zombie-dom (The Walking Dead & Game of Thrones), but are wildly divergent in myriad ways, shows the plasticity of the genre, and our picks take that a step further—what does the zombie apocalypse look like for pets? For deaf people? For gamer bros? Can zombie’s reconnect to their humanity through dance? Or long lost love? How does a viewer feel when the life and death decisions are placed in their hands? While these films do not follow in the footsteps of Romero’s potent political allegories, they prove something primal about the concept of the undead and the flexibility of the premise to tell all kinds of stories. Outrageous laughs and heartbreaking feels to follow in this playlist of 9 essential zombie short films. RIP George.

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Drama Yolanda Ramke & Ben Howling

Cargo

Stranded in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, a man sets in motion an unlikely plan to protect the precious cargo he carries: his infant daughter

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Horror Rob Savage
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Dawn of the Deaf

When a strange sound wipes out the hearing population, a small group of Deaf people must band together to survive.

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Horror Jarrett Lee Conaway

Bite Me

Zombies are taking over the world but this clueless group of slackers is more interested in video games and the girl next door in this Horror/Comedy.

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Horror Spencer Susser

I Love Sarah Jane

A ton of festival kudo's have poured in for this special effects-laden, post-apocalyptic, zombie-film. That is probably because of its twist—it is actually quite sweet.

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Adventure Cole Schreiber

Rest

The zombie art-house film that will have you feeling a spot of compassion for the undead.

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Horror Henry Kaplan
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We Together

Director Henry Kaplan breathes life into the undead with this energetic tale of a zombie awakened.

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Horror Alex Horwitz

Alice Jacobs Is Dead

The scientist who cured the Z virus is hiding a secret from this zombie-infected world.

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Horror Rob van der Velden & Barend de Voogd

Zombeer

What happens when you mix zombies and beer? You get a seemingly unstoppable way to spread a zombie virus.

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Horror Andres Meza-Valdes & Diego Meza-Valdes

Play Dead

It's Dogs vs. Zombies, in this light-hearted horror film from Miami collective Borscht Corp.

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Horror Maximilian Niemann

Five Minutes

John is fighting to survive after being injured during a battle with a zombie. The viewer has to help him to make a test which will figure out the fate of him and his daughter.