This is one of those movies that is super easy to sum up in a short way and if you don’t like spoilers avert your eyes right now.
This movie got two things right:
– The rules
– Bill Murray
Let’s get into the details.
Zombieland follows a small group of survivors as they wander around the US looking for safe haven, someplace to call home and twinkles! It’s a light hearted but gory horror comedy and it’s one of the better mainstream shots at the genre.
For my money this movie did two things right as I mentioned above.
The rules were introduced as a fun way of getting the audience into the heads of the characters and explaining how they manage to get by in a post-apocalyptic America. They are brilliantly done because they appear on screen as well-placed text within the scenes even when you aren’t looking for them. They are also just silly enough to be believable. Cardio; it’s a great rule for getting by even in the real world anyway. As a cardinal rule of survival in Z-land it’s not what we elected at first. We were maybe thinking avoid being bit, shoot them in the head, standard parts of the genre. But the rules in this movie are more about life lessons, like enjoying the little things.
Bill Groundhog-Day, Ghostbustin’-ass Murray!– GZA
This basically made the movie. Zombieland without Bill Murray’s amazing cameo is just a goofy adventure with some fun gags. When our survival group gets to Bill Murray’s house and he’s walking around pretending to be a zombie everyone watching the movie lost their shit. It was tongue-in-cheek crammed with the best jokes of the movie, and validated the actors. I wasn’t familiar with the kids in the movie and wasn’t really buying into them but if they were good enough for Bill Murray, they were good enough for me.
So, you know. They’ve got that going for them.
The soundtrack is also surprisingly good. Almost too good. Like they actually got someone who knew what they were doing to pick the music. It’s a soundtrack I could actually listen to.
Ok, so this is really me picking nits but early on there’s a scene where Columbus lets a hot neighbor into his place. They fall asleep and when he wakes up she’s about to eat him. For some reason she is suddenly covered in blood and guts even though she fell asleep clean. That always bothered me. I can understand her being sick on herself or if her wound started bleeding and festering but the filth and blood on her seemed inconsistent and it made me feel like a lot of the gore effects in the movie were really just a lot of rubbery strings and corn syrup.
One area where I’m not picking nits though is the lights. Why are all the lights on? I mean the power stations aren’t going to keep running and there aren’t that many backup generators laying around for all the lights to constantly be on wherever they go. That being said I think it’s just a thing with the movie that they hope we just accept and move past. It’s suspension of disbelief and I’m willing to let it go. This is a comedy after all.
Remember that time Woody Harrelson attacked a guy and blamed it on thinking he was a zombie?
And after reading that I can only say good on you Woody! I’m not into the whole celebrity cult that lets people like paparazzi follow people and their kids around and generally act like human leaches. It’s a slightly ugly incident but the paparazzi are the ugliest.
And finally I have to mention:
He’s an ugly bastard and acts as the final villain for Columbus to overcome as he’s afraid of clowns. It’s an obvious plot device that pretty much works because most people hate clowns. They are scary as hell!