Zombieland was one of the most entertaining films I saw in 2009 and I was eagerly awaiting its arrival on Blu-ray this week. Unlike the George Romero zombie films of the past, Zombieland is a unique blend of “The Odd Couple meets the zombie apocalypse.” Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin have great chemistry together as the last few remaining humans in a world gone zombie.
As a die-hard fan of apocalyptic films such as The Last Man on Earth, The Omega Man and The Quiet Earth, Zombieland takes you into a world that has only recently fallen into chaos and shows how those would react when hordes of flesh eating ghoules are waiting for you around every corner.
As I scrolled through the special features on the Blu-Ray disc, I was excited to see that they had added several features that made the disc worth adding to my vast collection. The first feature is “Beyond the Graveyard” which allows the viewer to access picture in picture commentary throughout the feature to learn more about the scenes and special effects associated with them.
Another fantastic feature which is available through Blu-Ray only (sorry all you low-techs out there) is a function known as MovieIQ which answers all those nagging questions such as “Where have I seen this guy before?”, “What exactly does a grip do?”, “Who or what does a director of photography do,” and “how did they do that?” It’s a great addition for those of you who have to rely on the Interweb for such burning questions.
Other features worth checking out are “In Search of Zombieland” which is one of two behind the scenes features which goes into depth with director Ruben Fleischer, production designer Maher Ahmad, and assorted cast and crew. What I found to be very interesting and a tip of the hat to film makers like George Romero and Lucio Fulci was that the director and writers were not trying to make a typical zombie film, but wanted to create a film centered around a viral infection that was unique and unlike the scenario of past films like 28 Days Later or Shaun of the Dead.
The virus which turns those into zombies is like mad cow meets a serious case of fever blisters, and lots-o-blood. The last feature on the disc is “Zombieland is your land.” This feature focuses on set designer Maher Ahmad and the meticulous set constructions for the film which include Tallahassee’s (Woody Harrelson) quest for the last delicious box of twinkies in an impressive set of a fake grocery store, the destruction of an Arizona Indian trading post at the hands of our fearless zombie killers, and a smashed landscape of a desolate highway full of abandoned cars where Tallahassee and Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) meet for the first time and become traveling companions.
Zombieland is an impressive blend of comedy and graphic horror which will make you grab hold of your 12 gauge, and box of Twinkies while laughing your funny bone straight through your shin, so “Nut up or shut up!”