Volume 47, Number 3 - September 21, 2009

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Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Staff Writer

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Zombieland provides Plenty of Laughs

By Fidel Castro

We have seen the same plot several times before; a plague infects a majority of the population, causes pandemonium across the globe, and climatically strikes down a group of survivalists one at a time. Well, drop your general zombie-flick knowledge at the door horror fans, because Zombieland is surely a thrill you will not anticipate.

Zombies just seem to be eating up the silver screen nowadays, with the growing trend of zombie movies inspiring box-office hits like the Resident Evil franchise to flops like 2008’s Zombie Strippers— but there is just no wonder as to why these flicks have built a fairly strong fan base for the sub-genre.

Ruben Fleischer’s first major film, Zombieland, is definitely hoping to bring something new to the table for those who enjoy the flesh-eating creatures as well as those who might just prefer some horrifying comedic relief.

The movie takes a different approach straight from the start by changing up the somewhat typical beginning of a zombie movie and not showing how, where, or why the conflict began.

At first, it’s startling to a viewer to be introduced to these characters as they are already well-adapted to fighting for survival. However, it does not take long to grow attachment to the ensemble cast as they share the same refreshing humor throughout the film.

Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) is the gun-slinging adult figure of the group whose main priority is to find and consume a Twinkie, as he is determined to be the last person on earth to consume the golden sponge cake before they are all doomed to their expiration date.

Early into the movie, Tallahassee has a chance encounter with Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg, Adventureland), an obsessive compulsive teen who takes a more careful approach when faced with zombies, and the two combine their individual skills to avoid the infectious creatures roaming the nation—or what they now refer to as Zombieland.

Tallahassee and Columbus are soon joined by Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine) who immediately con the guys out of all their belongings, but just can’t seem to get rid of them as every time they run into trouble the unlikely heroes hastily come to the rescue.

Together, the foursome rips through Zombieland as they search for an amusement park that they believe will be a sanctuary to protect them from zombies. The twists and turns that take place during their trip never bore the audience as the characters work dynamically to overcome the death-defying obstacles that are both terrifying and amusing all at once.

The actors obviously worked well together on-screen, and in an exclusive interview with Harrelson and Eisenberg, Eisenberg described their characters as, “funny and witty… everyone was well-defined.”

Open to new and adventurous methods to directing, Fleischer was blessed with a great cast and allowed improvisation throughout the film.

“It’s nice to be able to wing it,” Harrelson said.

Zombieland is already garnering interest as media outlets are abuzz with propaganda for the film slated for its October 2nd release. Finally, fans of horror and comedy will be able to reunite over the best comedic zombie flick since Shaun of the Dead.

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