A Visit to Zombieland


Forget all the arguments you’ve heard in that age-old debate about slow zombies vs. fast zombies. After October 9th, the real debate will be whether horror fans prefer slow zombies or FAT zombies!

That was the primary thought running through our heads as we watched Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg battling a number of obese hillbilly zombies living inside an abandoned supermarket on the set of Ruben Fleischer’s debut horror-comedy Zombieland. After all, no movie has really ever explored what happens when zombies get gluttonous enough to eat other things besides flesh and brains, so that’s certainly one area of the zombie genre where Zombieland will certainly be breaking new ground.

By now, you’ve probably watched the teaser and gotten some idea about the sense of humor inherent in the upcoming Sony action-comedy. When ShockTillYouDrop.com went down to Atlanta earlier this year, we knew very little of what to expect, since there were many unknown quantities with a first-time filmmaker helming a screenplay by writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, whose only previous collaboration was Spike’s “The Joe Shmoe Show.” Oddly, at that time, there was a lot of horror going on in the area with Rob Zombie filming his sequel Halloween II not too far away, as well as the remake of George Romero’s The Crazies. (You can read Ryan Rotten’s report of the latter here.) Oddly, our own previous visit to Atlanta was nearly disastrous, but we tried to get past that and enjoy our second experience in the Southern city.

The movie’s general premise revolves around the fact that the entire country has been overrun by flesh-eating zombies – no, we never learn how this happened – and the film follows two unlikely travel mates, Tallahassee and Columbus, played by Harrelson and Eisenberg, respectively, as they try to survive the experience. Along the way, they meet Emma Stone (Superbad) and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) who play Wichita and Little Rock, respectively, two sisters also trying to survive the zombie outbreak. If it seems odd that all the characters are named after cities, that’s part of the well-constructed conceit of the film in that in a world gone crazy, you wouldn’t want to get too close to the people you meet for various reasons, so you tell them where you’re from instead of your name. At its core, Zombieland is a road comedy with the duo driving across country, facing zombies at every turn, as Woody’s character is desperately trying to fulfill his quest to find… of all things.. Hostess Twinkies.

You can read the rest of this set visit over on ShockTillYouDrop.com, including interviews with Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, director Ruben Fleischer and the film’s creators, co-screenwriter and producers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.

Zombieland opens on October 9, 2009, and we probably should expect some more footage from the film to be shown in a couple of weeks at Comic-Con.