Monday, November 2, 2009

Zombieland: Land of the Dead, Home of the Kickass

zombieland,movie poster

Should I try to pretend like I didn't really post in October because I didn't want to flood the blog-o-nets with movie blogs related to horror movies, and I made a conscious decision to back off and blog about them in November, when people usually drop the horror stuff and move on the the happy sappy Sandra Bullock movies and Eddie Murphy catastrophes? No? Well, ok, it was worth a shot.

I did see Zombieland in the theaters a few weekends ago, and remember when I said I was looking forward to it, hoping that Adventureland would serve as some sort of prequel? Well, unfortunately, it wasn't, but it did have that Eisenberg kid in it, and he doesn't even get eaten by zombies. Oddly, he did get bitten by a werewolf in Wes Craven's Cursed, which was just on TV the other day and it was pretty not great, but oh well. That's not my original point. Which was... right! Zombieland. It was directed by Rueben Fleischer, and written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick. It stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin. There's also a pretty amazingly awesome celebrity cameo, and thats pretty much it for the cast. Everyone else is zombified. It's a pretty good zombie film, and a good comedy. It's not really an homage/parody like Shaun of the Dead, but it's still a pretty interesting movie, especially considering its minimalist cast and snappy dialogue. Usually, Zombie films aren't known for that sort of thing.

zombieland,columbus,jesse eisenberg

Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has a list of rules that have kept him alive during the zombie plague. He doesn't survive because he's strong, or brave, or awesome, but because he's an overly cautious nerd. Tallahassee (Harrelson), on the other hand, is a brash, burly, Southern zombie killing machine, who survives purely because he loves to kill zombies. Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Breslin) are con-artist sisters who find themselves mixed up with the two guys. They go by towns instead of names, but they end up crossing much of the country together, killing zombies, getting into shenanigans, and stealing from each other. According to the film's plot, zombies were created out of some sort of mutated mad-cow diseases, a mad-human disease, if you will. Possibly a subtle nod to the merits of vegetarianism? There's plenty of zombie mayhem, people being chased and then eaten, as well as plenty of zombies getting shot, hit with cars, having pianos dropped on them, being cut up and sliced up, all the good stuff that we love to see in a zombie film. The film climaxes in a totally insane battle in an amusement park, where a thousand or so zombies swarm around our heroes, forcing them to try and kill the population of a decent sized school.

woody harrelson,jesse eisenberg,columbus,tallahassee,zombieland

While it's not quite as good as Shaun of the Dead in the respect of a comedy or a zombie film, it definitely does its best to hit that mark. It's not a bad movie, by any means. It's wholly entertaining, gory, sometimes shocking (in the sense that sudden appearance of a frightening zombie from nowhere), and an interesting take on the idea of surviving the zombie apocalypse. The idea that a skinny kid like Columbus could survive as long as he did (seemingly one of five normal humans left in the United States) because of his list of rules, caution, preparation, and above all, cardio, is quite interesting.

I've long said that if something like the zombocalypse ever actually happened, the nerds would really be the ones to survive the longest. While we never see Columbus being a fan of zombie movies, or knowing a lot about them implicitly, he is able to build up his list pretty quickly, without dying while compiling it. He has some good advice on there, too, and is pretty practical. I haven't finished reading my Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks yet, but I would imagine that there are a few of these same tips inside (like Cardio, Check the Back Seat, etc.). Apply these instructions in a practical, zombie-filled setting!

Is this film still in the theaters? It might be. If it is, it's worth checking out. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's after Halloween. Honestly, that's just the time of year that people that don't watch horror movies want to watch horror movies. In reality, they're always good all the time. Especially in fall, where it gets dark early, it's the perfect time for spooky movies. Or, not, whatever, I can't force you to watch anything!

I give Zombieland four totally insane celebrity cameos that I'm trying hard not to spoil for everyone out of five, or four kick-ass dog-loving NASCAR-watching gun-toting zombie killing machine Woody Harrelsons out of five.

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