Warm Bodies

Do you see the likeness? They just MUST be related.
"He's still dead but he's getting warmer."

Hey everybody, welcome to another exciting post from The Tagline! Having vented considerable spleen on Tuesday, I felt ready to again not be mad about everything I saw or heard. So I went out to the movies and saw Warm Bodies, as if to dare the movie to not make me angry. As a preface, I should talk about my feelings in relation to a lot of horror/monster related media. I think that, the best way to use monsters, like zombies, in a movie, is to figure out what about them scares us, and to really emphasize that. To me, sure it would be scary to get eaten alive by a zombie, but it would be scary to be eaten alive by a wolf too. In a movie, a guy getting eaten isn't really scary, it's just kind of gross to watch. Zombies become really scary when you play up the sense of being trapped either in the whole zombie filled world, or in a particular place, I'm getting off subject though. What I'm pretty sick of is everything being about moody dreamy vampires, conflicted broody werewolves, and zombies just trying to make it in the big city. That shit is so played out, that it almost exclusively fills me with rage and nausea. So I walked into the theater feeling really dubious about Warm Bodies, which is exactly about that last one I said. A zombie who eats brains, and then starts to feel feelings. Yet I did not hate it. I wonder why?

As first dates go, this is pretty bad.
Warm Bodies stars Nicholas Hoult (last seen on this blog in X-Men: First Class) as a zombie named R, who despite his mostly dead, shambling condition, leads a rich inner life. His outer life consists mostly of shambling around however, until he meets Julie (Teresa Palmer, who was also in The Sorcerer's Apprentice) and eats her boyfriend's brains. That's okay, because he was a tool anyway (really who likes Dave Franco he's always being a jerk) Anyway, apparently after eating ol' Perry's brains, R begins to regain some function of his own, and is dimly aware of his surroundings once again, in particular that he wants to keep Julie from, well being eaten by zombies. This change in R starts to take hold in many of the other zombies wandering around the airport where he lives, and changes the situation both for the living dead, and the diminishing pool of human survivors. It isn't all sunshine and rainbows though, because there are these other, skeletal zombies, that are just...well they're really bad, and they really hate living things, or anything that even acts kind of living. Also Julie's dad is John Malkovich, and you know how that guy can be!

This is how I feel (and look) while going to work.
So okay, now I've explained the movie's premise, why didn't this make me want to gouge my eyes out? Well the subject matter is rife with dangers, the first of which is girl's kissing dead guys who are visibly... dead. Mercifully, we were all spared of that. The movie sells the whole "zombie with feelings" point by being very gradual with its occurrence. R doesn't go from brain eater to regular dude overnight, he is like a deep deep sleeper, slowly waking after what was no doubt the world's worst nightmare. So the idea here isn't that it's great to be a zombie, it's that zombies can come back. I at first thought "that's dumb, why would they just come back to life?" Then I realized that it is not much more impossible than them coming back as zombies in the first place, so why couldn't brains and memories of feelings draw them out of this near death state? The fact that the movie makes slow moves towards that goal, and feels very... I guess restrained is the word I'd use, allowed me to not roll my eyes at the screen while this unlikely love story unfolded. The idea that some people, who can remember what makes a person human, can recover, while the others become the skeletal superzombies makes the movie not about the inevitability of death, but rather that succumbing to despair leads to living death. George Romero would be proud I'd think. Or not who knows what he thinks is good or not, definitely not me.

Remember kids, when facing the undead, machine guns are
not the answer. EVER.
I'll be honest too, I totally missed the Romeo and Juliet thing until R was standing underneath Julie's balcony, talking to her in secret because if anyone knew they'd blow his freaking brains out. I'm not sure if that makes me dense or not, but I thought it said something about the subtle, careful hand at work behind the movie that it took a seriously obvious call-back to Romeo and Juliet for me to finally put two and two together. Of course the minute I realized what was going on, I became deathly afraid that both of them were going to die. Did they? YOU'LL HAVE TO GO SEE THE MOVIE TO FIND OUT OOOOOHHHHHH.

Anyway, the bottom line is that they managed to make a satisfying movie about a zombie who stops being a zombie, and finds love with a pretty blonde girl. I didn't think it could happen, but it did, and so I recommend you go see this movie, and enjoy it! I'll see you all later! Thanks for tuning in.

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