It isn't like that at all.
"Nut up or shut up."

I honestly can't believe this, but I guess I really never reviewed one of my favorite zombie movies! Anyway, welcome back to The Tagline! Congrats you've survived another week. Unless you work weekends, in which case congrats, the worst part of your week is just beginning! So... sorry for that I guess! Today I'm going to reach back into the past to talk about Zombieland, a 2009 horror/comedy film set in a zombie apocalypse wasteland, starring Jessie Eisenberg as the fearful shut-in Columbus, who meets up with Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) a badass zombie killer who begrudgingly lets the meek Columbus tag along with him. The two are first conned and then later also join up with Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and Wichita (Emma Stone, I'm still not over Spider Man 2) who are travelling to some amusement park because why not I guess pretend an amusement park won't be full of zombies, not like there's anything better to do right? Everyone needs to have a goal in life after all. Tallahassee's is to find a Twinkie before the last of them expire. The problem is it seems like all he can manage to find are snowballs, and I mean, who wants to eat that shit? Just not tasty, unpleasant texture combination, ugh the worst. This movie isn't about Twinkies though... well I guess it kind of is, but mostly it is about surviving in the very worst situation imaginable. Zombieland is full of those runner-type zombies, and you guys know how I feel about that shit.

Time for some banjo lessons.
So the movie's opening voice over let's us know that some mad cow hamburger turned the entire world into a 24-hour person buffet, With Columbus only noticing once his neighbor at school (who I didn't realize was Amber Heard) comes by all freaked out, and then turns into a zombie and tries to kill him, which as first dates go is not amazing. Columbus was pretty much full-blown shut in, so it is remarkable that he managed to survive at all. It seems that he did so by following a set of rules he made up, that involve things like making sure you do cardio, wearing your seatbelt in the car, and always making sure to double tap your zombie targets. That's good advice kids. Give em one more in the head if you can swing it, just to be extra sure. Ammo conservation is good, but don't get stingy with your bullets. They won't do you any good once a reanimated person is tearing your trachea out, so I mean exercise your best judgement. Tallahassee seems to only have one rule, and that mostly involves killing the undead in a variety of colorful and inventive ways. I appreciate that by itself, and also a man who really enjoys what he does. It's good to have that kind of fulfillment in your life.

Get high with Bill Murray why not.
So we've see a lot of zombie movies. Besides that, there is also no shortage of horror movies interlaced with black humor. That is its own sub-genre and it is packed to the gills for sure, so to be of note a movie that falls into both of those boxes needs to be pretty exceptional. Zombieland strikes a somewhat unusual tone, that nonetheless works in its favor, and transforms it into a different kind of movie. In a zombie movie I feel like you often have a kind of character anxiety. You're just waiting for the moment that things go south and someone gets chomped on. You accept that it is more or less guaranteed to happen to at least SOME of the main cast, if not all of them. In this movie you come to feel (I think pretty quickly) that the cast is more or less not going out that way. There's still some threat of danger, but not to the degree of so many other movies, and so it becomes less about killing zombies (which they obviously do in huge numbers) and more about the characters dealing with their considerable baggage, given that they could very well be the last four people not undead in the world, and they've all lost something.

Yeah that's how I feel too guys. It's okay.
It's somewhat rare to find a movie that is really great at even one thing, but even more so a movie that works really well in more than one way. This has got a lot of pretty quality humor (everything at Bill Murray's mansion for instance) manages to do zombie movie paint by numbers, and also fits in character drama by focusing on a relatively limited cast of main characters. It's a smart move that pays off, with a really fantastic movie that is enjoyable from start to finish, and manages to be kinda touching without being sappy. They want to make more I guess, and I'm not sure that I want to see THAT happen because I liked this movie so much and don't want to see it get played out, but hey it's a brave new world, who knows what'll happen? Supposedly filming of a sequel is underway, and there are plans for a tv show.

That's all for today! Join me next week for more blood and screams, or something to that effect.

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