It is widely accepted that the first modern zombie movie is George A Romero's brilliant, low budget, Night Of The Living Dead.

But I'm sure zombies featured in Hammer Movies much earlier so Romero wasn't the first to feature them.

So what was the first ever appearance of zombies in a movie.

  • 2
    Define "zombie"? I guess a couple of things could be seen as zombies, when they're not - first thing that comes to mind is the various adaptations of I Am Legend
    – Jenayah
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 19:45
  • The things in "I am Legend" are zombies, at least their features are close to zombies than to vampires which they are also described as by some (and one commentator described Romero's innovation as making zombies more like the creatures in I Am Legend). I didn't think there was much debate about what zombies actually are.
    – matt_black
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 19:48
  • A zombie is someone in Haitian folklore that is allegedly a dead body reanimated by a voodoo priest to work as a slave. Cruel bosses don't need to pay dead workers with no free will anything. So zombies are the victims of a form of magical slavery. The Night of the Living Dead created the concept of dead people coming to life and killing and eating the living, and thus turning something desirable - resurrection of the dead -, into a nightmare. Latter movies where the living dead attacked called the living dead zombies, adding a new form of zombie to popular culture. Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 16:21
  • Actually the things in "I Am Legend" the novel are vampires and the movie depiction, while resembling a zombie, also clearly have vampiristic qualities. They are intelligent, only come out at night, etc.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 17:29
  • Another film adaptation of "I Am Legend" from the 70's was called "Omega Man" and the monsters were mutants remaining after a nuclear holocaust.
    – sanpaco
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 17:34

3 Answers 3


Victor Halperin's White Zombie was released in 1932 and is often cited as the first zombie film.

Wikipedia - List of Zombie films

White Zombie is considered to be the first feature length zombie film and has been described as the archetype and model of all zombie movies. Not many early horror films followed White Zombie's Haitian origins style. Other horror films from the 1930s borrowed themes from White Zombie, such as people returning from the dead and other elements of zombie mythology. These films include: The Ghost Breakers (1940), King of the Zombies (1941), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), and The Plague of the Zombies (1966). These films all contain elements from White Zombie including the blank-eyed stares, the voodoo drums, and zombies performing manual labor.

  • I think you might be right, but I'm sure some context about that candidate would help. What were the zombies like and what was the move about?
    – matt_black
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 19:49
  • 2
    You shouldn't be demanding about an answer that you effectively could have Googled yourself. Now that you have the answer, go ahead and Google the rest of your queries. If you have more questions, feel free to open another question on the site. Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 22:21
  • I had originally intended to add a synopsis, copied from wikipedia, but was called afk for the night, so just quickly posted what I had.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 8:45
  • @JasonPSallinger This site has a lot (193 at last count) of "first appearance" questions and good answers often reveal facts that are not obvious or easy to find in Google searches. Plus it is a far better place for definitive answers for questions that might not be trivial.
    – matt_black
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 18:09

The 1st zombie movie was White Zombie, which was released in 1932. Zombies were people controlled by Voodoo The 1st Modern zombie, (you know, the ones that eats your brains), was the Night of the Living Dead which was released in 1968.

  • He asked what the 1st zombie film was. The 1st zombie films were about Haitian sorcerers that controlled humans by using voodoo
    – Nate Dawg
    Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 17:27

I don't know about Hollywood. But, coming to Indian cinema "Go Goa Gone" is the first zombie movie in Bollywood. And, "Miruthan" is the first zombie movie in Tamil cinema.

Recently the Telugu filmmaker Prashant Varma has done a Zombie film in Telugu with good VFX and Makeup.. The movie is named Zombie Reddy which is a massive hit in Tollywood.

First Hindi Zombie Film: Go Goa Gone First Tamil Zombie Film: Miruthan First Telugu Zombie Film:Zombie Reddy

Read: List of Indian Movies List

  • 2
    The question isn't about Hollywood specifically, it's about what was the first zombie movie released anywhere ever.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Feb 9, 2020 at 1:38
  • It was in Haiti. You see, Zombies were people controlled by Voodoo
    – Nate Dawg
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 15:47

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