With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s a time to show your loved ones how much you truly care through some grand romantic gestures. And what’s more romantic than coming back from the dead! Whether you’re an Egyptian high priest looking to resurrect your one true love, or centuries-old musicians on the prowl each night for blood, you’re sure to woo their hearts.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy this list of 10 Lovers Brought Back From the Dead.
10. Mrs. Bates – Psycho (1960)
“A son is a poor substitute for a lover.”
Not only were Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and his mother inseparable before her untimely death, but after as well in Alfred Hitchcock’s proto-slasher sensation Psycho (1960). After stealing her corpse from the morgue and trying to keep it preserved with his skills as an amateur taxidermist, Norman started to have full-on conversations with the deceased matriarch. Eventually, dressing up in her clothes and murdering whoever Mrs. Bates deemed unworthy for her son, including reluctant thief Marion Crane, played by Janet Leigh.
While we never see Mrs. Bates in the flesh (so to speak) her presence (and control) is felt throughout.
9. Christine – Christine (1983)
For some young men, their first true love is the first car they ever bought. For Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon), it was a 1958 Plymouth Fury named Christine. But while that love is typically one-sided and non-reciprocal, the love between Arnie and Christine was to die for.
In John Carpenter’s 1983 film, Christine – based on the novel by Stephen King – the ‘58 Fury isn’t just possessed by some otherworldly entity, it’s also possessive of its owner. After being vandalized by a gang of bullies who torture Arnie at school, Christine miraculously repairs herself and strategically takes them out one by one in horrifying ways. Neither fire nor bulldozer nor car compactor can stop the jealous ‘58 Fury when it sets its sights on its victims. Even if it means killing everything in its path, including Arnie.
8. R – Warm Bodies (2013)
It’s not exactly love at first sight for Julie (Teresa Palmer) when she and her group of survivors come under attack in Jonathan Levine’s paranormal zombie romance Warm Bodies. But it’s the catalyst for making a zombified Nicholas Hoult’s once dead heart start to beat again. It doesn’t hurt that consuming a human brain grants the zombie all of their victims memories, especially since R ate Julie’s boyfriend just moments before they met.
As the film goes on, a romance between the two blossoms, with R (Hoult) slowly coming back to life as the two listen to music and play games together (while also keeping her from being eaten by hordes of zombies). Of course, as if being a zombie in love with a living girl wasn’t hard enough, R meets Colonel Grigio (John Malkovich), Julie’s father, who just so happens to be the leader of the human resistance, hellbent on destroying anything that shambles on two feet. Even though he had to drown and get shot by Julie’s dad to realize it, Warm Bodies ends with a happy ending as R is fully recovered and human again, living out his days with Julie.
7. Linda – Evil Dead 2 (1987)
“We’re going to get you, not another peep, time to go to sleep…”
While the character has been played by three different actresses over the course of three Evil Dead movies, the story of Ashley J. “Ash” Williams and his girlfriend Linda is always the same. The young couple (or sometimes a group of friends) travel to a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods, only to summon a Kandarian demon that possesses them until Ash (Bruce Campbell) can muster up the strength & courage to save the day.
In each iteration, Ash’s girlfriend Linda (played by Betsy Baker, Denise Bixler and Bridget Fonda in their respective films) succumbs to the ancient evil and is taken hostage, body and soul, before being decapitated by the lovable loudmouth. But that doesn’t stop her from inflicting mental and physical torment on her former boyfriend along the way.
6. Madeline & Helen – Death Becomes Her (1992)
As longtime rivals Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep) and Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn) find out, eternal beauty isn’t all that pretty. After drinking a potion that rejuvenates their bodies to a more youthful appearance, the bitter duo soon realize the effects were more than just skin deep. When Madeline’s plastic surgeon husband Ernest (Bruce Willis) “pushes” her down the stairs, she stands up at the bottom, unfazed except for the fact that her neck has completely wrapped around 180 degrees.
Later, when Madeline finds out Helen (Hawn) coerced Ernest into killing her, takes a shotgun to Helen’s stomach and pulls the trigger. She too stands up unfazed, save for the giant hole in her stomach. The potion is a literal life saver, but one that comes with a price: constant upkeep. After Ernest refuses to be used to keep up their appearances for eternity, the pair form an uneasy truce, helping each other with whatever ‘maintenance’ problem arises.
