Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Buying Zombieland at Buy.Com - Maybe So!

I wrote a few days ago about how Vicki has a knack for finding bad TV. It happened again.

Last night, I entered the apartment to find her watching the credits to Lord of the Rings. OK, good enough.  We chatted about the kids and the weather and left the TV on the channel on which Lord of Rings had played.  Soon, we heard a teenage boy giving us important survival rules for when the zombie apocalypse arrives. The most important, it turns out, is the 'Double Tap" - never think you have killed the zombie on the first hit - always hit it again.  The movie, Zombieland,  drew us in.....it was a train-wreck and we could not look away.  The thing is, it was actually very entertaining. 

I have lifted the IMDB storyline description here rather than figuring out a better way to describe it myself:

Searching for family. In the early twenty-first century, zombies have taken over America. A shy and inexperienced college student in Texas has survived by following his 30 rules: such as "look in the back seat," "shoot twice," "avoid public restrooms." He decides to travel to Ohio to see if his parents are alive. He gets a ride with a boisterous zombie-hating good-old boy headed for Florida, and soon they confront a young woman whose sister has been bitten by a zombie and wants to be put out of her misery. The sisters were headed to an LA amusement park they've heard is zombie free. Can the kid from Ohio get to his family?

The movie is actually a comedy, not taking itself as a true horror film seriously at all.  Don't get me wrong, it is gruesome to watch blood-oozing zombies devour human flesh and be blown away/torn apart/smashed in a variety of ways....and yet, somehow, it is very entertaining.  Maybe because it is all done so matter-of-factly.  The characters are not surprised by any horrific scene they come across or task they must perform.  The movie plays a bit like a video game, and Woody Harrelson portrays the larger-than-life, good-ol' boy hero better than any true action hero ever would have. He often feels no need to carry a weapon, despite that there may be a mad flesh-eating monster pop out at him at any time. Instead, he just grabs whatever is handy and takes care of the problem.  Contrast his machismo with the geeky sidekick teen-age boy and you have a well-balanced team with both bringing strengths and weaknesses to the mix.  The fact that they team up with a pair of sisters, a couple of the remaining few humans of the non-zombie variety, adds some interesting depth, and humor.  

I looked up the movie today and found out it was released in 2009 and the DVD is on sale for $15 at Buy.com.  This might actually be worth owning to be able to watch more than once.  Not that you need it to follow the storyline, but there are a lot of one-liners worth another listen, and sometimes, a zombie movie is just the sort of mindless entertainment needed at the end of a long week.  

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