My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

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Oct 5

Zombieland

Category: Life,Opinions

In my head, there had been three perfect zombie movies, 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead (2004) and Shaun of the Dead. After tonight, however, my list is up to four thanks to the surprising awesomeness of Zombieland. Zombieland tells the story of four survivors living in a world of blood-thirsty victims of a terrible virus, and falls into the genre of “horror comedy,” which always worries me a little. Bad horror can be really funny, but bad comedy is always just flat out bad. Fortunately, Zombieland does everything right. It’s stylishly violent, sometimes scary, but also very funny, and very warm.

To me, the great zombie movies aren’t really about zombies, they’ve about people, people facing the end and trying to cope with death that could happen at any moment. People don’t generally think of death as something that could happen tomorrow, or right now. People are almost child-like about death. Death is something that happens to other people, or when you’re “really old.” People stay in shit jobs, worry about schedules, have petty arguments over things that don’t matter, they don’t spend time enough with people they love, because there’s always time to live differently. Zombies strip away ridiculous constructs and the delusional idea that there’s always time to be happier or say to that someone who feels like home, “I love you.” Zombies are a death that everyone can see, and smell, they’re not a vague notion of something that will happen “eventually.” When death is banging bloody hands on the door, people get their priorities straight. Survival and being with those we care about, nothing else is important. Zombieland captures all of this with dark humor, bloody violence, and genuine tenderness.

If zombies showed up tomorrow, I know right where I’d want to be. Do you?

5 comments

5 Comments so far

  1. Cass October 5th, 2009 2:19 am

    You’re so right, about it being more about the people. I was toying with the idea of writing a Zombie Novel a while back and the important thing for me was to make it about the “Living.” The first line that I wrote in for it was: “We had seen the movies and read the books, but in the end it was never about the undead. The living became our worst enemies.” And I agree that tragedy seems to show everyone what they had been doing wrong. It’s kinda sad that we allow ourselves to live that way. But yanno, I know where I want to be when the brain eaters come banging on my door…

    Also, I cannot wait to see this.

  2. michael October 5th, 2009 2:25 am

    Cass: Let’s see it tomorrow! I have to go at least four more times.

  3. Sir Tessa October 5th, 2009 2:54 am

    I suspect you’d get a kick out of Dead Snow, the Norwegian zombie film that just did the festival circuit. It was -exceptionally- well balanced when it came to humour, gore, serious, and hilarious.

  4. Susie October 5th, 2009 4:28 am

    lol – so true – awesome post

  5. Pete October 5th, 2009 6:16 am

    Good review, I was “on the fence” about seeing it, but you helped me make up my mind.

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