With the success of AMC's risky yet ultimately triumphant series The Walking Dead, zombies are finally having their big mainstream moment.

Similar to the ways vampires benefited from the simultaneous emergence of Twilight and HBO's True Blood, reanimated corpses are more in vogue these days than ever before, particularly to people who'd otherwise not seek out movies directed by Lucio Fulci or George A. Romero. And just wait until next February, when Summit Entertainment, the company behind those Twilight movies, debuts its next (at least they hope) human-and-monster love story, Warm Bodies, starring Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class) and Teresa Palmer (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) as a hopelessly romantic zombie and the still living, emo chick who loves him (or it?).

Chances are, Warm Bodies won't do much for cinephiles who own DVD copies of Fulci's Zombie, yet at least the increasingly graphic nature of The Walking Dead will. That's just one of the many reasons the AMC show's return (Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET) has been so highly anticipated. To get yourself in the mood for all the devoured skin and rotting walkers, consult the following list of The 25 Most Underrated Zombie Movies and bask in the squalor, gore, and unfiltered bad taste that exemplify the best examples of living dead cinema.

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Written by Matt Barone (@MBarone)