500 Days Of Film Reviews Horror Comedy, Zombieland, Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin


Geeky college student Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) has survived a plague that has turned mankind into flesh-devouring zombies. 


Columbus is now scared of everything.


Gun-toting Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), has no such fears. He is out for revenge and intends to slaughter as many zombies as possible. Just don’t stand in his way… or eat his Twinkies.


Together, Columbus and Tallahassee embark on a dangerous road trip, encountering feisty sisters, Wichita and Little Rock ( Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin), along the way.

Is It Any Good?

I have a problem with zombies. I just don’t find them in the least bit scary. I really have very little interest in them. Sure, I get the subtext, (zombies are really about commercialism and fear of disease) it just doesn’t help. 


To be brutally honest (apart from Danny Boyle’s brilliant 28 Days Later) I find zombies all a bit ridiculous. I am not alone. Simon Pegg, writer of Edgar Wright’s brilliant 2004 film, Shaun Of The Dead, blames Michael Jackson.


In an article in The Guardian, Pegg states that “Michael Jackson's Thriller video, directed by John Landis, was entertaining but made it rather difficult for us to take zombies seriously, having witnessed them body-popping.”


The main point of Pegg’s article is to discuss whether zombies should be able to run.


He argues that “speed simplifies the zombie, clarifying the threat and reducing any response to an emotional reflex. It's the difference between someone shouting "Boo!" and hearing the sound of the floorboards creaking in an upstairs room: a quick thrill at the expense of a more profound sense of dread.”


The Zombies In Shaun Of The Dead
The Zombies In Shaun Of The Dead


As Pegg explains, the fast zombie is “bereft of poetic subtlety. As monsters from the id, zombies win out over vampires and werewolves when it comes to the title of Most Potent Metaphorical Monster.


"Where their pointy-toothed cousins are all about sex and bestial savagery, the zombie trumps all by personifying our deepest fear: death. Zombies are our destiny writ large. Slow and steady in their approach, weak, clumsy, often absurd, the zombie relentlessly closes in, unstoppable, intractable.”


While I am no fan of zombies, I agree that they just shouldn’t run. Unless, that is, they belong in Ruben Fleischer 2009 movie, Zombieland. Then all bets are off and let’s just enjoy the silliness.



Zombieland takes the comedy inherent in the zombie genre and turns it up to eleven. These are zombies at their most ridiculous and, of course, they run. Indeed, Columbus' number one rule for survival is cardio. You have to be fit to outrun a zombie in this movie.


Zombieland is endlessly entertaining and features some truly superb casting. Eisenberg is perfect as Columbus and I just love Woody Harrelson's performance - he looks as if he is having as much fun as we are. Meanwhile, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin are just brilliant in all their tricksy feistiness.


Throw in a creepy theme park and a wonderfully silly cameo and you have all the ingredients for a perfect zombie comedy. Perhaps I'm warming to zombies after all...  

Random Observations

Have you seen Zombieland?


If so, what do you think of this movie? What are your views on zombies? Should they run?


Let me know, leave me a comment in the box below.

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Jane Douglas-Jones
Jane Douglas-Jones

E: jane@500daysoffilm.com


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