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Wando High School
Tribal Tribune
Nick Shuler

Many movies make fun of genre conventions, even if the movies themselves fit into that genre. From The Final
Destination to the remake of Friday the 13th to Tropic Thunder, the film industry is no stranger to self-parody.
Zombieland, a movie about one boy’s search for family and one man’s search for the last Twinkie on Earth,
does nothing to revolutionize the zombie-movie genre, but parodies it in a way typically unseen.
The movie opens with Jessie Eisenberg’s character, Columbus, reading off of his list of rules to follow in order
to survive a zombie apocalypse. With rules like “always check the back seat,” “wear your seatbelt” and
“double-tap,” it’s easy to see how he’s survived so long. Without much delay, Columbus encounters another
survivor in the form of Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a slightly psychotic man who prefers not to use guns to
kill zombies because it’s too impersonal.
While Eisenberg underperforms and seems to be emulating Michael Cera, Harrelson steals the show with a
hilarious role and line delivery that basically makes the movie. If there were a sequel made that featured only
Woody Harrelson as a guy who just love killing zombies, I would be there opening night.
Zombie movies have evolved through the ages. George Romero arguably began the genre with Night of the
Living Dead, which led to an entire series of Living Dead movies, most recently Diary of the Dead. His 1978
mall-zombie movie Dawn of the Dead was remade in 2004 by Zack Snyder and is considered one of the better
zombie movies to be released.
Zombie comedies, however, are surprisingly rare. Only three have gotten a wide release in theaters: Shaun of
the Dead, Fido and Zombieland. Shaun of the Dead is less of a zombie-comedy (zomedy) than a standard
zombie movie that has really funny characters instead of the stereotypically stupid ones usually featured. Fido,
however, took zombie movies in a completely new direction. It took place in an alternate universe, where in the
1940s there was a zombie apocalypse, and by the 1950s the government had determined a method to
domesticate the zombies, and zombie pets were considered a staple of upper-class living. It made fun of the
stereotypes of 1950s America, while also satirizing zombie movies in general.
Zombieland is not completely original, but it is completely hilarious. All six actors excellently portray their
roles, and the zombie special effects are among the best I’ve seen in a zombie picture. There’s no mystery
behind the origin of the zombie apocalypse, either. It clearly specifies why everything that’s happened is
happening in a voice-over by Jessie Eisenberg, and it’s not too outlandish to make an already ridiculous movie
completely unbelievable.
Zombieland is really a family comedy about a group of people who need to get over their inhibitions in order to
really enjoy each other, but if you analyze the movie enough to realize this, you missed the point of the movie.
It’s not a thinking film for the thinking man, like a Coen Brothers movie, nor is it a stupid film for the stupid
man, like a Michael Bay movie. Zombieland is just a comedy, with the specific purpose of making the viewer
laugh without resorting to bodily fluid jokes, and succeeds with flying colors.

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