Of course, when you hear the word survivors – plural – you probably imagine roving gangs of survivors, pillaging there way back and forth, never finding a place to settle down.
Well Zombieland is a little less populated with the living, in-fact the film kicks off with a lone survivor, who has managed to survive, only by doggedly sticking to a list of rules he has made up, a list that he continues to add too, and a list that offers up a lot of the films rampant humour.
But a lone survivor in Zombieland does not a comedy make, and Zombieland is comedy first, horror, second. So our lone – and some what cowardice – survivor happens upon another survivor, who agrees to take him along for a ride. However, our new survivor, played with abundant relish by Woody Harrelson, demands that no personal detail are shared – due to the fact that life is short, and personal attachments only make for more pain – and decides that they should each be called by the place they come from. Thus our new survivor, and manic zombie hunter is known as Tallahassee and the scared younger survivor with the anal list of rules, is Columbus.
Tallahassee is on a mission, it’s a simple two part mission. First, kill as many zombies as possible, as a sort of cathartic revenge for the zombification of his loved ones, whist at the same time, keeping an eye out for a Twinkie, his sole connection to good old days.
On one of their zombie killing/Twinkie missions at an abandoned supermarkets (is there any other kind in Zombieland?) they stumble upon two more survivors, named Wichita and Little Rock – two girls who managed to out wit them and steal their guns and transport before disappearing.
Of course Tallahassee and Columbus catch up with them and eventually they team up to go on a road trip to a fabled Zombiefree amusement park.
Really good zombie films are a rare thing, really good zombie comedies are even rarer – I can only think of two: Shaun of the Dead and Dead Snow. Zombieland however, in my mind at least, completes the holy trinity of Zombie comedies, each having their strengths and weaknesses and each deserving, but not quite attaining the rightful honor of top spot – they are all equals.
What makes Zombieland so damn enjoyable is the way the whole thing is put together – first you have Columbus’ rules popping up all over the place, sometimes as part of the current story, sometimes as part of the back story – almost always with some creative use of the actual text of the rules. Then there is the pitch perfect visuals – the slow motion blood-splatter, the just-enough-gore to make you squeamish, just-enough-frights to keep it real and keep you on edge.
The seemingly pointless story that you know just how its going to turn out, but you don’t care because the ride is so damned fun and semi unpredictable in itself. And then there is the curve ball that you don’t see coming because it’s so far out of left field, but makes the film oh so much better.
But I guess the overriding factor that makes Zombieland such a massive win, is that it’s just so damned stupidly funny. With a capital F.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read
Release date: June 23rd, 2010
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Amber Heard, Bill Murray, Derek Graf
Length (Minutes): 88
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Supported Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio
Director: Fleischer, Ruben
Studio: Sony Pictures