10. Shock Waves (1977)
The zombie genre has many chambers, and one of these side-rooms houses the curious cell of the Nazi undead, which includes the insanity of the recent Dead Snow and the utter schlock of Zombie Lake and Oasis of the Zombies. As much as Hollywood often turns to the Third Reich for onscreen villainy, low-budget horror does the same, looking for ways to increase the evil via supernatural means, whether that be vampires, mad experimentation, or the reliable zombie. Of this small crop of pictures, Shock Waves is arguably the creepiest and the best, sporting a fine sense of atmosphere and some delicious turns by a couple of always reliable screen veterans. About the same time he presided over the Death Star with Darth Vader, Peter Cushing also appeared in this film as an exiled Nazi doctor hiding on an island with his secret experiments, German soldiers brought back from the dead as the ultimate army. When crusty sea captain John Carradine brings a group of sightseers, including the bikini-clad Brooke Adams, onto Cushings island, things get predictably dire. Cushing and Carradine ham it up ferociously but never overwhelm the films understated sense of dread, and those actors playing the zombies deserve special credit for pulling eerie performances from second-rate make-up. Although its milder than its brethren, Shock Waves deserves special recognition for giving its zombies novel aquatic abilities. The scene where they all rise from the watery depths to stalk across the shore gave me nightmares for weeks when I was a kid.