Zombies, by their very nature, are funny things. They can't walk properly. Their heads fall off at inopportune moments. Many of them look like Mick Jagger. Add all this together and you've got enough material for a particularly ghoulish installment of 'You've Been Framed'. Once you've got past the gnawing-on-your-intestines stuff, zombies are things that demand to be laughed at.
'Zombieland' isn't a great zombie movie. Not like REC was. Or White Zombie. Or the first 20 minutes of 28 Days Later. Or indeed any of the Romero movies where the crazy old coot knew what the fuck was going on. But it is a great comedy that has zombies in it.
Of course, the reference point for this kind of thing will forever be Simon Pegg's Shaun Of The Dead – and a charming, snort of a movie that certainly was. But whereas much of that film's humour lay in the transposition of your typical US-style zombie-filled wasteland to quaint old Crouch End, 'Zombieland' is a much more exciting and lusty proposition. It actually makes you want to go out and shoot stuff.
KAPOW. KAPOW. KAPOW. BANG. BANG. Um... sorry.
You see, when I wasn't worrying what effect lead Jesse Eisenberg (Columbus) looking pretty much like Michael Cera (or at least a wax model of Michael Cera that had been left slightly too close to the fire) would have on the rest of his career, I was thinking just how much fun the end of the world looks.
'Zombieland''s telling of the end of days is soundtracked by Metallica's 'For Whom The Bell Tolls', and has the consistently dude-tastic Woody Harrelson (Tallahassee) stealing all the best lines. Add to this Emma Stone (Wichita) as the IMDB trolling perv’s new crush and her little sister Abigail Breslin (Little Rock) in a kid role that manages to achieve something other than make you hope and pray she falls down a well, and you've got the kind of film that twats like me might describe as 'rip-roaring'.
And the story? There is no story, just a succession of zesty set-pieces, layered against a visually scrumptious backdrop of undead doom-dom that are either funny, moving or charming. But mostly funny. There's a strong shout that the best scenes are the ones where zombies are nowhere to be seen (but never when Harrelson isn't on screen).
And there's a great cameo scene smack bang in the middle too - which kinda makes me think that writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (ones to watch these two – they're currently working on a Venom script for Marvel/Sony) thought of that first, then fleshed out a film to fill the remaining 90 minutes.
I'd tell you who it is, but then I'm not a total fucking cunt like the Daily Mirror, who revealed the cameo's identity - without ramming the word 'spoilers' at the top, the fucking fucksneezes - last week in the otherwise good film supplement David Edwards does on a Friday. Now, I don't know cameo etiquette, but I'm pretty sure that not telling someone who a cameo is ranks pretty high in the list of cameo rules. And if there are no cameo rules, can we impose some please, and make that rule number one in the list? For fuck's sake.
'Zombieland' made me feel the following: 1) Happy that, despite Hollywood's current boner for vampires, someone with the ability to get a film production signed off knows that zombies will always be cock of the graveyard. 2) A little bit giddy actually. 3) Like I really want a mutant form of CJD to infect humankind so that I can drive around in a SUV blowing holes in ghouls' heads with a shotgun and listening to thrash metal.
KAPOW. KAPOW. KAPOW. BANG. BANG. Etc.