Zombieland: A Brains-Eating Romp
Observer Scene | Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Zombies. They’ve been around for a while, they’re undead, and they’ve become a bit of a pop-culture juggernaut appearing in more films, videogames and books than is possible to list. George Romero started this trend of undead corpses parading around scaring audiences around the world in 1968. “28 Days Later” revolutionized the zombie genre by creating zombies that were fast, mildly intelligent and very hungry. “Shaun of the Dead” was perhaps the pinnacle of the zom-com, a romantic comedy with zombies. “Shaun of the Dead” was British. “Zombieland” is the Americas version, although with more of an action comedy vibe and significantly less subtle humor. In a weekend with many hyped up new releases “Zombieland” also won the battle of the box office. The film works magic with its cast and mindless zombies creating a believable post-apocalyptic world and the hilarious terrors of living in it. The plot of “Zombieland” is entirely driven by a cast of four characters and their attempts to survive the zombie threat. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a neurotic youth, survives the zombie apocalypse by creating a list of “rules” such as working on cardio, limbering up and double tapping to make sure the zombie is dead, again. Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), on the other hand, simply lives day-to-day trying to enjoy the little things, constantly seeking to eat one of the last Twinkies in the world and going to great lengths to find them. He also proves himself as a master zombie slayer trying to outdo himself with every single zombie, attempting to kill each in a more spectacular fashion than the previous one. Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) are sisters who seem to have survived the zombie attack simply by scamming all of those around them. Each individual has proved to be successful on their own but the movie really becomes interesting when they all meet up and their on-screen chemistry is revealed. Ultimately, the foursome decide that the best place to go is a theme park called Pacific Playland that is supposed to be entirely zombie-free. On their way they encounter zombies, friendships and perhaps even a bit of romance to spice up character development and a growing attachment with the viewers. The film “Zombieland” also has one of the single greatest cameos of all time. It takes place about three quarters of the way through the film and is so hilarious and brilliant that mentioning too much simply wouldn’t be fair to those who have not yet seen the film. This scene really made the movie something special and is as great a scene for the film as it is for the star that appears and reminds everyone of his greatness.
“Zombieland” succeeds in most of its attempts and ultimately becomes a very memorable, funny experience. It is a bit of a reinvigoration for the zombie genre and horror comedies may have found a new standard to follow. The action, the self-referential humor … It all blends well and gives viewers a preview of three up-and coming-stars that will no doubt continue to stay in the spotlight.