Zombieland (2009)

zombieland poster 2009 movie
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Fun zombie movie

A bit short, not much of a story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Zombieland

Studio: Relativity Media

Genre(s): Horror/Comedy

Release Date(s): October 2, 2009

MPAA Rating: R

zombieland tallahassee columbus grocery twinkie jesse eisenberg woody harrelson

Obey the rules and let the great Twinkie hunt begin!

There are rules to be obeyed if you want to survive in Zombieland.  When a Mad-Cow plague ravages the world, “Columbus” (Jesse Eisenberg) finds himself on the road and crafting his survival guide for the flesheaters.  Columbus finds himself with an unlikely teammate in “Tallahassee” (Woody Harrelson) whose only goal in Zombieland is score a fresh Twinkie.  When Tallahassee and Columbus meet up with a sister team of con-artists named “Little Rock” (Abigail Breslin) and “Wichita” (Emma Stone), the group finds themselves on the road for California and the dream of an amusement park called Pacific Playland.  Columbus likes to obey the rules, but he might have to break them.

Directed by Ruben Fleischer, Zombieland is a horror comedy survival film.  The movie was released to positive reviews and a strong box office.  It quickly gained a cult following.

zombieland tallahassee woody harrelson nut up or shut up

Nut up or shut up!

Zombieland came out in a period of a bunch of zombie movies.  With 28 Days Later, zombies learned to run and that put a whole new spin on the zombie and the zombie film.  Zombieland takes this format and combines it with a romance and comedy for a nice blend.

Comedy and zombies have been around a while.  While Night of the Living Dead gave us the flesh-eating zombies that changed the zombie from a voodoo practice to an walking undead horror, Return of the Living Dead showed you that you could have zombies and be funny while being scary.  Zombieland follows in Return of the Living Dead’s zombie footsteps, but it succeeds by making it a story about family instead of about zombies.

For the family story to work within the zombie movie, you need a good cast.  Woody Harrelson is perfect for a world like Zombieland with his drawl and attitude and pairing him with an anxious Jesse Eisenberg (who is even more like Michael Cera in this film) is a smart move to add contrasting humor.  Emma Stone brings a sensuality to her character while still feeling wholesome and Abigail Breslin is a great young actor to help solidify the group.  The film has the legendary appearance by Bill Murray (although Patrick Swayze was the original planned celebrity).  Amber Heard plays Columbus’s ill-fated neighbor #406, and Mike White plays the gas attendant who also proves Columbus’s point about bathrooms.

zombieland zombie clown

Everybody loves a clown!

Zombie films also have a style.  Zombieland has decently gross zombies, but since it is a comedy, I feel that they probably pulled back a little on the blood and guts of most of the zombies.  The clown zombie is a nice touch at the end, but even then, it feels like they could have gone further if they really wanted to emphasize the “horror” of the horror-comedy.

Zombieland is a slick, fun movie that keeps going with a relatively short runtime.  Unlike a lot of movies that go too long, I think Zombieland could have even been longer to help develop the relationships between the characters.  With the film’s success and continued popularity, Zombieland did return…ten years later.  Zombieland was followed by Zombieland:  Double Tap in 2019.

Related Links:

Zombieland:  Double Tap (2019)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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