When you're are a latchkey kid you have an inordinate amount of time on your hands. Either my countless hours home alone were spent rifling through my father's closet looking for some dated pornography where the actresses had bushy Afros in two locations, dancing to my old man's blues albums with the grace of two drunk monkeys fucking, or watching every Zombie themed movie that I could get my chubby little hands on. Something about the forced camaraderie brought on by the scores of meandering undead wanting to chow down on your entrails has always intrigued me. The sheer paranoia that sets in every time one of the uninfected gets one solitary moment of peace. For the sake of not becoming a walking cadaver that sporadically lets out inaudible moans, complete strangers from all walks of life are forced to trust one another. But most of all, I've always been drawn to the shitloads of creatively brutal ways one could dispatch nasty apocalyptic feeders. As a kid with an imagination rivaling the amount of alone time that I had after school, Zombie movies were right up my alley - and ever since then I've been crafting the perfect Zombie movie in my head. Sure, I've been mentally editing said flick for at least 30 years, but these particular components have remained the same: Non stop gratuitous violence, the right amount of campy-ness, and an inordinate amount of obscure Hip Hop references thrown in for good measure(If I was a film maker I always assumed that that would be my trademark)
So you can just imagine my excitement when "Zombieland" came out. I mean, I knew there wouldn't be a Hip Hop reference to be found, but it definitely seemed to be a movie that winked at you while mercilessly bashing Zombie skulls in. Was this indeed the movie that I've been making in my head since the Reagan administration? Well, Yes and No. There is indeed a good amount of comedy mixed in with a tale about lone survivors of a post apocalyptic world banning together. Tongue is securely planted in cheek as our heroes put holes through ornery flesh eaters while searching for other uninfected people. Woody Harrelson once again proved that he's a master at, well, playing himself. Jessie Eisenberg's "quirky guy" shtick worked masterfully for a character who meticulously created a list of steps on staying alive.(Lets just hope that he's never in a movie with Michael Cera, because audiences everywhere would overdose in nervousness) Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin didn't exactly blow my skirt up, but they did a serviceable enough job playing sisters killing and conning their way to safety. Overall I liked the movie. The camp was there and the violence was there, my only beef with the movie is that there wasn't enough of either one. At a brisk 80 minutes, they should have cut some dialogue and concentrated on satisfying my blood lust while being a complete dick about it - or simply making the thing at least a half hour longer. Maybe "Shawn of the Dead" spoiled me? Or maybe its just impossible to compete with a movie that I've been making in my head for the better part of three decades.