Zombieland (2009)

ZombielandReviewed by Nomad

Starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Amber Heard, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin

Directed by Ruben Fleischer

In our wide world of horror there has been no shortage of films about the terminally hungry undead. We've had tales of love and loss, comedies and those purporting to be, serious apocalyptic dramas, pseudo-political pieces and ... whatever it is the Day of the Dead movies are. There is no end in sight so as Hollywood churns out their dead, it becomes less about original ideas and more about execution. Zombieland is most definitely not re-inventing the wheel, but I can say with no hesitation that it’s the funniest zombie tale since Shaun of the Dead.

Zombieland is the story of the broken survivors of an undead Armageddon. It is also the tale of a life not yet lived until everyone else has died. Lucky for us, very little time is spent on these deep, dramatic themes and emo sentimentality. In its place we get pure, unadulterated zombie killing bliss wrapped up in what can only be described as a parody of your basic coming of age teen comedy. Ohio (Eisenberg) is the prerequisite teen, so named for his desired destination. It’s Ohio who introduces us to the remnants of this decimated civilization, kicking things off with valuable tips to surviving any zombie encounter. Yes, those survival guide tips you are seeing in the commercials ARE in the movie. This proves an excellent way of showing glimpses of the world going to hell and includes one of the best title sequence montages since The Watchmen. I know I'm dishing out some seriously high praise, but it is well deserved. Trust me ... or don't. You know you are all going to see this yourselves anyway!

ZombielandOhio makes a beeline for his parent’s home when he runs into the mighty, mighty Tallahasse (Harrelson), who excels in zombie decimation while he scours the earth for his favorite snack cake. Destruction is his business, and to borrow a phrase from the Basterd Pitt, business is a'boomin! Soon the odd couple are joined by two more travelers (one of them being a hotty for Ohio), and the rest of the tale is elementary. Zombies attack and meet a squishy end, Ohio and his hotty flirt with love, hilarity ensues. As they make their way across the US, Tallahasse teaches the band that the world they knew is gone so it’s best to work out those frustrations any way possible, whether that be on abandoned cars, supermarkets, and of course, the cranium of a charging zombie. Some may still be staunch believers that fast zombies suck, but who cares? It’s not like we are getting prolonged chase scenes. When the Z boys come running, heads explode. What more do you need?

Comedic timing is near perfection in Zombieland, backing up the obvious fun of human-on-zombie violence with many a moment of gut busting hilarity. It can be as simple as an awkward or dorky conversation or as surprising as one particular scene in which the crew take refuge in a much unexpected location, providing the most insanely hysterical scene of the film. It’s one of those moments where people will say, “It was worth it just for that scene.” Woody Harrelson proves he’s still got the chops to leave us in stitches if he’s given the opportunity to shine while Jesse Eisenberg will most likely be described as “like that kid from Juno and Year One ... only funny.” It’s boyish/geeky charm alongside the badass yet vulnerable killing machine who is just a bit dim. When the party is joined by home town bad girl Wichita and her sister Little Rock, we’ve got a dysfunctional family for the world’s end. You’ll love every second of it.

ZombielandSome films would be content to strike the perfect mix of comedy and above average zombie effects, but Zombieland adds another dimension with just the right amount of back story for each character. These scenes remind us of the tragedy of their situation, eliciting everything from a chuckle to an awww to a downright yank on your heart strings. The dramatic elements are never overly milked and strike just the right chords, complementing the scenes they piggyback like a snug-fitting puzzle piece.

It’s a joy to watch a film that seems to get everything right, has an audience howling with laughter to the point where you have to struggle to hear the lines that follow a gag, and STILL provides some extra gory eye candy for the horror fan who said, “You had me at Zombie.” The running undead look fantastic and are dispatched in a never-ending, ever-evolving innovative shopping list of carnage. You’ll applaud every crunch. Zombieland is a killer comedy with a vicious sense of humor. It’s the kind of movie where, halfway through, you’ll wish you already owned the DVD. Grab six horror-starved friends and meet me at the movies for opening night. It’s time we made a deserving film #1!

