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amore eroma » Movies, Movies - Comedy, Movies - Horror » ZOMBIELAND

ZOMBIELAND

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ZOMBIELAND (2009)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1156398/
Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Rhett Reese (written by) & Paul Wernick (written by)

Those of you who know me know that I can sometimes go off on a rant about crap movies having no problem getting a wide, theatrical release while good films crawl around under cover of “Mom and Pop”, small screen venues or after hours purgatory…if the see the light of day at all. There are movies that get rave reviews during test screenings that are still battling it out to even get a DVD release. So, seeing a zombie genre film that is this much fun, this entertaining, and this original in wide release is just so damn refreshing.

“Columbus” (Jesse Eisenberg) is a loner with compulsions who is trying to get back to his home in…Columbus…after the zombie plague has ravaged the world. He’s worked out certain rules to help himself stay alive in this dangerous, new environment. On the road, he meets “Tallahassee” (Woody Harrelson), “Wichita” (Emma Stone), and her sister “Little Rock” (Abigail Breslin of Little Miss Sunshine fame) and the four of them work together to make their way towards a safe spot where there are no zombies. The basis for a classic, road trip scenario.

When I first saw the trailer for ZOMBIELAND, I wanted to love the film. I wanted it to be an amazing, 2 hour fun park ride. However, we all know trailers can be utterly deceiving, tricksy and false! However in this case, just like GRINDHOUSE before it, Zombieland had everything it promised – fun, comedy, horror, interesting story and, of course, ZOMBIES.

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Zombieland walks the fantastic line of horror and comedy. Not since the likes of SHAUN OF THE DEAD have I had so much fun in a horror film.  The story is a vehicle for situations to arise and little more, but it’s a zombie film and that’s all it needed to be. The main four characters are grand in their roles and bring enough to them to make them interesting without getting too muddy or clichéd.  The movie never takes itself too seriously, but also avoids becoming silly. One minute you are giggling at a sight gag and the very next second you are startled by a sudden zombie mishap. Witty writing and attention to the story arc made it all work well together.

This is a very smart horror film as well. Someone has done their research on both the genre and it’s fans. I am a huge zombie fan. I’ve seen many a zombie film. Reese and Wernick gave me fantastic zombie action while calling out things that drive me crazy when I watch lesser zombie fair. They play with genre norms, cliches and lore to bring a truly witty and engaging story to the screen.  Clever visual gags and some fun cameos and setups had me wanting more and more of what this film had to offer.

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If you’re a fan of zombies, comedy, and some fun scares, this is SO the movie for you. Don’t wait, just go see it and enjoy! We need to reward the efforts made to bring smart horror to the main stream audience and keep the turn key, shock, “set ‘em up to be killed” horror pablum at bay.

A+

Senior Editor Jeff Goldsmith interviews co-writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick about Zombieland. Awesome interview, as usual!

http://creativescreenwritingmagazine.blogspot.com/2009/10/zombieland-q.html

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Filed under: Movies, Movies - Comedy, Movies - Horror · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to "ZOMBIELAND"

  1. [...] caught the midnight showing of ZOMBIELAND a few days before seeing PARANORMAL and audience members lingered around the auditorium entrance [...]

  2. Francis says:

    Saw it Friday. I had a good time. The only thing that was bad was the short run time (not really. Can we say “sequels”, class?). Actually, the short run time, combined with a snappy pace with no wasted scenes made this film more robust than many its more wordy, slogging, and trite cousins.

    I dug the fact that in this “new” world characters became anonymous, their identity marked by where they are going, rather than where they were from, for a variety of reasons, but I think one subtext was that no-one wanted to look back and remember all that they had lost. Again, “subtext”; I think this would be something only zombienerds would key on, which is why, I think, the director and writer hint at it, but don’t beat us over the head with the idea.

    The only thing I raised an eyebrow at, that I can mention without dropping a spoiler, was the Zombie Kill Of The Week piano lady. Great gag, cute, and funny, but my Movie Pacing Button got pressed. This scene really had nothing to do with the rest of the film or the other protagonists, unless they had thrown more ZKOTWs in I suppose (she was the only one, right? Personally, if they were going to do this, a few more would have been fun. Ah….I smell DVD extras!). But again, we came for fun, not hardboiled, 100% logic. Besides, since it was a 5 second throw away gag, it didn’t derail the film.

  3. Francis says:

    Oh, in case it wasn’t clear:
    Two thumbs up!

  4. malcolm says:

    If you take a listen to the podcast I’ve added, the screenwriters talk about how this was actually first thought through as a TV show. ZOMBIELAND was the first and second episode. Pretty interesting. They are looking to do a sequel (or two) and are still thinking about a TV show, though the WALKING DEAD TV show will beat it to the tube and might kill off the momentum.

    Zombie kill seemed like a little fun play due to “Tallahassee” wondering if he got the kill. It was a little aside and, while I see your point, I dug the little side trip. It showed that other folks were having a little fun with the end of the world as well. Again, ZKOTW was really looked at as a weekly zombie kill in the TV show. Every week would have another nutty kill featured.

    Fun stuff! Thanks for reading the review and playing along! Means a lot.

  5. Francis says:

    Yeah, like I said, I can totally live with Piano Lady. It was fun. I only hope that Walking Dead beats Zombieland to the teevee, not because Zombieland wouldn’t be good (though I fear that it would be destroyed as they recast it with a lot of UPN/WB/Fox dropout asshats), but because I don’t want what I think would be a great take on zombiepacolypse being bumped before it even gets started. However, since the two a similar concepts, but very different in tone, my concerns are probably without merit.

  6. [...] ~ ZOMBIES ~ Dead Snow – Zombie gore comedy from Norway Damn of the Dead (2004 and 1979) – Both scary zombie fun! Dead Alive – Peter Jackson’s splatter-comedy gore fest Return of the Living Dead – A zombie classic. More horror comedy goodness [REC] – One of my top five zombie favorites of all time. Super scary Spanish horror Zombieland – On Site Review [...]

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