The Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema
I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed reading The Book of the Dead: The Complete History of Zombie Cinema, by Jamie Russell. I got it from the library thinking it would just be a reference book, but it is really much more than that.
The first chapter is a good introduction to zombies in general, and how they became popularized in Western culture. Russell then catalogs and explores zombie cinema decade by decade, starting in the 1930s and bringing us through to the present. I was less interested in the early stuff, so I skipped some of the first chapters and started with the 1950s and 60s.
Russell also takes the time to explore individual directors (like Romero and Fulci) who have had a great influence on the genre, and zombie lore in general. This book is not only well-written, it is just really, really interesting, too.
There are also tons of old movie posters and film stills that fill the pages, and a complete alphabetical index to zombie and zombie-related movies in the back. Highly recommended!
I’m attaching the table of contents, and scans of chapters one and five.
A full-on history of the zombie's on-screen evolution from Caribbean bogeyman to flesh-eating corpse. Spanning seven decades of horror movie history with hundreds of stills, artwork, and an exhaustive filmography, this is the complete, long-awaited history of one of horror cinema's most enduring genres. Charting the entire ghoulish history of zombie cinema, from its origins in Haitian voodoo to its cinematic debut in 1932's White Zombie, are hundreds of zombie films from America, Europe and Asia, including Bela Lugosi B movies, Italian gore films, Nazi zombies, porno zombies, and blind monk zombies.