The End is Here! The end of the wait for Zombieland to come out on DVD that is!
Here’s a link to the official trailer.
Anyhow, I wanted to take this occasion to offer a little light-hearted analysis of what the film has to offer for those of us preparing for the real zombie apocalypse, or just regular old plain-Jane apocalypse whichever way your vision runs.
Actually, despite its mainstream flavor and grossly ludicrous assumptions, the more I watch this movie the more I get out of it. It’s really enjoyable. Although at first, I must admit that the little romance in the film and the fact that the electricity was still on and capable of powering an entire amusement park was more than I was willing to accept. But, I’ve managed to dismiss those details as irrelevant, just like I can dismiss the fact that the movie is about THE WALKING DEAD as irrelevant and see it for what it is, a fun movie that offers some good survival tips that apply in any sort of apocalypse or disaster.
The main character in Zombieland is a classical Internet absorbed neurotic dork of a young man, in many ways just like you and me, …well, more like I was, before I left my white collar job to live in the jungle, work in the Antarctic, range the Rockies, travel the world and become an apocalypse philosopher. Anyhow, this main character has a set of rules he has created for himself which have helped him to survive. The interesting part of his rules is that some of them are deeply flawed and could easily have become his undoing.
Now I won’t go through all the rules, as a lot of them aren’t super relevant. “Double Tap” is important for zombies, sure, but it’s not worth talking about for our purposes. Likewise the rule he has about being afraid of public toilets is not super critical as well, though it could serve as a close metaphor for “Don’t get caught with your pants down.”
The first rule of Zombieland, “Cardio”is huge. Yep, sorry you arm-chair commandos, if you can’t stand up right now and run three miles, you’re proper fucked. If you’re planning on getting fit after the shit hits the fan you’re going to have one bitch of a time at it, and you might die in the process. As they said in Zombieland: “First to go were the fatties.”
Rule #22 “When in doubt, know your way out.” Do you have your escape routes out of town planned? Know the alternates? No? What about your home and your office or school? Why not? Get on it! This is good practical advice even if you weren’t anticipating an apocalypse. Fires, natural disasters, criminal / terrorist attacks etc all require that you have this knowledge.
Rule #32 “Enjoy the little things.” This is probably my favorite Zombieland rule. Tallahassee (Woody) really enjoys slaying zombies, and has gotten really good at it. It’s these little things that make life worth living. If you don’t stop and appreciate them, you’re just wasting time pursuing a happiness that you may never find, especially on a World War Z ravaged earth.
Woody also has a lot of other good bits of philosophy. For example “God bless Rednecks!” Who keeps the tools and knowledge to survive a zombie apocalypse more than the rednecks? If you’ve got a hoity-toity abhorrence to the redneck ways, well, you’d best start getting over it now and start learning what that American heartland culture has to offer. You’re going to need these guys and their tools and knowledge.
Tallahassee believes you have to blow of steam or you lose whats left of your mind in Zombieland.
This is another important point. You’ve got to do whatever it takes to keep your sanity after the apocalypse. If that means smashing the windows out of a Cadillac with a baseball bat or busting the teeth out of a zombie with a banjo, then by God you better do it. If you go nuts, you’re done for, and the people you love may be depending on you. Don’t let it happen! Though please be nice to the banjo, without electricity you may have to make your own music!
Of course Woody has his weakness too, Twinkies. He has a serious addiction problem with the formaldehyde stuffed little cakes. Immediately you see my point, eh? Addictions, break em or prepare to have them covered lest they break you. Woody took a hell of a lot of risks to obtain his Little Debbie addiction, and worse, he became dangerously unstable when he wasn’t able to get his fix. In a world that requires precision and flawless execution for survival this is absolutely unacceptable. If there’s something you absolutely can’t live without when the world ends, then you’d damn well better start sticking some of it away now or figuring out a way you can produce it yourself.
Believe it or not Twinkies do have an expiration date… Somewhere in there is the last twinkie anyone in the universe will ever enjoy.
Woody represents our rage at what we (will have) lost. And when the world has lost as much as he has and is just as angry, we’re going to have to tread lightly. This is my greatest fear about the years to come, the anger. But I digress.
Woody’s weakness leads us to another mistake, Bill Murray’s mistake of getting stoned and then pretending to be a zombie to scare the main character. Obviously, this doesn’t end well. The message to be heeded is that while drugs and alcohol may be fun, they make you stupid, and stupid people die when the shit hits the fan. So just say no, because not only will your death suck for you, you put a burden of grief on your friends and loved ones which may mean their demise as well when great will is needed to act boldly.
Going back to the main character, his critical flaw is that he has a rule that he must sever emotional connections, likewise the female characters in the film have a similar rule.
You see you just can’t trust anyone; the first time I let a girl into my life and she tries to eat me.
Although their initial caution is heavily warranted, through the course of the film they discover that they are both wrong and that they are better off sticking together, that the support they provide exceeds the risks posed by the unpredictability of having other people around.
Without other people, we might as well be zombies.
The bonds they build necessitate the breaking of Rule # 17 “Don’t be a hero”. And this is the greatest message of the movie. If there are no heroes, there is nothing to aspire to be, nothing to look forward to but the same grim future. We should all aspire to be heroes, heroes based on what we define as a hero independently. But remember, there is a difference between a hero and a martyr.
Of course, I have quite a lot of other philosophical musings on this film, surprising, of course, as at first viewing this seems like just your run of the mill pop-corn flick, but there is great depth here. I’ll spare you anything deeper, because I’ve already gone on too long for a zombie attention span, but I do encourage all you aspiring non-zombies to watch this flick at least twice and think about the greater implications.
the end is here