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Zombieland review

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R 81 min



Well gang, zombies have always been the red headed stepchild of the monster movie industry. Oh sure the genre goes back to the golden age of horror, but it’s the classics, the FRANKENSTIEN, DRACULA, THE MUMMY, THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and THE WOLF MAN who stand out in any discussion of the all time greats.

About the only worthwhile living dead entry might be Lugosi’s WHITE ZOMBIE but even that one’s been banished to the jungle flick wasteland.

Way back in 68 George Romero re animated the style with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and it’s still the patriarch of the living dead family.

We know the drill; either radioactivity or a virus or just bad ju ju brings dead and rotting corpses back to life with one powerful agenda. That goal is to kill and eat as many non-dead folks as they can get their teeth into.

It’s even worse since once you’re dead or even bitten you turn into a zombie and assume all their nasty eating habits.

In the movies there’s usually a few humans battling it out against the undead hordes.

That’s the story in ZOMBIELAND with one twist.

It’s also a coming of age comedy. Yep. Kind of John Hughes meets Wes Craven kind of thing, and surprisingly not all that bad.

The flick begins after the zombies have nearly taken over, with cheesy first person narration, low rent scenery and terrible makeup FX. As a matter of fact the goons looked like fraternity party guests who’ve been a little too sloppy with the Purple Jesus punch.

The “hero” is a basic but loveable nerd called Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg). Note: characters get their names from the towns they’re trying to reach. He’ll befriend a deranged zombie fighter Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) as well as a pair of hot but crooked con women Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and the unlikely quartet embark on a violent and comical journey to anywhere that isn’t overrun by goons.

Basically this is a series of comic action scenes peppered with hard-boiled commentary by Harrelson, who I like somewhat better when I see less of him. There’s also the first romance bit between Columbus and Wichita.

The shtick is funny enough though it wears a little thin as the film rolls along. Luckily it’s under an hour and a half. There’s also a pretty funny cameo appearance but I’ll let that be a surprise if you haven’t already seen the credits.

I also felt a bit of empathy for Eisenberg’s character and wasn’t particularly disappointed in the ending.

All in all you should walk out smiling. At least I did.

If it hadn’t been for the slow start I’d probably given ZOMBIELAND a little higher grade, but like mold on a corpse it kinda grew on me.





Email westsidesteve@aol.com

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As I told you, I liked the first half wherein Columbus was describing all the "Rules" to deal with the Zombie's like Rule 1: Cardio...do your exercise so the fatboys get caught first by the Zombies so you can get away. Or the other rule "The Double Tap", i.e. put a second bullet in the brain of a Zombie just to make sure he was down and out. I think that set up the rest of the show.

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