Fantastic Fest 2009
By Dave Campbell | October 2, 2009
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writer(s): Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin
Zombieland takes place in the catastrophic landscape of our world now in the state of a zombie apocalypse. Our tale begins with a college student who we later call Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), in Austin, Texas, who is on his way to Ohio, to see if his parents have survived. Columbus has created a set of “rules” for surviving the zombie apocalypse, which pop up throughout the story as certain relevant situations arise. While heading north down the highway and after surviving several zombie attacks, Columbus meets the wisecracking bad-ass, Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) along his travels. Tallahassee adamantly requests that no real names be exchanged, and that they go by the name of their intended destinations, as to prevent emotional attachment (should any of them become a zombie).
Besides staying alive and not becoming a zombie, Tallahassee’s main goal in life is to seek out the remaining Twinkies of the world, because they remind him of “a gentler time”. While the two new brethren are searching a nearby grocery store for said Twinkies, they come across two non-zombie females, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) who turn out to be skilled con artists. With nobody completely sure who to trust, Columbus finally convinces everyone that they have much better odds if they stay together. After Wichita shares word that Columbus, Ohio is completely overrun by zombies the group decides to head West towards the amusement park Pacific Playland, which is believed to be zombie-free.
Along their travels, Tallahassee steers their acquired Hummer to his favorite movie star’s house, for an awesome and unexpected cameo that I will leave unspoiled. The characters begin to share some tender moments and reveal their pasts as Columbus begins to fall for Wichita. The girls question the current arrangement and decide to stick to their original plan of trusting only each other, bailing on Columbus and Tallahassee. The boys soon notice they’ve been abandoned and head out in search of Wichita and Little Rock…and zombie goodness ensues.
Zombieland is a reanimated riot of fun. The genre of the undead/comedy or zombie comedy, just landed another memorable title among the already classic, Evil Dead/Army of Darkness series, Dead Alive, and Shaun of the Dead. Director Ruben Fleischer successfully created a well balanced formula that really hit the mark. Stars Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin all fulfilled the mix of solid characters in a desperate setting who were enabled with weapons of comedic timing. The opening credits sequence alone warrants the ticket price to Zombieland, and that’s just the first few minutes!
But wait that’s not all folks, if your order now your also get the recurring “Rules To Survive Zombieland” motif in the film that adds an additional level of originality and bonus hilarious Ghostbusters homage. “It’s like the Greatest Hits collection of Nightmares”, but for the audience it’s a greatest hits collection of zom-com kick-awesome.