Sunday, 9 May 2010
DVD REVIEW: ZOMBIELAND
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Available now on DVD and Blu-ray
For those who don't necessarily go in for horror (that's me, I'm a wuss!), the bloody edge can be taken off the gore with a few well-timed , well-pitched jokes. So it is with Zombieland, which as the title suggests, takes place in a world where the living dead have taken over and only a few unaffected humans remain.
I have a theory that zombie films are actually vegetarian propaganda: nothing quite turns one off the eating of meat as a member of the undead feasting on human flesh. My theory is supported by Mad Cow being used here by the writers (Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) as the cause for the outbreak of the zombie virus. Thankfully the writers, and director Ruben Fleischer, have opted for humour over horror, meaning the jokes come much thicker and faster than the blood and flesh chomping.
Jesse Eisenberg plays Columbus. That's his home State not his real name, for recent travelling companion Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) prefers that they not get too attached. Tallahassee's much like Brad Pitt's Lt. Aldo Raine in Inglourious Basterds: he wants as many zombie scalps as he can get.
Surviving on his own up until now by subscribing to a code (he's always been the overly cautious type), Columbus is grateful for the company and protection. Then they meet Wichita (Emma Stone) and her sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin, no longer Little Miss Sunshine), and, after getting off to a bad start, form a sort of fellowship, eventually deciding to head for Los Angeles after their initial destination fails to deliver any Twinkies, Tallahassee's snack of choice. There's also an amusement park young Little Rock wants to visit and, hey, if you're going to be part of a zombie feast you might as well die with a smile on your face, right?
The journey makes for an amusing road trip and culminates with a great joke involving Bill Murray. Until then, Harrelson, doing a good job of not-quite-crazy, and Eisenberg, who seems to have become Hollywood's 'geek du jour', make for an engaging odd couple. Horror fans may feel somewhat short changed by the minimal gore (though the film's not without its various forms of zombie slaying), but there's plenty to keep us wusses amused.