Just the right amount of cannibalistic dismemberment perfectly peppers a recently released comedy horror film of blood-choked zombies.
Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and directed by first-timer Ruben Fleischereich, “Zombieland” is a dark comedy set in a catastrophic world of mindless zombies bent on making meals out of stars Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin.
“Zombieland” opens with Jesse Eisenberg’s Cliff Notes narration of “how the world came to end as we know it” and the rules he lives by to survive these harrowing times.
These rules present a contextual frame in which the story is often presented as characters follow or ignore them.
Appearing at first to follow the standard boilerplate highway of zombie genres, the film takes the off-ramp as the story joins up various odd and eccentric travelers like Eisenberg and transforms them into more of a college road trip/coming-of-age film set on a backdrop of the wastelands of humanity.
The human angle in this film of “unhuman” adversity is what grabs the viewer. It presents a scenario to which people can relate.
Each character in the film enters with a past he is either running from or trying to recapture.
The actual dilemma they are facing is irrelevant. Be it hurricanes, volcanoes, wars, plague, meteors, tidal waves or buffalo, the real conflict is the interpersonal one between the small group of survivors. The obstacles in their way can be overcome as long as they trust one another.
This film is well directed and edited. Special effects are used seamlessly throughout the film and create some very unexpected shots.
Especially powerful were the staggered presentations of some of the characters’ back stories, giving new light to their motivations later in the film.
While perhaps not a movie for a family with small children, we definitely recommend it for viewers with the stomach to handle a little cannibalism.
Funny, touching and inspiring, it may make one learn to appreciate the little things in life he often takes for granted.
This film is rated ‘R’ for horror violence/gore and language and has a run time of 80 minutes.