First let me tell you about my history with zombies. I like zombies alot. They're my favorite 'monster'. And there's so much variety in zombie flicks. You got your traditional slow hell-overflow zombies. You got your fast zippy infected rage maniacs. Political messages. Science messages. Scary scary. Funny funny. Whatever. The only thing they haven't done yet is mix slow zombies and fast zombies in the same movie-- which would be kinda coolio! I can imagine fast zombies totally rudely shoving the slow zombies out of the way to get to the humans and the slow zombies being all like, 'Arrr... what's with am super fast zombies they eating all people firssstt!-- So the super slow zombies would get organized and then there'd be an all out war Fast Zombies v. Slow Zombies. Sure, you would assume that the super fast zombies would win no problem-- but once you throw some green radiation into the mix that makes the slow zombies super strong... then what? Huh? Then what!
Anyway, I headed out tonite with a friend of mine to check out this flick. We picked up a picnic bag of beef jerky, watermelon chunks and york peppermint patties and got there a solid 20 minutes early to get the good seats. Good times. I was semi-psyched for this flick too! It looked really fresh! Coolio and fun! Shotgun blasty! Edgy and rock and roll! Problem was it didn't look all that great. Just differently coolio. It didn't have the vibe or transcending or flatout reinventing. More like it just dolled itself with branding tricks and colorful spalshes to create the image of alt.new and improved zomb action.
Within ten minutes I caught onto what was going on here. They took Fight Club (voiceover and graphics) mashed it with Natural Born Killers (open country, fun remorseless killing) and plugged the formula into a post-zombie world. Fine with me. Let's do this. Plus, I dug the Michael Sera's wimpy shtick combined with Woody Harrelson's good ol' boy chin waggle. It was definitely a good combo. (I liked seeing Little Miss Sunshine hold a shotgun too). But eventually I felt disappointment creeping up my shoes, past my socks, and up toward my knees. This movie was simply a flashy comedy. It sped right past any zombified dread and dove head first into silly. And unfortunately, it seemed like it was more fun to film than to actually watch. You could practically hear the crew snarfing giggles behind the scenes at their cleverity. The reality was this microwaved meal smelled really good-- but there was simply not enough meat on the bone.
That being said, I wasn't bored at all. I respected what it was doing. The cameo was a great highlight highpoint. And there were some other scenes that really worked. But I couldn't resist the logic problems scattered all over this thing. And the lack of sheer power. When push came to shove this whole thing played sort of girlie. And I refused to allow it to have its way with me. I just couldn't embrace it fully and when all was said and done I realized the problem wasn't with the movie itself--- the problem was with me.
I'm simply a zombie snob.
In the same way that hardcore vampire people might roll their eyes at a vampire comedy-- I now roll my eyes at zombie goofball stuff. I like the real deal so much more. If I go to a zombie movie I want real zombie end-of-everything-everywhere dread. That's not to say there's not room for funny. I liked Shaun of the Dead but that flick had a more respectable approach. A mash-up rather than a basterdization. This flick is really just zombie fast food-- and I think true undead purists (like me) really prefer a raw and simple diet.
Three Good Things About this Movie
- I liked the opening credits and graphics throughout.
- Woody Harrelson is just fun to lookat and listen to...
- I liked the soundtrack.
Three Bad Things About this Movie
- The zombies were cliche looking.
- It could have used more crazy and less zany.
- I felt like it took advantage of the situation like a drunk frat boy.
All in all, this is a difficult movay to hate. There's enough there for it to cover all the bases and it's probably fun for the whole family if you're a bad parent. But this thing is straight spoof. What I really wanted to happen was have 'real deal' zombie dread spill into this funhouse movie-- and give these cocky goofballs something to really fear. Change their playtime world. Slam it all to a halt and strip away their 'we got it all under control' attitude. Kill Sera real bad or whatever. Shock the system and shift gears into real-time. Because after a while the arrogant swagger of this flick started to come off like a 4th grader who thinks he can kick my ass just because he's a green belt in karate. No real threat other than being entertained--- or not.
PS. Very psyched for this...