February 7, 2010

Who you gonna call? Zombiebusters!

I wanted to see Zombieland when I first saw its trailer, but never got around to it when it was in theaters. The DVD came out this past week. In a post-zombiecalyptic world, nerdy Columbus (played by Michael Cera look alike/act alike Jesse Eisenberg) is trying to get to his parents' home in Ohio. Against his cowardly instincts, he survives by following a set of practical rules. Like Rule no. 1: Cardio. "When the zombie outbreak first hit, the first to go, for obvious reasons...were the fatties." We see illustrations of the rules in gory detail of course. He buddies up with an unwilling Tallahassee, a one-man zombie killing machine with an obsession for Twinkies. Woody Harrelson's campy, comic turn as the redneck zombie slayer is brilliant. They are later joined on their road trip by sisters Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, so we get the Beauty and the Geek angle as well. Big sis Wichita only wants to bring Little Rock to revisit Pacific Playland, a California amusement park, to remember the good old days. Along the way, the group lays waste to any cannibals they encounter. Our band of intrepid zombie killers even make the acquaintance of a famous Hollywood movie star in a fantastic and memorable cameo.

Not quite Shaun of the Dead, this cheeky film is just as violent and gruesome, hilarious but not as frightening. The murderous mayhem is played for laughs. The flesh-eaters aren't the classic slow-moving, lumbering creatures we're used to. The film is short, with plenty of clever one-liners, pop culture and movie references to keep it zipping along.

Forget vampires and werewolves. Zombieland is a delightful movie about the undead that one can sink one's teeth into. Up next: a screen adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.


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