In the annals of zombie movies there’s definitely a broad spectrum of the good, the bad, and the ugly. It may not be my favorite sub-genre of horror but I do enjoy my fair share of the undead rising from the grave to munch on hapless passersby. Whether it be straight-out horror to the occasionally played as thriller to the outright loving spoof, there are a great many varieties when it comes to zombie films.
Over the last few years there have been a lot of zombie movies. Some of the better ones include: 2004’s Dawn of the Dead, the British goods Boy Eats Girl and Shaun of the Dead, Planet Terror, and of course the great duo 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later. The independent market seems to be the place to find most of the more expendable flicks but there are way more in that department not worth mentioning..
This year has seen possibly only one other great horror film, Drag Me to Hell, but thankfully with Halloween fast approaching and October finally upon us we have at least one more film to be thankful for — Zombieland. This may be director Ruben Fleischer's first feature film, but in no way does it ever become apparent. With a fusion of Zack Snyder (lots of slow motion but never an overuse), some very black humor, a brilliant sense of self-awareness, and its finger brilliantly on the pulse of pop culture comes a splatacular little movie that quickly moves to the top of the best films of the year. Yes, even if it happens to be a zombie movie.
While this is Paul Wernick’s first outing as feature film writer, co-writer Rhett Reese has some surprising credits behind him - Cruel Intentions 3, and the kid films Clifford’s Really Big Movie, Pixar’s Monsters, Inc., and Disney’s Tarzan II and Dinosaurs. Not particularly the type of films to generate a hilariously balls-out, red Karo syrup-splattered, scare-filled zombie feature. But, just like the writing team behind Cats and Dogs’ Glen Ficarra and John Requa brought us Bad Santa, I guess everyone’s allowed to have a few tricks up their sleeves.
Jesse Eisenberg could be instantly played off as a Michael Cera wannabe if he wasn’t such an incredibly better actor. In his first few appearances, in The Village, Cursed, and The Squid and the Whale, he brought instantly likable characters to at least two instantly forgettable films. Last seen in Adventureland he now brings us a double feature year that should hopefully keep him prominently placed in lead roles after his hilariously endearing goofball turn here.