Peter, Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Did you really think I was gonna leave Peter off this list? Sure, in the beginning of the film Peter’s zombie killing was more utilitarian. He killed zombies to clear out the mall so they could live safely. But by the end he fully embraced his special skill at zombie killing. Near the end when he almost puts a bullet in his head and decides instead to fight, well, he uses nothing but his will to live and his fists of steel to fight his way through the hordes of the undead and make it up to the roof. Peter might just be the original Zombie Ass-Kicker!!
Tallahassee, Zombieland (2009)
Speaking of “special skills,” is there anyone who has more natural talent at killing zombies than Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson)? “My momma always said I’d be great at something. Who knew it’d be at killing zombies?” Fueled by a quest to find some goddamn Twinkies, Tallahassee treats each zombie he meets like the ones who killed his son. His eyes sparkle and his grin is wide as he kills off the undead. The final scenes in the amusement park solidify Tallahassee on this list.
Ash, Last of the Living (2008)
Another Ash? Hell ya!! Last of the Living is an indie zombie flick that isn’t without its problems, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun. We follow around three slackers during the zombie apocalypse as they loot not just for food but also for some kick-ass video games, DVDs, and music. Their weapons of choice are simple weapons: a golf club, a baseball bat, and Ash (Ashleigh Southam) carries around two sticks. Ya see, Ash kinda fancies himself a martial arts expert and even has a special move he calls “The Berserker.” This is when he extends his arms out and twirls around really fast, like a helicopter. Out of the three friends, Ash seems to be the only one who really enjoys killing zombies. Just wait until you see him use “The Berserker” move on a group of zombies!! Ash also has a great scene on top of a car.
Barbara, Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Hopefully I don’t need to stress I’m referring to the Barbara from Savini’s 1990 remake of this classic film. Let’s face it, Barbra from the original was about as effective as a twelve-step program for Amy Winehouse. Barbara (Patricia Tallman) from the remake, though, is most definitely not the same comatose Barbra from the original. She has her moments of being in shock, but she quickly comes out of her “coma” to truly kick some serious zombie ass. She makes Tony Todd look like a slacker. She never hesitates and is easily the best re-envisioned character in any remake I’ve seen. By the end of the film she looks like a battle-hardened ass-kicker, and I’d love to see a sequel to this one where we follow the “new Barbara” around.
There’s my list. Who are your favorite zombie ass-kickers? Let me know who else I should’ve included on the list.