Zombieland

There is absolutely nothing to report on the novel front. I’m stuck in query limbo. My manuscript is in the hands of one agent, who I hope to hear from soon. Otherwise, I’m still scoping the literary agent landscape for someone to represent my book. I remain optimistic and patient; it’s all I have at this point. In the meantime, I’m writing a science fiction short story, and my goal would be to land a print gig. I have nothing against online, but print would be a nice feather in my cap.

So while I wait on agents, I’m also doing some reading. I started Stephen King’s Under the Dome. It’s a daunting read as it breaks the 1,000 page mark. That’s at least 3 books I could be reading! I’m already starting to flirt with reading another book as the book not exactly wowing me right now.

I’m also catching up on movies. After a number of romantic comedies and dramatic films with my wife, I was able to catch Zombieland this week via Netflix. I wanted to see this movie the moment I caught the buzz online.

A zombie apocalypse is nothing new: it’s been over 40 years since Romero introduced Night of the Living Dead. What Zombieland delivers is comedy and horror. It’s a perfect balance too. The movie has even paced humor that never goes slapstick, and the horror is tempered so that it never becomes gratuitous.

Another upside is cast. For years, zombie movies have been plagued (excuse the pun) by bad acting. No namers who tried to hard to act or even look scared, doomed many zombie films. Zombieland, on the other hand, has at least three established actors. Woody Harrelson (outstanding/ almost Natural Born Killers like), Jesse Eisenberg (funny and works well with Harrelson), and Emma Stone (saw her in The Rocker and thought she had a ton of potential). There’s a 12-year-old who’s good too but the other three drive this movie. Because the acting is good this movie seems fresh even though the subject matter is not.

Having these characters interact in a post apocalyptic landscape works well. The fact that there are zombies is more of an afterthought than the focus. I think that’s trick to a good zombie flick. If the movie invests in the characters, the zombie action is just that much more entertaining. Shaun of the Dead comes to mind. Funny and balanced with horror. You get into the characters and it moves the movie well. The zombies are good, more Romero like. Zombieland gives the 28 Days Later type zombie: fast and aggressive. I’m not particularly partial to either, just as long as the movie delivers.

The movie clocked in an hour and half which felt short and left me wanting more. I guess there are plans for a sequel which I totally welcome. I highly recommend this movie and enjoyed it from start to finish. However, I’m afraid it’s success will begin to spawn imitators, which is inevitable. Regardless, Zombieland freshens up the genre and delivers an all around good time.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the review of Zombieland. Being a fan of horror and science fiction, something told me to just stay away from the film.

    Under the Dome, in my opinion, proved to be a complete waste of time. Character driven, yet poorly written, and the ending honestly made me think that Mr. King can get away with writing illogical nonsense simply because of his name. Ugh.

    I would recommend Alastair Reynolds, Richard Matheson, and Cormac Mcarthy to you.

    • No problem…Zombieland turned out to be a nice surprise.

      I’m feeling the same way about Under the Dome. I think King’s last couple of books have been a stretch. He’s still one of the greats, but I wish he still had the edge like he did in The Shining, Salem’s Lot, Pet Cemetary, etc. However, I’ve read McCarthy and think he’s great. I have The Road on my radar, and Matheson is one of the reasons I took up writing.

      Thanks for commenting,
      Chris

  2. As an author, I must say that you have not only good taste, but a good eye. I agree, King seems to have lost it some. I’m sorry too spoil the book for you, but the characters could have saved the whole town if they had just done what they did at the end MUCH SOONER. McCarthy is good, but Matheson is great.


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