Zombieland (2009) review
The 2009 film Zombieland, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin and Bill Murray, is a film which has won 5 awards respectively. The characters are strangely named by the places associated with them. Eisenberg is Columbus, Harrelson is Tallahassee, Stone is Witchita and Breslin is Little Rock. In fact, the only person whose real name is used is Bill Murray’s, because he’s Bill Murray!
I will mention now that this film already, collectively, has three of my favourite actors, so when I initially saw it advertised way back when I was 17 I knew I needed to watch it. Plus Zombies, my other favourite kind of people.
The beginning of the film starts with narrative by Eisenberg himself in which we are told that ‘This isn’t America anymore, It is the United states of Zombieland.’ Not soon after we see the first Zombie of the film burst into the shot, who is not only creepy AF when he stares into the camera, but his SFX make-up is incredible. For anyone living in fear that this is just another Zombie film, it’s not. It’s actually a comedy and a good one at that. Many a time have I found myself literally belly laughing at the sarcasm and general hilarity throughout the entire film, even after seeing it countless times.
This humour is showcased in Colombus’ rules for surviving the Zombie apocalypse. #1 Cardio, because you don’t need to be faster than them, just faster than someone else. The fatties are the first ones to go first apparently. #2 The double tap to make sure the nibblers stay down. Don’t be stingy with your bullets. #3 Beware of bathrooms because even when you have your pants down, Zombies don’t take the hint. And finally, #4 Fasten that seat belt. Let us make sure nobody ends up like the soccer mom from that scene. Those are just the rules laid out in the intro, in total there are 33 making it a good running joke throughout.
With these unlikely survivors banding together – for what seems to be an entire quest to find more Twinkies – we find more about their characters. Columbus: a virgin college student who is afraid of everything and as much as a paranoid shut-in as his parents. World of Warcraft being his game of choice, he’s a stickler for rules hence, the 33 he’s come up with just to survive.
Tallahassee, the perpetually insane cowboy who has a few anger issues he likes to work out on the Zombies and, of course, an absolute hater of snowballs – It’s the consistency! But he’s a softy at heart.
Witchita, whom we meet along with Little Rock when they trick the guys out of their Caddy, weapons and everything. A pretty cold customer who doesn’t let much slide to the end of the film.
Little Rock, the little hard ass who is the mind behind all the tricks and is definitely far smarter than what her age suggests. She and her sister are on their way to an amusement park called Pacific Playland which is meant to be a safe haven.
Finally, Bill Murray playing as himself – who we find out regrets Garfield.
The film ends with what we were all waiting for, an epic fight scene to end all fight scenes. ‘Fight scene of the week’ as they would call it. Columbus becomes the regular old savior, bagging him the girl and he also overcomes his fear of clowns… in a sense. Once again, I can’t praise the SFX department enough for this film. It has the realism that can be lacking in zombie based films from the same year, but it also has the humour making you laugh at the terrifying zombie clown with green, goofy hair and a red nose to boot.