It’s not too often a film like Zombieland comes along. Running and screaming at you, gangly limbs flailing and dripping an inky black bile from its mouth. It wants to rip out your throat with its ragged teeth, and shove its jagged claws down the hole. Then before tearing out your intestines, leave those jumpy, gory, and deliciously ultra violent butterflies in your belly, making you a part of the bunch. Before you know it, you’re laughing out loud and cheering on the heroes of this polished to an apple shine, funny/fright fest.
You have the basic narration of the film in order of Zombie Survival rules, instructed to you by Jesse Eisenberg, who seems to be channeling a Michael Cera doppelganger. Before the movie kicks into gear with electrically evil circus music blasting like a shotgun to the tone of Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, we are treated to a wonderfully bloody montage of what the world has become. It’s not long before the hilarious introduction of Harrelson’s character Tallahassee to Eisenberg’s Columbus (No names, just cities of origin). You then begin to realize this isn’t so much a slam, bang horror flick than it is a sadistically funny and smart take on an old dog of a genre. When the two boys are duped not once but twice by Superbad’s super fucken smokin’ Emma Stone and her little sister Little Rock (The “Outta That Awkward Stage), Abigail Breslin, this road trip movie takes that turn that most zombie flicks succumb to. The search for other humans, and NO zombies. This hell ride has a little twist though; Harrelson’s menacingly hilarious obsession with finding just ONE FUCKING TWINKIE!!
The run time of an hour and twenty minutes leaves you with little more than an introduction of characters. A shockingly funny cameo and cutesy middle, then the balls out, EVERYTHING you want out of a zombie blaster, finale. With innards exploding forth like fireworks into the night sky! The subtle development of the characters is astounding for the short length of the film, from untrustworthy adversaries to unwavering stalwarts. You learn to love the harsh coldness they depend upon to protect their own fragile hearts (as well as brains), to the warming bond they find among each other in a dead world where nothing else like them exists.
Zombieland is a blast of fresh air in a hot and dank cellar, full of aging and very often, extremely generalized meat (meat being the metaphor for a slew of mediocre movies). And while yes, I am romanticizing and being poetic about a fuckin’ zombie movie…It was one hell of a ride. So buy your ticket, have a zombie rip it, and lock and load, cuz Zombieland’s one terrorcoaster you’ll love to be on! 5 out of 5 stars.
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