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10 classic books that would be way better with zombies


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With Pride and Prejudice and Zombies now available on DVD and Blu-ray, we've found inspiration in the film's winning combination of traditional period drama and full on blood-soaked zombie killing.

So, film producers and screenwriters take note: here are just ten classic novels that could be dramatically improved if only you considered giving their adaptations a whiff of the undead.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Glitz, Glamour... Guts? Baz Luhrmann's 2013 adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel was definitely glamorous, but how much better could it have been if we had seen some blood splattered on those sequins?

Jay Gatsby is a reclusive millionaire who holds extravagant parties but never seems to really participate in them. Why? Well, maybe (plot twist) because he was bitten by a zombie and throws the parties in an attempt to attract the attentions of his long lost love, Daisy, who he is desperate to reconnect with one last time before he becomes a mindless, brain-eating monster?

Let's face it, cinema has come up with worse ideas. Pair that basic premise with the promise of parties turning into bloodbaths and you've got yourself a winner.

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre is traditionally a gothic novel, combining romance with a sense of macabre mystery - so why not take it all one step further and add some zombies?

The young governess' naive dreams of happiness with Edward Fairfax Rochester are foiled when she discovers his dark secret; that he is already married... to a zombie. That's right - let's give poor old Bertha a bit more back-story than Bronte bothered to; perhaps the reason she descended into madness was as a result of a zombie plague that has only manifested further while she's been locked away in the attic. When Jane finally discovers her, she breaks free and goes on a bloodthirsty rampage around Thornfield Hall. Rochester loses his eyesight and a hand at the end of the original novel and with a little creative license, such injuries could get a lot more interesting with the inclusion of vicious zombies...

3. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum

The Wizard of Oz has been adapted so many times in so many different ways, but do you know what's never been done? A horrific zombie-filled adaptation where the yellow brick road isn't even yellow anymore because of all the blood.

Once again we'd add a little twist to the original premise; Dorothy Gale is indeed transported to the land of Oz, but it's far from the technicolour dreamland you've seen before. In this version, it's an apocalyptic wasteland, filled with nasty little zombified munchkins and winged undead monkeys who all serve under the rule of the Wicked Witch of the West (who, for the fun of it, is also a zombie. Why not, eh?). Dorothy and her newfound friends, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and The Cowardly Lion, all have to get to the Emerald City alive to find the Wizard and escape. Add some R-rated humour in there to lighten the mood a little and you've got something special (and slightly nightmarish) on your hands.

4. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

We've already seen how Austen translates with zombies, so why not make it into a franchise with Sense and Sensibility and Zombies?

When the Dashwood sisters are left destitute and homeless after the death of their father, it seems as though the worst has fallen upon them. But that's only the beginning, as a zombie plague threatens their existence further. It would be more or less the same as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but hey if it works, it works. And Colonel Brandon would totally kick-ass too - take that, Darcy.

5. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Shakespeare has been reworked to death, but as always, with a little creativity, there's always room for other interpretations.

Romeo and Juliet is perhaps his most famous and well-known tale of them all, and with such a dire, tragic ending, it could do with a few zombies to pep it up a bit. Everyone knows Mercutio's infamous quote: "A plague, a plague on both your houses!" - but what if he meant a literal zombie plague that attacks the houses of Montague and Capulet, leaving the two star-crossed lovers to figure out a way of staying together without being literally mobbed by their undead relatives? It could be fun. They would both still die of course...but it would be fun for us. 

6. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

Seriously, how has no-one put Sherlock Holmes and zombies together yet? True, Conan-Doyle's detective has the sharpest wit there is and is probably too good for a zombie invasion, but it is in The Hound of the Baskervilles that he comes across a mystery that seeks to threaten his otherwise perfect logic. So why not go the whole hog and make it a zombie hound? Holmes and Watson vs a mysterious undead canine? It could work!

7. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The premise of Lord of the Flies could easily lend itself to some sort of zombified reimagining. It is set during nuclear wartime (a promising breeding area for some sort of plague?) and sees a group of pre-adolescent boys marooned on an island and left to survive after their plane crashes. Paranoia quickly sets in and divides the group as one partition become obsessed with a so-called 'beast'. Though 'the beast' is supposed to be a metaphor for their animalistic inner natures, we could just replace all that with zombies. It would probably massacre the deeper meaning of the novel, but hey, zombies make everything better. Right?

8. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

If we're making it our mission to zombify the greats, we just have to do something to one of Dickens' novels and Great Expectations seems like the best bet. The story follows the evolution of Pip, a poor orphaned boy who with the help of a mysterious benefactor, seeks to become a gentleman worthy of his love, Estella. Throw in the teaching of sword-fighting skills to his educational resume and we've got a warrior ready for battle with zombies. And let's face it, Miss Havisham isn't far off a zombie herself anyway...

9. Around The World In Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Around The World In Eighty Days already features quite a marvellous feat; the meticulous Phileas Fogg accepts a wager that he can travel all the way around the world in precisely eighty days. Now you may be thinking, that's a pretty tough challenge as it is, but add a few zombies to the mix and the stakes get considerably higher. Fogg has more than a wager to win, as he must also fight for his life when zombies infiltrate his various stop-points. Though the novel itself didn't employ the use of hot air balloons, almost every film adaptation since has - so naturally, there would be a zombie attack on board a hot air balloon. And let's be honest, who doesn't want to see that?

10. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Okay, so bare with me but... zombie whale. No? A bit too far-fetched? Probably. But then we do live in a world where there are almost four Sharknado films, so what the hell, why not?

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is released on DVD and Blu-ray on 27th June 2016.

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