Movie: "Zombieland"
Year: 2009
Rated: R
Genre: Comedy
Directed by: Ruben Fleischer
Writing credits: Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese

Reviewer: Protoclown
Posted: 10/1/2009

Plot: The Zombpocalypse has arrived, and a small group of survivors travels across the nation looking for safe haven.

Review: I'll be totally straight with you here. I love zombies, but I'm really starting to get sick of them. Every other horror movie seems to be a zombie flick these days, and most of them are completely unoriginal and do nothing to differentiate themselves from the horde. I'm pleased to say however, that Zombieland was tremendous fun. It doesn't take itself seriously at all, which makes it a welcome change from most zombie flicks, but there's also just enough drama to remind you that this is a horrible apocalyptic near-future, despite all the laughs you'll be having.

Woody Harrelson plays "Tallahassee", the most awesome character to ever appear in a zombie movie in the history of zombie movies (I challenge anyone to dispute that claim). In a genre where most of the human characters reveal themselves to be incompetents or assholes, it was refreshing to see a confident character who kicks ass and takes plenty of names. You never once worry for his survival, even when he's got a mob of two hundred angry undead sprinting after him--the movie makes it clear that you never need to. He proudly joins Ashley J. Williams in the Hall of Badass Horror Heroes. There's something immensely satisfying about seeing a character responding to a horrific situation with confidence and ass-kicking rather than fear.

Jesse Eisenberg plays his straight man counterpart, "Columbus" (all the characters use their city of origin as nicknames, as they don't want to get too attached), and it's from his point of view that we view the Zombieland that has become the United States (and the world, according to the beginning narration). He's as neurotic, anal-retentive and nervous as Tallahassee is carefree and confident. My friend Sam initially thought of him as a "poor man's Michael Cera", but he holds his own pretty well by the end of the film (though he does seem kind of like a bit of a cross between Cera and Andy Samberg--he could be their lovechild, if he wasn't approximately the same age).

Rounding out the human cast are two sisters, "Wichita" (played by Emma Stone) and "Little Rock" (Abigail Breslin), who is an extremely talented actress for someone so young. It is a little hard to believe that two characters who manage to cleverly trick Tallahassee and Columbus several times throughout the movie could do something so incredibly stupid toward the end. I suppose when the Zombpocalypse rolls around people would tend to act a little nutty from time to time, though creating what essentially amounts to a death trap for oneself is going a little far (considering that these characters showed remarkable survival instincts before that).

While not as gory as some more horrific zombie movies, the film still doesn't exactly shy away from showing viscera here and there, and there's enough blood barf to fill a swimming pool with. Much of the violence is as comical as it is brutal, never letting the audience forget that this flick is ultimately meant to be fun. And it is. It also features what is probably my favorite cameo appearance in any movie ever, and I'm not going to spoil who the actor is here because it's just too awesome. I will just tell you that they played themself, and obviously had a lot of fun doing it.

The amusement park setting for the final big action sequence is one of the most fun ones I've seen in a zombie movie, or for that matter, any movie (who wouldn't want to shoot zombies while riding a roller coaster?). It was so creatively utilized that I'm sure we're going to see it repeated again and again in future movies that won't come close to capturing the spirit of fun here. This movie isn't perfect--some of the jokes fall flat, and sometimes the characters make choices that don't make sense, but you couldn't ask for a more enjoyable time, and this proudly joins the ranks of Fido and Shaun of the Dead as a great zombie comedy.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Oct 1st, 2009, 03:20 AM
Damn it. I can't wait for this movie to be shown in Mexican theaters, since watching the trailer made me really want to get my ass at any local cinema once it has arrived here.

I am looking forward to have a time as fun as you claim you had, Proto.
Forum Virgin
Oct 1st, 2009, 09:46 AM
I CAN'T wait to see this. They filmed some scenes a few blocks from my house and of course I took it upon myself to sneak onto the set while filming. The key was just to look like you belonged there (which was kind of hard since I was the only one not doing anything).

At one point, I turned to my side and saw Woody just ten feet from me, shooting the shit with some extras or trying to score some dope (who knows?) Anyway... at one point, my phone rang. When I answered it, the freakin' director (or one of his lackeys) came over and (not so) affably warned me that I better not be taking any pictures. I informed him I wasn't. And he strolled away without tossing me from the set. Which is cool. Really, really cool.