5 out of 5

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Didn't See It Coming's picture

Hey look at that! This movie has undead, flesh eating zombies in it and guess what? They're not real.

Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 10:15pm.
Nomad's picture

Next, I'd like us to debate Draculas.

Submitted by Nomad on Tue, 09/15/2009 - 1:49pm.
Floydian Trip's picture

If you know anything about how fast a corpse deteriorates, you'd know zombies couldn't run. A shamble is the best they could do. If Micheal Crichton wrote and directed a zombie movie you better believe they'd be shambling.

Submitted by Floydian Trip on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 8:05pm.

I have to say you must be an idiot. Yes a real corpse deteriorates fast. Last time I checked they also don't move and try to eat you either. Trying to use logic like that makes you sound like a dumbass. How do you know that whatever reanimated them stops them from deteriorating fast? It's a fictional movie about fictional monsters.

Whoever says this movie doesn't have a story obviously didn't watch it. Did it have a deep involved story? no. But it does have a plot and does have character backgrounds, motives for what they are doing, etc. This isn't Citizen Kane here. Some of you really need to go to a proctologist and get that stick removed from your asses.

Submitted by thedarkestshadow on Mon, 10/05/2009 - 5:00am.
Didn't See It Coming's picture

Including him because he's dead. But that being said, zombies wouldn't be able to do much of anything. Not lift, grab, attack, bite or any of the other things you find acceptable. Yet these get a pass but running doesn't. You need to be studied by a team of scientists. Not one, a whole team. With note pads so they could write down every thing you say and then say "Hmm".

Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 10:14pm.
Gus Bjork's picture

Okay the bickering thing is old but goddamn it that made me laugh.

Submitted by Gus Bjork on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 10:45pm.
Mr. Gray's picture

Yep, that one got me, too.

Submitted by Mr. Gray on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 6:52pm.
moderator Agreed completely.
Steve Barton's picture

Agreed completely.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 8:20pm.
Floydian Trip's picture

Zombies shouldn't run.

Submitted by Floydian Trip on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 3:10pm.
Didn't See It Coming's picture

Sure they should. Zombies aren't real. A fact you keep missing.

Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 5:33pm.
Nomad's picture

It's practically part of the joke in this movie.

Submitted by Nomad on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 4:47pm.
Cinemajedi's picture

I get comedy, zombies AND Woody Harrelson In a good role? Yes please!

Submitted by Cinemajedi on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 11:42am.
Didn't See It Coming's picture

Well considering that I hated Gamer, I guess things are back to normal. Which sucks, because once again, we have a movie I'm really looking forward to with Nomad's stamp of approval. If I wasn't addicted to all things walking dead, I would probably skip it based on this review.

Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 5:13am.
Nomad's picture

Yea but anyone who liked the Crank movies was bound to like Gamer..which I did. I guess we'll find out soon enough!

Submitted by Nomad on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 11:43am.
Didn't See It Coming's picture

Yeah and Crank was horrible, so there you go.

Submitted by Didn't See It Coming on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 1:02pm.
moderator Oh, stop being a loony! LOL
Steve Barton's picture

Oh, stop being a loony! LOL

Submitted by Steve Barton on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 5:35am.
Dr Malachi Constant's picture

That's like asking shit not to stink, isn't it?

Submitted by Dr Malachi Constant on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 4:10pm.
RingoJ's picture


Anyway, since my opinion is the only one that matters,the movie was good.

Again, anyone who disagrees with me is wrong and an idiotdumbdumbhead.

Submitted by RingoJ on Sat, 10/03/2009 - 1:47am.
goblin310's picture

My excitement for this movie just got cranked up to 11!

Submitted by goblin310 on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 3:19am.

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