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Information about ZombielandZombieland is an upcoming American post-apocalyptic, zombie comedy, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and directed by Ruben Fleischer. The movie will be distributed by Columbia pictures (wallpaper) and is scheduled to be released on Oct. 2, 2009 (8 years ago).
PlotThe movie takes place within a post-apocalyptic world, beginning with narration from Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a college student from Austin, Texas, who is on his way to Columbus, Ohio to see if his parents are alive. He explains that his survival so far has been due to not having any friends to be attached to and not being close with his family, as well as a list of "rules" for surviving the zombie apocalypse (triggered by a virulent form of human adapted mad cow disease), which becomes a recurring motif in the film. He encounters Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), whose life goal is to find the remaining Twinkies on Earth. During the drive, Columbus remembers the story of the day he found out zombies began to rule the world. He tells that he was sitting, playing World of Warcraft (20 walls) and drinking Mountain Dew until suddenly he hears his (as he says "hot") neighbor in college, 406, shouting "let me in!". No real name is revealed on who she is. He lets her in, telling that he never really responds to the sound of panic, but the girl sounded like his hot neighbor 406. He lets her in, and she gives him a hug, saying "thank you! Thank you!" over and over. He sits her down, getting her a cup of Mountain Dew. He asks her what happens, and she says she was walking home from a bar until suddenly a homeless-looking man starts sprinting for her. Then she tells him he tried to bite her, but Columbus doesn't know that it infected her. She asks him if she could just go to sleep on his couch tonight, and he quickly agrees. He says he's always wanted to brush a girls' hair behind her ear, but as he attempts, she adjusts where her head is, so he doesn't get to actually brush her hair behind her ear. A couple hours later, he awakes. So does 406, only to find out she was infected, and has blood around her face. He gets up in surprise, and she throws up on his couch, then getting up to attack and eat him. He starts running as she begins to chase him, picking up a blender on the way, but the top falls off, and she goes back to chasing him. He runs around his apartment, then into the bathroom. She follows, but as she is ready to eat him, he falls, the curtain on the bathtub breaking off as he pulls on it to help support him get up. He uses it as a protection, but covering her face and holding it as she tries to start by eating his face. She screams a terror scream, then he gets up as she tried to get out of the curtain. He grabs the top of the toilet, then hitting her head. She is still alive, so she chases him more. She looks at him, warming up to attempt to eat him again. As she runs to get him, he hits her again, then learning the "Double Tap" rule (originally to shoot a zombie twice to make sure it's dead)
To avoid attachment, Tallahassee insists that no real names be used and instead go by their home towns: Columbus and Tallahassee. As Columbus and Tallahassee search a grocery store for Twinkies, they meet two sisters, Wichita (Emma Stone) and her little sister, Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). Through a con, the sisters manage to steal their weapons and truck, but the men soon find a Hummer H2 truck loaded with weapons and pursue them. The sisters manage to con the men again and take the H2 after their stolen car breaks down, this time taking the men as prisoners. After a subsequent standoff, Columbus convinces the group that it's better to stick together.
During the drive, Wichita informs Columbus that Columbus, Ohio has been destroyed and completely overrun by zombies. Columbus is upset and is given a chance to find his own way, but falling for Wichita, he decides to stay. They decide to drive towards Pacific Playland in Los Angeles, an amusement park that is supposedly zombie-free and girls' original intended destination. On the way, they pass through Hollywood and decide to sleep at the mansion of Bill Murray. Tallahassee and Wichita meet a seemingly zombified Murray, who reveals that he only disguises himself with make-up so that he can walk safely among the zombies and play golf. Murray decides to scare Columbus and Little Rock as a practical joke, but Columbus shoots and kills him, thinking he is a zombie. After a makeshift funeral, Tallahassee reveals he lost his son Buck to the zombies (earlier, Tallahassee told Columbus that he lost his puppy). Wichita starts developing feelings for Columbus. Fearing this attachment, Wichita leaves with Little Rock for Pacific Playland, convincing themselves that they should go back to trusting only themselves. However, Columbus decides to go after Wichita, and he and Tallahassee pursue the sisters in one of Murray's vehicles.
Wichita and Little Rock arrive at Pacific Playland and turn on all the rides and lights, unintentionally attracting nearby zombies. A battle ensues, leaving the sisters trapped on a drop tower ride and running low on ammunition. Tallahassee and Columbus arrive just as the sisters' ammunition is depleted. Tallahassee manages to lure the majority away, then intentionally locks himself in a game booth while Columbus goes after the sisters. Columbus encounters a zombie clown shortly after running out of ammunition himself. With the sisters' lives at stake, he overcomes his fear of clowns and destroys it by crushing his skull with a giant mallet. Columbus then saves the girls, and in thanks, Wichita reveals her real name (Christa) to him and the two share their first kiss. Tallahassee eliminates the remaining zombies single-handedly. In the aftermath, Columbus and Tallahassee scavenge a fast food booth for Twinkies. Hearing a noise behind a door, they instinctively shoot at it. They are relieved to find the source of the noise was just rats; however, their shots destroyed the only box of Twinkies. Little Rock finds a Twinkie and gives it to Tallahassee, and Columbus comes to the realization that this is the only family he needs, and the four leave Pacific Playland together.
