No Right Explanation

No Right Explanation
Zombies Are Better Than Vampires

Firefilm | 29 Oct 2012 12:00
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Dan: People have accused us of picking Zombieland due to our country of birth. It's fair to say that our peer group would influence our general tastes, but Shaun of the Dead is "Americanized" enough to transcend any regional tastes. I also want to be clear about something ... Shaun of the Dead is a great movie. It has drama, it has romance, it has comedy, and once and a while it has zombies. But no matter how stupid people think we are for not picking it as a winner, just take a look at the movie poster. A romantic comedy with zombies. Even they know that it is more a general good movie with a horror backdrop than a horror movie with rich layers. Their words, not mine. Zombieland was made with the thought in mind that flashes in my head during every zombie movie, including Shaun of the Dead, "Why is that person who just got bit, and knows what happens when you get bit, not sucking it up and protecting the ones they love by separating themselves from the group?"

Think about every zombie movie, and how we see the same tropes over and over again. Someone tries to hide a bite. Food is scarce. Shelter is something always under attack. These are things that get old, and is exactly why audiences are getting tired (hopefully) of the whole zombie genre. Shaun of the Dead didn't avoid these tropes, they reinforced them with a bit of meta humor. Shaun's mom hides a bite, they all go to the pub which provides them little food and unreliable shelter, yada yada. Zombieland never has a moment where shelter is a problem, in fact they find some pretty posh cribs. No one ever complains about food, and killing zombies is never paused by that moral "But they used to be human!" garbage. It is a zombie movie made by people who have seen a zombie movie, and it's fantastic.

They had rules, which were not only great, but highlighted why these survivors were still around. I feel that Shaun was only still around because of dumb luck, not because of any extra survival skills. I want my hero to live because they kick ass, not because they just keep throwing their friends at the zombies first.

With all that off my chest, hopefully some of you see why Zombieland was picked, not just as a crap movie we like, but as a quality zombie movie that breathed new life into the genre. That being said, Fido is fantastic, the remake of Dawn of the Dead still freaks me out, and I still need to watch Dead Snow, but I hear that it's fun.

As for the points, this one was pretty straight forward, save for one point. Did I give a point to Chris for bringing up the Bill Murray cameo? No. I gave it to the film for working the cameo in so perfectly. As mentioned in the debate, a Twinkie was motivation for Woody Harrelson. In a strangely deep monologue, he says that soon all the Twinkies will be gone, and he wants to eat one before they're extinct. He doesn't want to restart society, he's given up on that. He just wants one more nostalgic bite. Then they find Bill Murray, and Jesse "Facebook" Eisenberg watches Ghostbusters with the girl from Little Miss Sunshine. Mainly for the same motivation, as films and pop culture in general are going to fade away just like the yellow cake. And what scene do they show briefly from the movie to sum up Ghostbusters? That's right, the scene where they compare the surge in paranormal activity to a big Twinkie. And they are eating Twinkies. And Woody is looking for a Twinkie. It was all one big perfect metaphor for them being sad that the world they knew is gone, and soon not only will they not have the means to revisit, but their memories will be more and more untranslatable to the new generation, assuming there is one.

Did I just blow your minds on how deep that cameo was? Deal with it. Boom.

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