An Overlooked Johnny Depp Zombie Movie Is Trending

Johnny Depp's zombie-featuring film Corpse Bride is often overlooked, but it's currently trending on HBO Max's most-watched list.

By Matthew Creith | Published

For actor Johnny Depp, 2022 has been a banner year of court cases and career revivals after a tortuous season of lawsuits involving his ex-wife, Amber Heard. One positive thing that is scoring points for the 59-year-old Kentucky native is the fact that many of Depp’s films are available to stream on multiple platforms right now, including the overlooked zombie movie, Corpse Bride. Currently, Corpse Bride is trending on HBO Max, both globally and in the United States, most likely because the movie’s themes line up nicely with Halloween time.

According to FlixPatrol, a website dedicated to tracking content on various subscription streaming platforms on an international scale, Corpse Bride hit HBO Max’s top ten last week, trending in a positive direction during the spooky season of October. Released in theaters in 2005, Corpse Bride is directed by frequent Johnny Depp collaborator Tim Burton, as well as animator Mike Johnson. A stop-motion animated film that can be characterized as a musical dark fantasy epic, Corpse Bride was originally conceived by Burton and Carlos Grangel and was produced at the same time that Burton was in production on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, also starring Johnny Depp.

Johnny Depp

Set in a 19th-century village in Europe, Corpse Bride stars Johnny Depp as Victor Van Dort, a shy and timid man who is engaged to a woman named Victoria for financial and social reasons. Helena Bonham Carter voices the role of Emily, a deceased young woman and the titular Corpse Bride who rises from her grave thinking that she has married Victor, then takes him to the underworld while his fiancee is left up in the land of the living. As the third stop-motion animated film from Tim Burton at the time, the movie costars an ensemble cast of actors that includes Emily Watson, Tracey Ullman, Albert Finney, Joanna Lumley, Richard E. Grant, Jane Horrocks, and Danny Elfman, who also provided the original score for the film as he has done for Burton’s work many times before and since.

Debuting at the Venice Film Festival and then to a wider audience on September 23, 2005, Corpse Bride became an instant classic for Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Tim Burton. The film went on to gross over $118 million against a budget of $40 million, and ended up earning a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the first time Burton had received an Academy Award nomination in his career thus far. Unlike the 35 mm format that Burton chose to film his well-known holiday stop-motion animated movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas, the director chose to film Corpse Bride using a digital single-lens reflex camera called the Canon EOS-1D Mark II.

Clocking in at just 1 hour and 16 minutes, Corpse Bride may be one of Tim Burton’s shortest films to date, and it’s one of the most critically acclaimed of his and Johnny Depp’s careers. Often overlooked by audiences that might favor The Nightmare Before Christmas during the holiday viewing season, Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks Corpse Bride as Certified Fresh with an 84% on its Tomatometer based on 197 critic reviews, as well as an Audience Score of 77% based on over 250,000 verified ratings from users to the site. Similarly, Metacritic currently reflects the movie with a must-see Metascore of 83 and based on 35 critics’ reviews and a User Score of 7.9 based on 548 ratings from users to the site, which typically denotes universal acclaim from critics and generally favorable reviews from audiences.

Johnny Depp embarked on more journeys with director Tim Burton as they filmed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory while simultaneously in production on Corpse Bride. Already deeply entrenched in the Pirates of the Caribbean series of films, Depp continued playing the iconic character of Jack Sparrow after working on Corpse Bride and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Burton, starring alongside Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley in 2006’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End back-to-back. He returned to working with Burton and Helena Bonham Carter on 2007’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a movie that saw Depp nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, the third and so far last nomination of his career.