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10 Gnarliest Kills In George A. Romero's Zombie Movies

These days, movies about zombies are a dime a dozen: the simplicity of the subgenre allows for at least one or two movies to be made about them every year. There are even shows such as The Walking Dead and that can all be traced back to one man: George A. Romero.

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After creating Night Of The Living Dead, the modern zombie was established for multiple generations to enjoy and use. Romero evolved his zombies and humans to become even more violent and graphic, leading to some memorably gory kills across his Dead franchise.

10 The Two Deaths Of Steve - Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

During the war against the bikers, the helicopter pilot Steve tries to escape from a horde of zombies via an elevator shaft. Unfortunately, the zombies pull him back into an elevator to bite him in a visceral, creepily shot kill. However, they don't devour him, so he gets to come back as the newest zombie.

Using the memory of his life among the living, he leads the zombie horde to the heroes' secret hideout. Zombie Steve meets his end when Peter finishes him off with a sniper shot, the back of his head exploding all over the wall. This death gets credit alone for Steve being memorable as both a human and zombie and technically dying twice.

9 Zombie With A Gun - Land Of The Dead (2005)

The undead army is scary enough with rotting flesh and torn-up body parts trying to eat humans. Well, before Zack Snyder's Army Of The Dead, George A. Romero first showed what happens when zombies learn to use tools. Throughout Land Of The Dead, it is shown that the zombies are becoming more intelligent.

Big Daddy, the leader of the zombies, gives a recurring zombie an assault rifle and teaches her how to aim and fire, killing one of the human soldiers as they storm the human settlement in Pittsburgh. It's not a super gory kill but the concept of the kill is still executed well.

8 Double Revenge - Land Of The Dead (2005)

Dennis Hopper plays the main human villain, Kaufman, a rich man who has turned a tower in Pittsburgh into his perfect utopia. The rich remain fed, clothed, and perfectly comfortable while the less wealthy suffer in the titular Land Of The Dead. Cholo is played by John Leguizamo in a bizarre reunion of the Super Mario Bros. movie.

After making enemies of the zombies and Cholo, he meets his end by both. Cholo dies by Kaufman only to come back as a zombie and attack. Kaufman and Cholo meet their end when Big Daddy sets the place on fire, making them explode due to pouring gas.

7 Rickles Is Ripped - Day Of The Dead (1985)

Day Of The Dead was George A. Romero's most ambitious film. A part of that was due to special effects legend Tom Savini, who got to go all out thanks to the increased budget. Each kill is executed perfectly with gore rivaling the likes of John Carpenter's The Thing.

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The first of several examples of Savini's talent comes in the epic finale in which Rhodes's men are overwhelmed and killed by the zombie horde. One of them, named Rickles, gets torn apart with his eyelids and forehead being peeled back. Visceral and wonderfully executed.

6 Off With His Head - Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

The original Night Of The Living Dead started off by building up to the apocalypse. Dawn Of The Dead, one of the most famous zombie sequels, doesn't pull any punches by showing the death of an innocent man. Not by a zombie, but by a rogue police officer on a rampage.

The officer is going from apartment to apartment, murdering any zombies and civilians in his way. In a perfect way to establish the dark and more graphic tone of Dawn Of The Dead, the officer shoots his weapon and a man's head explodes. The man didn't attack and didn't even get a chance to speak.

5 Bombs Away - Land Of The Dead (2005)

In the aforementioned scene when the zombies begin their revolt on the humans in Land Of The Dead, a butcher zombie gets to use his cleaver. Just as a soldier arms a grenade, the butcher cuts off the hand thus making the grenade it the ground.

The soldier falls onto the grenade in pain before it goes off, his body exploding into pieces. It's one of the few times where the audience is cheering for the zombies since most of the soldiers were oppressive and dictatorial to the people.

4 A Little Off The Top - Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

Most of the zombie kills are similar: either they are shot in the head, stabbed, or bashed. In Dawn Of The Dead, one of the cleverest ways to have a zombie killed is when it walks right into helicopter rotor blades.

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The scalp comes to clean off, blood pours out, and finally, the zombie collapses to its death. It shows that the zombies in Dawn Of The Dead are not bright, but can sneak up on victims if they are not careful. It's also a showcase of effective gore using simple practical effects by Tom Savini.

3 Blood Pressure - Dawn Of The Dead (1978)

The biker gang makes things worse for the heroes and themselves when they storm the mall. One of them actually foolishly causes his own death when he attempts to use a blood pressure checking machine. If the mall was empty that'd be one thing, but this biker decides to do this in the middle of a zombie horde.

As a result, the biker ends up being eaten alive and torn apart, his arm still stuck in the machine. George A. Romero was always a fan of injecting humor into his zombie films and this is a perfect example. It's also this style of humor that helped inspire Edgar Wright's Shaun Of The Dead.

2 Screech Of Death - Day Of The Dead (1985)

On paper, this seems like a regular death by zombies at first. Torrez is one of the first to die after Rhodes betrays his team, leading to Torrez getting torn apart. The practical effect of his limbs and head being torn off is already applause-worthy for Tom Savini.

However, the death is amplified when the zombies dig at his throat, ripping out the vocal cords. As he screams, Torrez gets higher and higher in pitch, shrieking as his vocal cords are destroyed. Not only is the scream enough to make chills go down anyone's spine but combined with the gore, it is zombie gore at some of its finest.

1 Captain Rhodes Signs Off - Day Of The Dead (1985)

The villainous Captain Rhodes deserved his demise so it was already satisfying when the iconic zombie Bub shoots him with a pistol. Rhodes limps to a door attempting to escape, only to reveal the horde on the other side, making him scream. Before Rhodes can attempt to run again, he is shot again by Bub followed by a salute, the zombie getting his payback.

Rhodes is then pulled to the ground where the zombies continue to feast, tearing his lower half off. Being the evil man that he is, he gurgles out one last yell of, "Choke on them!" He repeats this over and over, pieces of him being eaten before he finally dies. The bad guys getting their comeuppance is always nice and Rhodes' death is the epitome of a justice kill.

NEXT: George A. Romero's Day Of The Dead: 10 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About The Movie

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