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For anyone who has read Jane Austen’s 1813 novel Pride and Prejudice, or seen the subsequent film and television adaptations, you know that “sexy” and “dangerous” are not words that describe the work.

Romantic, sure, the book is filled with pages and pages of romantic build-up, but mostly there is no violence and outside of some worry for a Bennet sister’s virtue, there is no mention, or even innuendo, of sex.

Not so, it seems in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! See below. 

Based on the 2009 novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies takes the classic Austen story and adds, well, zombies.

Elizabeth and her sisters are taught fencing, martial arts, and other important zombie fighting techniques by their father, while their mother constantly schemes to get them married off to wealthy suitors.

There is still the tension between Elizabeth and Darcy, and all the dramatic intrigue, but with an extra element that becomes the driving force behind the characters’ actions. The characters are familiar to many, but the zombie premise has brought a whole new generation to the story.

While zombies are traditionally not as sexy as vampires, in this past decade they have come to the forefront in supernatural fame. The Walking Dead, World War Z, Warm Bodies, and iZombie are all examples of how popular zombies are at the moment. So what better time for a period piece involving the undead plague upon humanity? Although, supernatural period drama is a genre that hasn’t quite picked up speed in Hollywood. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (based on a different novel by Grahame-Smith) was by all accounts a dud. Hansel and Gretel:Witch Hunters faired a little better. Can Pride and Prejudice and Zombies crack the code? Maybe. They seem to be doing everything right, at least. The screenplay is co-written by David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle), the cast is young, hot and relevant (LilyJames, Sam Riley, and Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey), and the trailer is certainly grabbing.

What is it about 19th century characters fighting zombies that is so hot?

So very much. The escape from the normal bland, puritanical reserve that the 21st century associates with them, for one. There’s enough action and bloodshed to satisfy a desensitized gamer. Even the idea of a knife under the conservative dresses of the women is alluring. So, I suppose, it comes back to violence being sexy. Maybe the naysayers have been right all these years. But if so, it’s much more fun to be wrong.

Category: Film

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