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Zombieland (2009)

So it seems like the zombie genre might be getting to the point of being run into the ground. There have been countless zombie movies, some good and some bad, that have graced the big screen and either found their way into our hearts or into the realm of forgotten movie lore. I could throw random undead titles out at you but…I’m not. You know which ones you liked and which ones you didn’t so we’ll just leave it at that. Hopefully Zombieland finds its way into the pile that you like.

Taking after such films like Shaun of the Dead, (c’mon, I had to include at least one film reference) Zombieland combines horror and comedy. It takes the meat and potatoes that are used to make scary movies about the wandering undead and dips it into a pastel colored icing and puts a really big exploding candle on top: the funny part. Ok, a disgusting analogy yes, but hopefully you got the point.

The story, well, there really isn’t any substantial story. When you think about it, is there ever a concrete plot behind zombie flicks? A world of living, breathing people all of a sudden turn into a wasteland of non-living, non-breathing mindless souls whose only wish is to feed on those who haven’t become one of them yet. Then the small group who are still alive must fight for-, well ever, in order to maintain their living lifestyle. Then somewhere along the line, there’s a climactic battle and they simply just continue to attempt to preserve their way of life. That’s always pretty much it.

The difference here is the random and unexpected comedy that is thrown in the mix. Everything from unorthodox zombie killing to survivors getting on each other’s nerves to chance romance takes place in this film. Everyone’s favorite character by far has got to be Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson). He takes a rare pleasure in offing the undead that you just can’t help but appreciate. He’s a redneck but he speaks what he believes is the truth and sometimes makes actual sense about it. With him is Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), and sisters Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin).

The creativity in this film gets an A-plus from me. An aspect such as not giving the characters actual names but instead identifying them by places was a neat add-on. The way the characters bond, or try to not kill each other if you prefer that description, throughout the film is another cool characteristic. Usually zombie movies consist of a pretty large group of survivors making their way through the film while this one only has four. I think that allowed for the audience to connect with each one on a much easier level.

I didn’t think the film was as funny as I was expecting but still impossible to get through without at least chuckling a few times. Some people might cackle instead of chuckle. Although annoying, we should treat them as normal movie goers all the same.

The top creative feature of this movie would probably have to be the list of rules that Columbus divulges to the audience at the beginning of the film. This list is revisited several times throughout the movie. We all know of the infamous rule book that goes along with horror movies, but this set of rules assist you on how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Perhaps there would have more survivors in other films if they had had a list of that sort. However let’s face it, having too many survivors still alive at the end of the movie kind of sucks. It’s a zombie movie; we want to see people get grotesquely killed.

With the creativity and all around somewhat different approach to zombie slaying, I liked this movie. The celebrity cameo appearance turns out to be another gut busting moment that had me cackling, uh…I mean chuckling very loudly. We will all get to see the spawn of a sequel next year. I give Zombieland “3.5 essential rules to outwitting the witless undead out of 5”.

“You see? You just can't trust anyone. The first girl I let into my life and she tries to eat me.”


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