ProductionFilming began Feb. 2009 (8 years ago) in Valdosta, Georgia with scenes being shot at Wild Adventures and other locations. Filming continued in Mar. in Atlanta, Hapeville, Morrow, Decatur, Newnan and Powder Springs, Georgia, where actress Abigail Breslin celebrated her 13th birthday by adopting a shelter puppy.
The zombies in Zombieland have been described by the casting director as:
ferocious, infected people that move erratically. They are diseased, as opposed to undead. These are not the lumbering walking dead of Romeroís zombie movies, but instead the super jacked up 28 Days Later / Dawn of the Dead (2004, 13 years ago) zombies. They are scary and gnarly and gross.
Shortly after finishing the filming of Zombieland, Woody Harrelson had an altercation with a TMZ photographer at New York City's La Guardia Airport. His defense was that he was still in character and thought the cameraman was a zombie.
ReceptionThe movie has received generally positive reviews from critics. Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reports 88% of critics gave the movie positive write-ups based on 174 reviews, with a rating of 7.3/10, and a generally positive 89% approval rating from "top" critics based on 28 reviews. The site's general consensus summarizes the movie as "wickedly funny and featuring plenty of gore" and that it "is proof that the zombie subgenre is far from dead". At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the movie holds a "generally favorable" score of 73 based on 31 reviews.
Film critic Roger Ebert stated "who would have guessed such a funny movie as Zombieland could be made around zombies?" and that "all of this could have been dreary, but not here. The filmmakers show invention and well-tuned comic timing". He credited Bill Murray's cameo appearance as receiving the "single biggest laugh" heard of the year, and gave the movie 3 out of 4 stars. Michael Ordona of Los Angeles Times said "Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee, a zombie slayer with a Twinkie fetish" would be the undead's "worst nightmare" if they dreamed and that "[in a role that] seems written for him, Harrelson clearly delights in finding creatively brutal methods of dispatching the monsters". Ordona reasoned this as "just plain fun" to watch and praised director Fleischer for "bringing impeccable timing and bloodthirsty wit to the proceedings" and cinematographer Michael Bonvillain for capturing "some interesting images (wallpaper) amid the post-apocalyptic carnival of carnage, as when he transforms the destruction of a souvenir shop into a rough ballet". Marc Savlov of Austin Chronicle said the movie "has the single most outrageously entertaining and unexpected celebrity cameo of any movie ó genre or otherwise he had seen in a "long, long time" and that "storywise, there's precious little going on here that we haven't seen before, but Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick's archly hip and often downright hilarious script, combined with a quartet of seamless performances and enough cranial destruction to sate even the most diehard Fangoria reader, makes for one hell of a wild ride". He categorized Zombieland as being "dead set against being dead serious" with its tonal pallor "having more in common with a foreshortened It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World than with 28 Days or Weeks Later". Michael Phillips of Chicago Tribune stated, "Warts, entrails and all, I had a ball at Zombieland. Itís 81 minutes of my kind of stupid." Claudia Puig of USA Today described the film's humor as "vicious and the supporting cast is viscous. But underlying the carnage in Zombieland is a sweetly beating heart". She stated, "This road movie/horror flick/dark comedy/earnest romance/action movie hybrid laces a gentle drollness through all the bloody mayhem. Mostly, it's just wicked fun." Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum concluded, "At the bone, Zombieland is a polished, very funny road picture (wallpaper) shaped by wisenheimer cable-TV sensibilities and starring four likable actors, each with an influential following." Time magazine's Richard Corliss described the movie as "an exhilarating ride, start to finish" and reasoned "Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg set a high bar for this subgenre with Shaun of the Dead, but Reese, Werner and Fleischer may have trumped them". "This isn't just a good zombie comedy. It's a damn fine movie, period. And that's high praise, coming from a vampire guy," he stated. Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com said "the picture (wallpaper) is beautifully paced, with an exhilarating, comically violent opening, a halcyon middle section where, in what could be viewed as a sideways homage to Rebel Without a Cause, our rootless wanderers share a brief respite in an empty, lavish mansion" and "a finale filled with light and color and movement (as well as piles of vanquished zombies)". Ty Burr of the The Boston Globe said the movie "makes no claims to greatness" but what it "has instead ó in spades ó is deliciously weary end-of-the-world banter".
Giving a mixed review of the movie is The Globe and Mail's Rick Groen, who said "it's far more charming than chilling and way more funny than frightening" and that "in the interim, though, perhaps we're all well advised to follow Columbus's Rule No. 32: 'Enjoy the little things.' Modestly clever, this is definitely a little thing. Enjoy." Joshua Rothkopf of Time Out New York characterized the "extra injection of pop-culture neuroticism" as "the one innovation" of the film. "The movie isnít particularly scary ó not a crime when your goal is laughs," he stated. "More egregious is the niggling fact that this simply isnít as witty as Shaun of the Dead, forever the yuks-meet-yucks standard." Manohla Dargis of The New York Times classified the movie as "a minor diversion dripping in splatter and groaning with self-amusement" and that "despite its throwaway jokes, a hint of romance and various ridiculous bits of business, some involving Twinkies, the movie is strictly a compendium of all the ways to off zombies, which can be downed with guns, of course, as well as baseball bats, gardening tools, a toilet-bowl lid, even a piano". The Village Voice's Scott Foundas said it is a "fitfully amusing romp directed with little ambition and even less distinction by first-timer Ruben Fleischer".
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