Yuppers... I got to see cars on fire. Zombie-chasing. Undead-munching. Gore-hound glory in all its... ummm... gloriousness. So there you have it. Can't wait to see it.
I am Johnny Luchador
Oct 1st, 2009, 12:20 PM
what sucks is it comes out during my Second Wedding Anniversary weekend...I am really excited to see this, considering I think Woody is awesome in pretty much all his movie roles. Hopefully I can talk my wife into letting us take a break from being all romantic crap and go see some zombies.
Jason's a Furry! Run!
Oct 1st, 2009, 02:10 PM
I'm very excited to see this one. It's been too long since I've seen a really funny zombie comedy, and even longer since I've seen a funny one that wasn't a spoof or heavily referenced past movies. Checking out the midnight show tonight for it.
skank pronger
Oct 1st, 2009, 04:46 PM
Zombie comedy = zomedy!
Forum Virgin
Oct 2nd, 2009, 02:32 AM
So no joke, while I just saw this movie and all of its relentless awesomeness is still fresh in my mind, I'm pretty sure that even after sleeping it off I will still deem this movie to be the best zombie comedy ever. I agree with protoclown that the cameo is quite possibly one of the most random, ridiculous, and epic of all time...not just of the horror genre.

I also liked how this movie, with all of its humor, still maintained a sense of drama (ala proto's post). Despite the ridiculousness, the movie still made it possible to identify with the characters and add depth that usually isn't bothered with. It's no Good Will Hunting or anything in that department, but compared with Shaun, which I liked but found a smidge overrated bc it seemed like they didn't know quite what type of movie they wanted it to be at points, Zombieland seemed more concise in vision.

It's also not everyday you get to see folks with quasi-solid acting chops in a horror movie period these days, not to mention a spoof. Enjoy it folks.

Here's hoping it rocks out the box office and inspires film studios to aspire to a higher quality of horror-genre these days (although it looks like a s--t storm of godawful horror movies are on the way based on the five previews before the movie).

Sorry for the long post:-(
Oct 3rd, 2009, 05:23 AM
I gotta see this. I just gotta.
Vigilante All-Star
Oct 3rd, 2009, 05:40 PM
Saw it with my girlfriend last night/this morning (one month anniversary date)...I must say it was a good and fun movie. Proto's review hits it on the mark!
Forum Virgin
Oct 4th, 2009, 03:51 AM
My roommate's uncle got to go to the premiere here in Austin because he is a body guard and was called to work there that night. He said got to see Woody Harrelson and co. in person! That must of been an awesome experience. I just saw it the other way and it blew me away. I had no idea what to expect. Yes the cameo is amazing and it had the whole audience roaring with laughter.
Turrican't. :(
Oct 4th, 2009, 02:02 PM
Going to see this tomorrow. CANNOT WAIT.
Tony Wonder
Oct 4th, 2009, 06:54 PM
Best Cameo of all time. Some surprising gore in it, but the best intro/use of Metallica i've seen in a long time. I really think this movie had the future of the zombie renassiance on it's shoulders, and they delivered.
Suicidal Chipmunk
Oct 5th, 2009, 05:35 PM
"Words cannot express how... sorry..."
"Too soon"
Hypnotic Swirling Colors
Oct 5th, 2009, 09:57 PM
I'm waiting for the DVD release, because I'm a whimp who wol'nt risk seeing a full-horror movie.
Turrican't. :(
Oct 5th, 2009, 11:39 PM
One of the greatest movies of all time. Seriously. You may consider me to be blasphemous if I said this was better than Shaun Of The Dead, but IMO, it really was.
Oct 6th, 2009, 03:36 PM
This is the most fun I've had at a movie theater all year, awesome awesome flick! It must be stated that this is not a horror movie in any real way. It may have the horror back drop but at no point does one really think that any harm was gonna happen to the characters (except at the end with Tallahassee...)
Turrican't. :(
Oct 7th, 2009, 02:36 PM
Why did the thumbnail reset to the Parasite thumbnail? It's not my cache, as I haven't even read the Parasite WS until just now by looking through the archives, and I took a break from reading IM and when I came back the Zombieland thumbnail was there, so I'm confused.
Hypnotic Swirling Colors
Oct 8th, 2009, 12:09 AM
I saw the Parasite one (still do) but clicking on it takes me here. Why?
Built in the 80s
Oct 13th, 2009, 10:05 AM
Brilliant, brilliant movie. Hilarious and boasting THE best cameo of all time.
Sex Panther
Dec 9th, 2009, 04:43 PM
I was sadly, too poor to see this when it came to my local theater. I can't wait for the DVD.