Movies that SHOULD be comics #12: Zombieland

after weeks of self-imposed deadline-related exile, i went to the the sneakeasy* with my man Corance (creator of Champion of Children and 1/5th of the mighty Ghostwerks crew) and saw two totally different movies (namely Zombieland and The Informant!) and really enjoyed them both, for different reasons, of course.

i knew very little about Zombieland going in because not being a huge fan of zombie flicks, i wasn't really checking for it. but Zombieland is not the usual zombie movie. as it is, the movie isn't all that scary or gory (as zombie flicks go, anyways). But this movie is action-packed and funny from beginning to end. Jessie Eisenberg (Adventureland) narrates the story of Columbus, an unlikely survivor of a zombie outbreak who reluctantly befriends the zombie-smashing redneck Tallahassee, played brilliantly by veteran actor Woody Harrelson (Semi-Pro, Seven Pounds, No Country for Old Men). Columbus survives because he has compiled a list of rules that insures his continued existence in the Zombie-infested world he inhabits. of course all bets are off when he and Tallahassee encounter a shifty hot chick Wichita (played by Emma Stone [The Rocker, Superbad]) with her little sister in tow, and he eventually has to break the all important Rule # 17: Don't Be a Hero.
Zombieland is less of a cautionary tale or critique of modern society (like you might expect from a Romero picture), and more of a horror action-comedy like Shaun of the Dead. there's enough blood, broken bones and death by biting to get the R rating, but not nearly enough to turn your stomach. the movie's charm comes from Tallahassee's flamboyant zombie-killing rampages and the sitcom-like chemistry between the characters. The story is easy to follow, and doesn't have many surprises or plot twists (which i'm sure will irritate critics). Plus, it features one of the best movie cameos of all time. I'm sure most zombie addicts have already seen it, but i recommend it to the people who passed on it because they thought the gore or dismal outlook of a zombie picture would ruin their day. in fact, i could have stood a lot more violence in this movie. we never get to see Little Rock smash any zombies, which was disappointing (who else wants to see the girl from Little Miss Sunshine bash someone's head in with a shovel? let's see a show of hands...), and that chainsaw Emma Stone is brandishing in the movie poster never makes an appearance either. maybe it's in the unrated DVD version (i can dream can't i?).
i would dearly love to see this concept sequelized as a comic with a demented and detail-oriented writer-artist team like Mark Millar and John Romita Jr (Kick-Ass) or Grant Morisson and J. G. Jones (Marvel Boy, Infinite Crisis) . all the characters could get a boost in their violence quotient, and more room for back-story development. i would definitely pay for the chance to see a comicbook version of Tallahassee! maybe someone at BOOM studios or IDW is smart enough to pull that together as a mini-series or OGN! sigh... there i go dreaming again...


Arkonbey said...

This is positively on my 'to see' list. (I heard about the cameo. Awesome)

Though I find I dislike fast-moving zombies. Their muscles and ligaments would begin to degrade rapidly and locomotion would be difficult if not impossible after a while.

It's how my brain works; I've gotta have some reality in my fantasy, no matter how fantastic.

samax said...

yeah, i have mixed emotions about the fast-mover theory. i think some zombies ('fresh' ones) should be fast-movers, but that their abilities (vision, locomotion, hearing, intelligence, etc) should deteriorate over time.

the movie is fun. it's violent, but not all that gory (as zombie flicks go) and that's a plus for me... i'm not into nausea.

as an artist, it has some graphic elements in it that appeal to me. i came out of the movie wanting to draw, and that's always gonna get a thumbs-up.

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