5. Eve & Adam – Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)
Eve (Tilda Swinton) and Adam (Tom Hiddleston) are a pair of vampires who have been alive (err, undead) for centuries, but are currently living on opposite sides of the world in Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive (2013). When Eve senses Adam is a danger to himself, she travels to him, hoping to help comfort him in some way.
In a film that is much more subdued than most involving vampires, Jarmusch digs deep into the psyche of a couple that has been together for so long that they have to find new ways of loving the dull and unexciting moments of existence or keep the creative fires burning, both spiritually and romantically.
4. Johnny Bartlett – The Frighteners
Patricia Ann Bradley (Dee Wallace Stone) met the love of her life while working at a psychiatric hospital in the 60s. Unfortunately, Johnny Bartlett (Jake Busey) turned out to be a mass murderer. In Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners (1996), the ill-fated couple go on a killing spree in the hospital where they work, wanting to compete with other mass murderers of the times.
They were later arrested with Bartlett sentenced to death. Since she was a teenager at the time, Patricia Ann was released and forced to live at home under the watchful eye of her mother. However, Bartlett was able to make a deal in the afterlife to become the grim reaper and continue his murderous rampage with his still devoted Patricia by his side. And they would’ve gotten away with it too if it weren’t for that meddling Frank Bannister (Michael J Fox).
3. Stephen – Dawn of the Dead (1978)
In George A. Romero’s seminal film Dawn of the Dead, a group of survivors hole up in a mall, barricading themselves from the zombies that have overrun the world. Among the survivors are SWAT team member, Peter Washington (Ken Foree) and news station couple Francine Parker (Gaylen Ross) and Stephen Parker (David Emge).
After secluding themselves from the outside world inside the shopping mall, the survivors live a generally risk free life, until one day when a gang of bikers arrive and start to pillage the place. A gunfight ensues when Stephen (Emge) becomes territorial. As he and Peter flee to their private quarters, Stephen is shot and overtaken by a group of zombies.
This is a devastating blow to the remaining survivors because not only is Francine (Ross) pregnant, but since the zombies retain some of their memories when they turn, Stephen leads a group of undead right to their safe house. Peter and Francine narrowly escape via the helicopter on the roof, which is low on gas.
2. Rachel Creed – Pet Sematary (1989)
Life (and Stephen King) has not been particularly fair to Rachel Creed (Denise Crosby). After growing up with a disease-stricken sister who haunted her nightmares her entire life, Rachel and her husband Louis (Dale Midkiff) had to bury their 2 year old son, Gage (Miko Hughes) who was involved in a heart-wrenching car accident in front of their home. But thanks to the mystical resurrection powers of the ‘Pet Semetary’ behind their property, Louis (Midkiff) is able to bring back his recently deceased son from the dead…only for him to turn into a ravenous, blood-thirsty shell of his former self.
After he kills their next door neighbor, Jud Crandall (Fred Gwynne), little possessed Gage sets his sights and scalpel on his poor mother. But it doesn’t end there for the unfortunate matriarch. After a knockdown drag out fight, Louis kills his son and brings Rachel, almost against his own will at this point, to the Semetary and waits for her inevitable return. When she finally does – blood scraped knees, half her face missing – the two embrace and kiss, as she grabs a knife from the kitchen table and the screen goes black.
1. Imhotep – The Mummy (1932)
Buried alive for trying to resurrect his lover, Princess Ankh-es-en-amon, Imhotep (Boris Karloff) returns from the grave after an archeologist expedition unearths his cursed casket.
Now, the Egyptian high priest spends his days looking for her tomb when he comes across a woman, played by Zita Johann, who bears a striking resemblance to his princess. Believing her to be a reincarnated version of his true love, Imhotep vows to make her his bride at last… by murdering and resurrecting her. It’s a love story so nice, they remade it twice!
There you have it, the top 10 Lovers Brought Back From The Dead. Did this rekindle your faith in love? Are there any others we should have resuscitated? Let us know on Twitter, in our Official Subreddit, or over in the Fiend Club Facebook Group!