Right! Life is Good!
Then again, after watching Zombieland the 2009 American Zombie Flick Spoof, I actually had to start thinking... what if there were Zombie Ninjas? Not that there are any Ninjas (undead or not) in Zombieland, but that's the way my mind works. Ask my Boss!
But back to the Land we call Zombie! The film kicks off much like most walking dead flicks (funny or not) by setting the stage of the end of the world. See, apparently some clown bit into a burger with a special strain of Mad Cow disease that turns his ass and every subsequent ass into a flesh-craving, skin-rotting, stench-engulfed Living Dead... ghoul! And the virus spreads like mad, making everyone feel bad and invades every part of every society incredibly fast, mostly because the zombies are everywhere and invade every part of life. To even THINK about avoiding the Zombie Plague would take a geek so neurotic and organized that he has a list for everything... except a list of any friends or family... 'cause he hasn't got any. Lucky for us, we get just such a guy in the form of our main character, Jesse Eisenberg's Columbus.
And let me tell you, Columbus has a more than complete "List" for how to survive the Zombie Apocalypse! That Columbus, man! Yeah, he's CALLED "Columbus", by the way, because of the fact that the only other viable survivor he meets insists on "no names", just destination locations! Hence this character's handle of Tallahassee! Tallahassee (as played by, no shit, Woody Harrelson) is not a neurotic, anal nerd-growth, but is instead a pissed off steel-horse ridin' cowboy who has stayed alive primarily because he's twice as foul tempered as any old Zombie you might come across between... well, Tallahassee and Columbus.
Naturally the pair make quite an odd-couple, with all the memories of Felix and Oscar bubbling readily to the surface as easy as you like. Well, that is... you know, Felix and Oscar with Zombies. But at least there are no Ninjas, right? Right. The only thing really missing is a love interest for one of these two clowns, seeing as how the first lady Columbus ever fell for (his neighbor from 406, played by Amber Heard) went all zombiefied on him and tried to eat him before he could even brush her hair behind her ear. Enter Wichita (Emma Stone), who is not only alive (and uninfected), but is also super, super hot! The bad news for the short-straw-drawing dude is that the only other female anywhere around with a pulse happens to be Wichita's 12 year old sister Little Rock (Little Miss Sunshine herself, Abigail Breslin). The worse news for both of them? Well, the guys might be better off with the Zombies than dealing with these two ladies.
Naturally the four make quite an odd-quartet, with all the memories of Felix and Oscar and Florence and Olive bubbling readily to the surface as easy as you like. Well, that is... you know, Felix and Oscar and Florence and Olive with Zombies! What? What? To esoteric, even for me?
Moving On. The key, of course, to this post-apocalyptic horror flick is the comedy which ranges from the dry to the slapstick to the outrageous to the completely surprising. Let me tell you, yes, the film is very funny. One of the best comedic Zombie Flicks ever made. Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick infuse some great hilarity into their script, picking up elements of The Zombie Survival Guide along with funny answers to a whole ton of questions that most Zombie flicks beg from opening to closing credits. Best of all, Director Rube Fleischer actually seems to trust the audience, more often than not, to understand what is going on without over-explaining every little quip or farcical moment. When it's funny, it's because of a great combination of skilled actors, a knowing director and a humorous script.
That said, there are a few times that Zombieland comes off as a less-refined version of Shaun of the Dead, so much so that had Shaun never existed, this might gain instant classic status. Then again, it's hard to imagine Zombieland being either conceived or green-lit without the success of Shaun! Alternately, Zombieland shifts gears to become a semi-standardized Action Flick with one-liners and quick-draw gun fighting. Other times the film shies away from being a blood-and-guts zombie flick and falls more into the trappings of a funny on-the-road comedy. Not that this is a bad thing, but when the standard "Coming of Age" dramatic moments pop up and feel much as they do in any old film of that genre, the audience might start double checking their ticket stubs to make sure they're in the right theatre. Yes, as great a laugh and shock flick as this can be, it's hard not to notice that it is intended for "The Masses" and plays it safe in the right areas for the sake of that big, green dollar sign.
Luckily, again, right when we start to get a little heavy, Fleischer, Reese and Wernick throw another hilarious spoof, farce or satire moment right at our foreheads like Iraqi shoes at old G-Dub! From a quick aside that announces the award of "Zombie Kill of the Week" going to sister Cynthia Knickerbocker (Joan Schuermeyer) to some great one-liners surrounding everything from Twinkie shopping to the introduction of a Clown Zombie (Derek Graf) to, of course, the instantly classic cameo by Bill Murray, who seems to be perfectly cast in his portrayal of... Bill Murray!
Sure it's not quite the best film ever made, even in the subgenre that it flourishes in. However, this Hollywood entry into the category of Zombie Spoofs or even simple Comedy Horror Films never quite becomes "Too Hollywood" to be a viable name on the list. What's more it has already mad a Zombie's Ransom at the box office, so we might be lucky enough for more of these. Further, the plot does lead up to a very cool finish and leaves you feeling pretty darned good... or as good as you can, considering that just about everyone is dead all over everywhere. And if you still want a slice more, stay through the credits for one last goof-ball scene.
Yeah, that's Zombieland, the Comedy Horror Farce about Earth's Future with Zombies Galore and hardly an edible Twinkie in sight. Still, Twinkies or not, Zombieland still stands to inherit a more-than-meek Three and one half Stars out of Five! Now, if you'll excuse me, I think a Road Trip is calling my name! Yes, folks, it's time to travel again, considering the fact that I'm just about ready to check out a few specific Amusement Parks I haven't hit just yet! Anybody want to join me? I'm all about ride-sharing and having a dining companion and all, but let me tell you, my travel buddy stinks!
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