A Review by The Primal Root
I knew Zombieland was going to be fun. But words cannot describe the feeling of elation and pure horror nerd joy that swelled inside my black heart as this gooey bundle of zombie love splattered across the screen. From the opening credits alone, a beautiful and grotesque montage of zombie attacks set to the wildly appropriate living dead apocalyptic theme of Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, I knew this was the one. This was the horror movie I’ve been waiting half a dozen October’s since the Saw franchise took a foothold on the Halloween holiday. This is good, exciting, fun loving horror. The kind of hoot we want to have this time of year. And to my astonishment, just below the mindless, carnival minded rotting ribcage of Zombieland, resides a very warm and human heart steadily beating .
Zombieland centers on a 20 something anal retentive, Mountain Dew Guzzling, WOW playing, virgin survivor of the zombie uprising who recites his long list of zombie survival rules as we get to know him (Always Double Tap, Beware Bathrooms, etc.) and goes by the name Columbus ( Jesse Eisenberg) See, no one goes by their real names. Instead, they title themselves after the city they are aiming to get to now that civilization has totally collapsed. This is to ensure no relationship gets too personal. This is why I take so much pleasure in the name of Woody Harrelson’s character. Woody plays the badass of our film who has a great talent and artistry as a dispatcher of the recently re-animated. Woody play TALLAHASSEE. That’s right. The most awesome character in Zombieland, for whatever Cthulhu forsaken reason, wants to make his way to Tallahassee Florida which happens to be my devastatingly dead pan home town. In some strange way, the fact that Woody’s character goes by the name Tallahassee gives me some strange horror nerd feeling of pride.
But I digress, see, Columbus and Tallahassee meet up and head out on the road on their course to, well, wherever and to find Tallahassee a Hostess Twinkie. Apparently, after the zombie apocalypse Twinkies are about as tough a commodity to come by as a clean pair of underwear. This is one of two driving forces behind the enigma that is…Tallahassee. The other one I’ll let you see for yourself.
The two guys end up getting hustled and then kidnapped by two sisters. The older sexy ass kicker sister, Witchita (Emma Stone) the eventual love interest for our man Columbus and the younger gun toting sister who goes by Little Rock played by Little Miss Sunshine herself, Abigail Breslin. Eventually, they call a truce and head towards an amusement park in Los Angeles that Wichita and Little Rock used to go to before the undead came around to shit and piss all over everything.
Will they all make it out alive? Will Columbus get lucky with Wichita? Will our rag tag group of misfits run into any celebrities (um, probably the best cameo of all time!) once they reach L.A? Will Tallahassee ever get an f-ing Twinkie? All of these questions will be answered and will be done so with a huge shit eating grin and more laughs than you would ever imagine fitting into the all too quick 80 some odd minute running time. You’ll leave wanting more. Trust me.
Once our heroes reach the amusement park the movie goes full tilt boogey and holds no prisoners. Columbus rushes to save Wichita and Little Rock and must overcome his greatest fear to do so while Tallahassee runs interference and uses all the rides at the park in his aid blasting stenches from rollercoaster’s and gravitrons. Trust me, you’ll feel like you’re at the fair while you’re sitting in your theater seat. It’s so fast paced, fun, well edited and quippy, it’s as close to a carnival ride as a movie can possibly get.
Sure, civilization is over as we know it, humanity has been reduced to a handful of survivors and hordes of brain dead running sacks of meat. What’s left to do but laugh right in the face of Armageddon and have some fun with what time we’ve got left.
It might be the first of it’s kind. A zombie road trip buddy comedy. This movie will probably prove itself just as funny to none hardcore horror fans as it does to those, like myself, who live, eat and breath this stuff. It’s a simple and effective joyride. I have yet to come across a horror/comedy hybrid like it. It’s slightly dark, but not as pitch black and nihilistic like Return of the Living Dead. It’s heartfelt and sweet but not nearly as sentimental as Shaun of the Dead. Zombieland is totally in a class all by itself.
Like Tallahassee’s state early in Zombieland, “You gotta enjoy the little things.” It’s just the explosive shotgun blast of horror fun we’ve been waiting for and has been released just in time to add some zesty flavor to the Halloween season.
So nut up, sucker, and go have some fun at Zombieland!