Genre: Comedy, horror
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Running Time: 81 mins
Budget: $23,6 million
Released: 2 October 2009 (USA)
In a world overrun with zombies, a meek survivor, Columbus, teams up with bad-ass zombie hunter, Tallahassee, whose goal is eat the last Twinkie on Earth while splattering zombie brains in the process.
The film industry seems to be somewhat obsessed with the zombie apocalypse genre, it’s something we’ve seen over and over countless times and generally viewers know what to expect. Most of these zombie films don’t really elaborate on how the ‘outbreak’ began and just throw the viewer straight into the action although films like the Resident Evil series do offer a proper explanation, Zombieland does not, all you’re told is that there was a zombie invasion, people are now out numbered and the world is a flaming ball of shit. What I like about Zombieland is that it’s a comedy, and much like Shaun of the Dead, it’s a really good one.
The film manages to take the rather bleak subject matter and turn it into something fun. The first protagonist is Columbus played by Jesse Eisenberg, an actor I first encountered in The Village and then Adventureland, I know the critics are saying that Adventureland was hilarious but the countless online forums beg to differ, I for one found Adventureland to be quiet entertaining as I find the ‘geeky’ and timid acting style of Eisenberg to be rather humourous. The next hero is Tallahassee, played by Woody Harrelson. Now I’m not really much of a Harrelson fan but I really liked his performance in Zombieland, he pulled off the gun-toting, zombie-killing bad-ass beautifully. One aspect of the film that really adds to the humour is the set of survival rules that Columbus has, it’s these rules that he’s created that allow him to stay alive in a world filled with the flesh-eating undead. At certain intervals, Columbus will mention a rule and it will appear on-screen in bold text, for example; Rule #2 Double tap – “In those moments where you’re not quite sure if the undead are really dead, dead, don’t get all stingy with your bullets. I mean, one more clean shot to the head, and this lady could have avoided becoming a human Happy Meal. Woulda… coulda… shoulda.”
Eventually Columbus and Tallahassee team up and then meet up with a pair of sisters, Wichita and Little Rock played by Emma Stone and Abigail breslin, who turn out to be con artists and steal all their weapons and whatnot. There’s a good chemistry between the protagonists and the character interaction is fun to watch. Of course a zombie apocalypse film wouldn’t be complete without a decent amount of the creatures and sure enough Zombieland delivers. As funny as this film is, there’s enough bloody gore and gut wrenching scenes to appease horror fans and the zombies look just as good as anything from George A. Romero’s work.
Zombieland is one of the most enjoyable comedy-horror films I’ve seen in a long time, recommended viewing for comedy and horror fans alike.