Comedy brings zombie genre to life

The living undead have long permeated the movie genre. The first zombie movie was made in 1932 and was titled White Zombie. Since then they have set the standard for classic horror films. Recently however, the zombie movies have tried to break up the age-old horror story and add a few laughs.

The most notable example of this was the popular 2004 film, Shaun of the Dead. This was probably the first and best of the comedic zombie movies. But on Friday, October 2nd, a new film emerged to set the bar for humorous zombies.

Zombieland can easily be described as the American version of Shaun of the dead. While Shaun of the Dead is all about irony and sophisticated British humor that doesn’t make you laugh hysterically, but certainly allows you to enjoy yourself, Zombieland focuses entirely on the good old gross American jokes that we’ve come to love so much. There is gore to be had at every turn and plenty of sexual innuendos.

From its description, most people would think that this film would be crass and stereotypical, but Zombieland does an amazing job. While the jokes can sometimes be less mature than others, it almost always makes you laugh and never apologizes.

Although there is really no story present in the movie, you tend not to mind very much. You’re simply too busy being caught up in the spectacle and characters. The movie follows Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) as he treks through the old USA which has been turned into Zombieland thanks to the “Mad People Disease”. Pretty soon he meets up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and they form an unlikely duo.

Everyone in the movie chooses to name themselves after the destination to which they are headed. Even after they are all well acquainted and comfortable with each other they still choose not to disclose their real names. Despite this, you still feel attached to them.

The story picks up when Columbus and Tallahassee run across the sisters Wichita and Little Rock (Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin), who are Hell-bent on surviving no matter what. Despite several double crossings, Columbus has fallen head over heels for Wichita and does everything he can to be reunited with her.

Tallahassee is a gun-toting, wise-cracking, zombie-hating killing machine whose sole purpose left is to take as many zombies with him as he can. Despite first appearances, Tallahassee has a very complicated past and is a surprisingly deep character.

In contrast to Tallahassee, Columbus is a “Michael Cera-esque” character who has survived this far due to his set of strict rules. This list is about 37 rules long and he adds each rule after a specific experience which has taught him to obey the rules. Some favorites include “Beware of Bathrooms”, “Double tap”, and the most important of all: “Enjoy the little things”.

Despite first appearances, this movie is insanely enjoyable with plenty of action and humor thrown into the mix. It focuses less on actual horror and more on those “BOO!” moments that most zombie movies tend to use. Some people think that this movie will bring the zombie genre down, but I feel the exact opposite. I feel that this has brought the term zombie far up!

One of the best moments in the movie is the cameo of Bill Murray playing himself. He does any insanely good job and is able to make you laugh just by standing there and being himself. He lives up in a giant mansion and puts makeup on to blend in with the zombies so he can go about his life as normal; he even still finds time to play golf. The first scene he is in shows that even though the world has virtually ended around him, Tallahassee still has time to breathlessly tell his hero just how much he loves him.

Although this movie is worth buying, I advise people to still see it in theaters. Just to get that popcorn experience with the big screen that people seem to love. Anyone who doesn’t mind zombies and loves a good laugh should definitely see this movie. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, or to anyone who loves a good movie. Zombieland is not for the faint of heart though, there is a good amount of strong language and the movie definitely enjoys being gory and does it quite often. But this is definitely a movie everyone should see at some point.

9 out of 10 stars.