When Zombieland was released at the cinema, it seemed to come from nowhere. I saw a few glossy billboard posters and turned up my nose. I ADORE zombie movies, but I don’t really adore zombie movies that have glitzy Hollywood budgets and are part of a cyclical fad for the genre. I want my blood gunky and ketchupy, the tape flickery and scratched and the acting wooden. It all just looked a bit too trendy and so I retreated to behind my sofa to rewatch Plague of the Zombie for the thousandth time and grumble to myself!
Then the recommendations started. At first it was a few texts, then a few phonecalls and then it literally felt like I couldn’t wade through my day without someone demanding that I go see it immediately. I stubbornly (ok geekily, as I didnt want audience reaction to distract me from indulging in potentially brilliant proper zombie movie action) waited for it to come out on DVD and on Sunday I finally watched it with baited breath. And…………………………… I LIKED it. I actually really liked it.
My partner in film-watching crime announced 0.5 seconds in (before the opening credits had even rolled!) “this is totally shit isn’t it, and actually, aren’t zombie shit. They aren’t even funny! All they do is run at things”. Rather than batter him to death with my dissertation (“Are zombie movies a resource for social commentary?“) and tell him the million flaws in his statement (like duh, they totally stagger… even if it’s a quick stagger) I gritted my teeth and he was promptly asleep before 20 minutes had passed (great help he’d be in an actual zombie invasion!) This was a good thing though, because it meant I could wallow in geeky zombie glory with a dorky grin on my face AND do an air-punch Bill Murray cameo happened. If I hadn’t already decided I liked the movie, that definitely cineched it. I ♥ BM.
There are lots of things that aren’t great about the movie. It has some really cheesey text that appears on the screen all the time, nothing ever gets explained, nothing actually that massive really happen and the reason for the zombie invasion is the lamest I have ever, ever heard (mad cow disease turned into mad human disease?! ?!) BUT all these head-bashingly annoying things actually become charming and by the end I was completely engrossed and had that I never want this movie to end feeling.
The cinematography is beautiful, every shot feels like it could be a print or a postcard. Relative unknown lead Jesse Eisenberg plays the Adam-Brody-in-The-OC/Michael-Cena-in-Every-Role-Ever geek lead in a genuinelly funny and charming way.
So to repeat the sentiment of pretty much everyone I spoke to last October, SEE THIS MOVIE! It’s subtle (well as subtle as gore spluttering zombies can evr be) and it’s quietly brilliant and you are guarenteed to chuckle at least once and squeal in horror at least once. What more could you ask for, really?